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BIOCOP - New Technologies to Screen Multiple Chemical Contaminants in Foods


The Biocop proposal has been constructed to supply regulators, consumers and industry with long-term solutions to the complex problems associated with chemical contaminants.

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Chemical contaminant monitoring in foodstuffs is a highly important and complex issue. A huge investment in time and effort is placed on these activities by regulatory and industrial laboratories. As demands from consumers and regulators grow to improve the quality and safety of food the need for improved technologies has never been greater. <p>
A range of new technologies such as transcriptomics, proteomics and biosensors will be utilised within the project. These new approaches are based on measuring effect rather than on measuring single target compound concentrations. The biomarker and fingerprinting concept is key to this strategy. Substantial advances in sample preparation will be achieved using novel procedures such as aptamers, microwave assisted extraction and pressurised liquid extraction.
<p>Experts from all classes of chemical contaminants will oversee the project to ensure fit-for-purpose tests are developed and validated to the required standards. The SME cluster in the project will ensure full exploitation of all developed technologies. This will be greatly assisted by the substantial phase of demonstration and training to all stake holders included within the project. <P>
Dissemination activities to all stake-holders (regulators, food industries, laboratory networks and consumers) will be well organised by communication experts. Consumer groups will be informed about the aims and progress of Biocop from the start of the project to the end and will have mechanisms to feed back any views and concerns they have. <P>
The successful management of this project will be a key to its success. A Biocop matrix management system has been developed to ensure high level organisation and communication exists right across the network.

For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> Web site.

Elliott, Chris
Queen's University - Belfast
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