METROFOOD-FED.BE - Belgian federal components and national node development for the ESFRI research infrastructure, METROFOOD, for the promotion of metrology in food and nutrition

Last updated on 15-4-2024 by Subhalakshmi Sharma
Project duration:
December 15, 2023
December 15, 2026

In short

METROFOOD-BE is the Belgian node of METROFOOD-RI, the research infrastructure that brings together high-level metrology services in food and nutrition for the enhancement of food quality and safety. METROFOOD-FED.BE is the project working towards the full implementation of METROFOOD-RI within the ESFRI’s objectives for becoming an ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium). It’s mission is to provide a comprehensive and sustainable infrastructure for food quality and safety including analysis, development of innovative solutions, data management and training services.

Project description

METROFOOD-FED.BE, a 3-year project funded by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), is the national component of the ESFRI research infrastructure (RI), METROFOOD-RI, which is an European-scale distributed research infrastructure aimed at promoting scientific excellence via high-level metrological services in food and nutrition, thereby enhancing food quality and safety in Europe. METROFOOD-FED.BE thrives to carry forward this mission at a national scale and to ensure that metrology services provided by Belgian components are (a) reinforced, (b) well-positioned in the Belgian and global research and innovation (R&I) landscape, (c) innovative and caters to safe and sustainable design models (SSbD), (d) robustly tested for performance and high-quality service provision, and (e) sufficiently valorized. In this regard, METROFOOD services will be made available for Open Access to external target users and stakeholders via different access types, access modes and suitably designed access procedures. Services prepared for provision within the project will ensure that user demands, competitive and fair-pricing, driven by scientific and technological excellence, are at the heart of its objectives. Furthermore, the project will ensure widening of its outreach within and outside Belgium by engaging other key actors providing high-quality metrological services to a wide community of users. This will not only enhance capacity and an offering of diversified set of robust services, but also ensure that the Belgian national node is sufficiently developed, and optimally positioned as a leading metrological service provider European R&I landscape. To ensure a robust and full-scale implementation of METROFOOD-FED.BE, Sciensano will provide two state-of-the-art and bespoke use cases to test and streamline its service provision methodology. The use cases have been selected with special attention and adherence to emerging food safety priorities and with key scientific food agendas in the foresight – Use case 1 aims to build expertise and capacity for the characterization of physicochemical properties and the release of inorganic nanoparticles in food contact materials (FCM) thereby contributing to improved functionality, quality control and safety assessment of FCMs, facilitating improved regulation by the responsible authorities in their use and circulation. On the other hand, use case 2 will address the safety of FCMs designed using the SSbD model, where robust methodologies for migration and exposure, hazard and risk assessments services will be provided. While the first use case will be aimed at (but not limited to) researchers in general and the scientific community, the second use case will be lucrative for the broad industry engaged in developing FCMs. Additionally, a broader service portfolio including additional standard metrological services from Sciensano and other Belgian metrology service providers will be developed with a strong focus on mong-term sustainability of the Belgian national node. Towards this end, METROFOOD-FED.BE will ensure sustained service provision that are excellence-driven, well-integrated, state-of-the-art and lucrative for a broad user community thriving towards improved metrology in food and nutrition.

Sciensano's project investigator(s):

Service(s) working on this project

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