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International experts discuss cooling and quality of food in workshops

On 27 and 28 September the University of Bonn and the research network GIQS based there staged two workshops: the 4th International Workshop "Cold Chain Management" and one which dealt with communication and control concepts for quality improvement within the meat producing industry.

At the 4th International Cold Chain Management (CCM) Workshop for two days around 80 international experts from science, industry and public organisations discussed innovative research and development results related to the optimisation of temperature control in cold chains.

For a long time specific RFIDs have been developed for tracing commodity flows and the temperature history of a product. Nowadays these tags can be combined with different types of sensors. In appropriately equipped transportation and logistics systems it can hence be ensured that, for instance, meat products are always optimally cooled on the way to the consumer and when they reach the consumer.

The workshop also focussed on intelligent packaging for optimising food quality and simulation models for calculating shelf lives and estimating the risk of dangerous germs contaminating food.

Subsequently the Internet-based CCM portal for cool chain management, developed by the University of Bonn, was presented to the participants. The aim of this network is to improve the global exchange of experience between experts in this specialist field as well as publishing journals, new technologies and events or internet-based tools. You will find more information about this platform at www.ccm-network.com.

The workshop was organised by the interdisciplinary workshop Cold Chain Manage­ment of the Agricultural Faculty at the University of Bonn and the research network GIQS, which is based there. The next workshop will be staged in spring 2013.


It is people who matter

At the project workshop "Ensuring Quality and Food Safety in European Pork Chains - Captu­ring Export Markets" on 28th September the prime focus was on concepts for improving the quality and safety of European pork production. Scientists and experts from the industry discussed how to jointly master the challenges of the pork market, which in future will be even more export-dependent.

Prof. Dr. Brigitte Petersen from the Institute of Animal Sciences (ITW) at the University of Bonn argued that in this context network coordinators will play a key role. She explained that the task facing such coordinators would be to bring together the different players in the chain and develop and communicate concepts, in order to ensure the quality, traceability and sustainability demanded from the market. According to Bert Urlings from the Vion Food Group, this will become an increasingly complex task for the pork production industry, because it is a typical segment market. Dr. Susanne Lehnert, currently an exchange scientist at the University of Wageningen (NL) reported that in this context one was trying to develop a concept for additional qualifications of young university graduates, initially within the framework of the strategic partnership between Bonn and Wageningen, but also with a view to making this implementable at a European level. The model of the Bonn-based German Society for Quality Research (DGQ), which has already existed for more than ten years, can serve as a template for this "Quality Manager Junior".

The workshop was staged within the framework of the EU project QUARISMA (Quality and Risk Manage­ment in Meat Chains), where the prime focus on the personal exchange of scientists constitutes a key element. The project is sponsored by IAPP element (Industry-Academia Partnerships und Pathways) of the Marie Curie of the EU's 7th research programme, which hence supports the interdisciplinary, intersectoral, and at the same time, international approach of the project.

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