The main objective of NOCHEMFOOD is the development of a novel class of food-additives based on a mixtures of substances extracted from vegetal sources. A group of potential assailants to food safety is represented by food additives, which are still one of the most misunderstood topics in foods that raise consumer's concern. Food additives play an important role in today's complex food supply. Food controls focuses mainly on chemical additives, which are very often present, even if only in minor, or trace amounts. They are intentionally added to food in order to produce a desired positive effect, although their level has to be maintained within regulated limits.
NOCHEMFOOD will develop a new biotechnological strategies aimed at producing foods containing mainly natural ingredients, and from which possibly harmful chemical components have been removed. In particular, it will be investigated the potential use in the sausage industry of natural preserving agents, constituted by a mixture of active molecules extracted from vegetal sources, in substitution of chemical additives. These extracts will be mainly obtained using environmentally friendly extraction processes. The substances will be tested as substitutes for chemical additives such as nitrates and nitrites.
These are widely used, with the aim of improving the storage of the product, to better preserve its colour, taste and flavour and finally, to maintain its texture. Before their use, the new products will be tested for their antimutagenicity and antimicrobial capability against undesiderable or pathogenic microorganisms. Evaluation of possible protein damage will be performed. The obtained products will be monitored from a microbiological point of view and biochemical point of view.
The products will be analysed during all their shelf-life by monitoring the proteic, peptidic, amino acidic and lipidic profiles as index of the endogenous and exogenous enzymatic activities present inside of them.
For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/food_quality/projects/125_en.ht…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> Web site.