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Funded by the European Commission in the 6th Framework Programme for Research (FP 6) the CHILL-ON project aims to improve quality, safety, transparency and traceability of the chilled/frozen supply chain. To reach the goal, cost-effective technologies, devices and approaches for continuous monitoring and recording of relevant data and processing the data for information management throughout the entire supply chain are under way. As fish and poultry are very prominent in the European food market and belong to the most sensitive goods with regard to food poisoning, the chilled and frozen fish and poultry supply chain has been selected as test cases.
In 2004, the European Commission identified the need for development of new technologies to ensure safety and traceability in the food supply chain. They issued a call for projects under the topic “Integrating and Strengthening the European Research Area”, T188.8.131.52 Chilled and frozen supply chain (IP).
Duration: 4 years (2006 to 2010)
Total budget: 15,6 Mio. €
EC contribution: 10,1 Mio. €
Funding scheme: 6th Framework programme for research (FP6)
Thematic priority: Food quality and safety
Instrument: Integrated Project (IP)
- Risk assessment of the chilled/frozen food supply chain and development of a quantitative microbial risk model transport and storage supporting technologies to extend shelf life. This includes optimisation of a liquide ice technology, based on the patented Wiped Surface Crystalliser System, and a comparative study of existing cooling techniques
- Research, development and validattion of a new generation of so-called “eChillOn – Smart Labels”, a combination of Time-Temperature-Indicator (TTI) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies.
- Development and implementation of a new, complex IT system (software and hardware) for data handling and transfer (GPD, MDA, etc.) to ensure traceability, called TRACECHILL-System.
Food safety is a critical issue in the food supply chain in terms of its maintenance and monitoring – in particular for frozen and chilled food products which are especially sensitive to microbial spoilage. The primary objective of the European food policy is to improve the health and well-being of European citizens through higher quality food and improved control of food production and related environmental factors.
The consumption of chilled/frozen food products within Europe is growing above average as a consequence of socio-cultural changes (e.g. increased single households), whereas food safety and quality are of great concern for consumers.
Improved confidence in chilled food products, especially in the integrity of their supply-chain in terms of its ability to maintain product quality and identity along with its ability to detect potentially harmful and undesirable product changes is of high priority for all involved in food production and distribution, especially as  requires traceability to be established at all stages of the food chain.
Improvements by CHILL-ON
CHILL-ON aims to improve the quality, safety and transparency of the food supply chain. Through a proactive and integrated approach, CHILL-ON will implement in-depth research for each step of the chilled/frozen supply chain.
The outputs of this project are integrated in a holistic approach to deliver a complete solution, to significantly enhance the state of the art of the entire food supply chain from - "farm to fork". The project will result in a novel concept for tracking and tracing - "TRACECHILL" to include input from novel biosensors for low temperature micro organisms, novel chilling and packaging technologies and smart labelling.
The focus of the CHILL-ON project is to provide for the first time ever an integrated solution for the entire frozen and chilled food supply chain. This will be done by implementing an interdisciplinary research and development work programme which includes a very wide spectrum of disciplines: from biochemistry; genetics and microbiology, through chilling, packaging, smart labels (eChillOn) and logistics up to information technologies such as active and passive RFID, GPS, GIS, electronic Supply Chain Management (eSCM) and a Decision Support System (DSS). This is integrated into the novel traceability solution proposed by CHILL-ON for the frozen/chilled food supply chain called TRACECHILL.
- Verena Raab, Stefanie Bruckner, Eva Beierle, Yvonne Kampmann, Brigitte Petersen, Judith Kreyenschmidt: Generic model for the prediction of remaining shelf life in support of cold chain management in pork and poultry supply chains. Journal Journal on Chain and Network Science, Publisher Wageningen Academic Publishers, ISSN 1569-1829 (Print), Volume 8, Number 1, 2008, Pages 59–73. This publication has won the Best Paper Award in the category "Chain Management" at 8th International Conference on Management in Agrifood Chains and Networks in Wageningen 2008,
- Jane Byrne: Forecast model can predict bacterial progeny, claim researchers. foodproductiondaily.com, 20 June 2008,
- María Guðjónsdóttir, Hannes Magnússon, Kolbrún Sveinsdóttir, Björn Margeirsson, Hélène L. Lauzon, Eyjólfur Reynisson, Emilía Martinsdóttir: Effect of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and superchilling on the shelf life of fresh cod (Gadus morhua) loins of different degrees of freshness at packaging. Vinnsla og vöruþróun, Skýrsla Matís 22-08, MATIS-Report, September 2008, ISSN 1670-7192.
- Regulation 178/2002/EC on General Food Law (Europa.eu)