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SPICED - Securing the Spices and Herbs Commodity Chains in Europe against Deliberate, Accidental or Natural Biological and Chemical Contamination

Bundesinstitut fur Risikobewertung (BfR)
Start date
End date

Securing the food chains from primary production to consumer ready food against major deliberate, accidental or natural CBRN contaminations stands in close context with the safety of food products. SPICED objectives are to characterize the heterogeneous matrices of spices and herbs and their respective intra- as well as interplant production and supply chains in context with relevant biological and chemical hazards that can lead to major deliberate, accidental or natural contaminations in the food supply chain, to improve the knowledge about biological hazards properties and on-site and high throughput diagnostic methods for appropriate detection, to reduce (industrial) chemical adulterations and to ensure authenticity of spices and herbs by evaluation and improvement of non-targeted fingerprinting methods, and to improve alerting, reporting and decontamination systems as well as techniques to ensure prevention and response on high quality level. The consortium will evaluate the most important spices and herbs that can cause or be used for natural, accidental or deliberate contaminations, depending on e.g. the amount produced, consumed and frequency of natural or accidental contaminations. SPICED will focus on pathogen agents based on e.g. frequency of natural occurrence, possible impact on human health, and relevance for food terrorism.

SPICED has been planned for 36 months and brings together experts and scientists from 11 different partners. The spice and herbs primary production and supply chain is very heterogeneous since most of the condiments are imported from non-European countries. The consortium of SPICED reflects the major players of the European spice market from major importer (Germany) over major re-exporter (Netherlands) to the main European paprika producing country (Hungary). SPICED will provide several materials for advice ranging from brochures and other supporting documents to workshops for scientific researchers.

Funding Source
European Commission
Project source
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Project number
Food Defense and Integrity
Bacterial Pathogens