Highlights from the FoodSmartphone project

February 11, 2021

The H2020 project FoodSmartphone developed smartphone analyzers for on-site testing of food quality and safety. At their final conference, the application of smartphone-based food analysis tools to map the spread of a huge food contamination and fraud cases were presented alongside other findings.

Current food quality and safety testing is, to a large extent, an inefficient, expensive and ineffective process, unable to assure food safety for all consumers and unable to prevent major food fraud incidents. As an enabling technology solution, the Horizon 2020 FoodSmartphone European Training Network proposed the development of smartphone-based (bio)analytical sensing and diagnostics tools for simplified on-site rapid pre-screening of food quality and safety parameters and wireless data transfer to servers of relevant stakeholders.

The final FoodSmartphone networking conference “Workshop SmartTech for Food (ST4F)” was organized online at the end of 2020. The workshop was opened with a plenary lecture by Prof. Chris Elliott entitled “uncovering the cause of a major food safety incident by the application of analytical chemistry” in which he presented two case studies in Africa in which the availability of smartphone-based food analysis tools could have been of great value in order to map the spread of a huge food contamination and fraud case.

The programme of the workshop comprised a very nice mixture of lectures by experts in the field, regulators, diagnostic companies and early-stage researchers (ESRs) from FoodSmartphone. The session topics covered optical sensors, electrochemical sensors, spectrometric analysis, food surveillance and regulatory issues, natural toxins, food allergens, antibiotics and bacteria, and pesticides. Each session ended with a lively round table discussion.

The workshop was very well attended by more than 130 participants from 18 countries. Interestingly, the programme also included a virtual open day for the general public: to that end, the ESRs produced videos explaining their work and therefore is also an 80-minute compilation of all the videos.

For more information visit the FoodSmartphone website.

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