About

Project

Food is vulnerable to a range of hazards (microbiological, chemical, and physical) at any stage (primary production, processing, transport, etc.) of the food supply chain and a failure can affect the safety of the products. In addition to safety incidents in products, new hazards and risks are emerging. These may be related to unintentional contamination (agrochemicals, bacteria, etc.) or to intentional contamination with economically or ideologically motivated adulteration in order to make more profit.

The main goal of the current project is to develop an innovative suite of Internet of Things (IoT) – enabled sensing technologies data analytics and an original integrated Decision Support System (DSS), investigating all the key stakeholders and to offer a multidimensional impact assessment and financial analysis. TruStFoodS will provide a new level of assurance to the consumer regarding the safety of food products, with a special focus on Sustainable Agrifoods.

The specific objectives of TruStFoodS are:

  • To analyse consumer concerns, attitudes, expectations, and behaviour towards food safety and to investigate consumers’ reactions to food safety related risk reduction strategies and risk management practices in organic food products produced in Greece
  • To analyse the entire Supply Chain of organic products, adopting a holistic approach (from farm to fork), in order to map the processes and practices towards food safety, quality and authenticity To develop and establish tools and guidelines for actors in the traditional and ‘differentiated’ production sectors, to guarantee the safety of organic products.
  • To incorporate IoT technology (sensors, data management, etc.) as key for data gathering and management
  • To develop traceability software technologies integrating the tools of food safety assessment in a Decision Support System (DSS)
  • To assess the impact of the proposed tool from an economic, environmental, social and governance perspective
  • To disseminate the results to scientific audience, stakeholders and wider public

Research methodology

Interdisciplinarity

An interdisciplinary approach has been established with the combination of three different scientific areas.

Agricultural sciences - Food sciences

Engineering & technological sciences - Systems & communication engineering, computer engineering

Social sciences - Individuals markets and organizations-Economics, Finance & Management

The project’s goals and the research gap require interdisciplinary approaches including input from social and agricultural sciences in developing food safety mainly in high risk products such as organic food, including market aspects.

Our use of social sciences and agricultural sciences is embedded in the project, is practical and mission oriented tightly focused on building social capital on organic products’ security from a holistic approach including producers (farmers), key stakeholders of the entire food supply chain and consumers.

The project requires a system engineering approach for developing integrated sensing and software for decision support. Systems engineering concerns the IoT and software development for monitoring the development of food safety hazards in the supply chain of organic products.

The IoT in the form of RFID tags in the organic production chain will inform on deviations and correlated with consumer smartphones will obtain information on the chain tracking history through QR code.

For the development of an effective traceability system, consumers’ preferences and attitude with respect food safety are required as well as a detailed mapping of the entire supply chain (including identification of critical points).

Host Institution

A.U.Th is one of the main academic institutes in Greece and participates in numerous Research and Technological Development Projects (RTD), having also coordinated many EU projects. A.U.Th. has the appropriate infrastructure in order to be the host institution for the TruStFoods project.

A.U.Th’s School of Agriculture and mainly the Department of Agricultural Economics composed of scientists with significant experience in projects. The staff has successfully organized many international and national economics conferences covering a very broad spectrum food related issues. The staff is also demonstrates an outstanding track record on interdisciplinary research focusing on food industry, investment analysis and agricultural extensions. The Research Team from the Dept. of Agricultural Economics will contribute to data collection, consumer’s survey, socioeconomic assessment and dissemination activities.

The Agricultural Engineering Lab is active in field robotics, RFID and zigbee for robot localization and food traceability applications, robot task and motion planning, intelligent tracking and coordination for robotic systems. Based on the expertise of the AEL lab it is ideal to support the activities related to IoT, DSS and cognitive algorithms development.