`EU Offers €5m to Fight Olive Oil Fraud - Olive Oil Times

EU Offers €5m to Fight Olive Oil Fraud

By Julie Butler
Jan. 20, 2014 18:00 UTC

Research on bet­ter detec­tion of olive oil fraud could receive about €5 mil­lion ($6.7m) under the European Commission’s new Horizon 2020 pro­gram.

The nearly €80 bil­lion pro­gram is the EU’s biggest research and inno­va­tion ini­tia­tive and is adver­tised as promis­ing more break­throughs, dis­cov­er­ies and world-firsts by tak­ing great ideas from the lab to the mar­ket.“
Under the sub-pro­gram of sus­tain­able food secu­rity, a call for sub­mis­sions is open until March 12 on the topic of olive oil authen­ti­ca­tion.

Olive oil is nor­mally sold at a higher price than other veg­etable oils and fraud­u­lent activ­i­ties are tempt­ing,” the related infor­ma­tion says. Thus new ana­lytic meth­ods are sought that will help to pre­serve the image of olive oil by guar­an­tee­ing its qual­ity and authen­tic­ity. Of par­tic­u­lar inter­est are the detec­tion of blends of extra vir­gin olive oil or vir­gin olive oil with soft deodor­ized olive oil, and of extra vir­gin olive oil or vir­gin olive oil with other veg­etable oils.

Proposals should eval­u­ate fraud vul­ner­a­bil­ity in the olive oil sec­tor and develop, val­i­date and har­mo­nize meth­ods and ana­lyt­i­cal pro­to­cols to detect unde­sired pro­cess­ing (e.g. deodor­iza­tion), adul­ter­ation and to ver­ify the qual­ity of olive oil based on novel tech­no­log­i­cal advances,” a sum­mary of the pro­gram call says. They should also explore the estab­lish­ment of a data­bank for olive oil and con­tribute to stan­dard­iza­tion.

Among spe­cific impacts expected from the research is the gen­er­a­tion of reli­able, val­i­dated, cost effi­cient, har­mo­nized and ready-to-use meth­ods (based e.g. on genomic, metabolomic and other tools) to detect frauds and ver­ify the qual­ity of olive oil.”

The Commission con­sid­ers pro­pos­als request­ing a con­tri­bu­tion from the EU in the range of €5 mil­lion would allow this spe­cific chal­lenge to be addressed appro­pri­ately,” the pro­gram call also says. Proposals may include par­tic­i­pants from coun­tries out­side the EU.

The Workshop on Olive Oil Authentication jointly hosted by the Commission and the International Olive Council in Madrid last June iden­ti­fied pri­or­ity areas which were used to design the project call.


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