Quality of pork and pork products has become a complex and dynamic theme involving the total pork chain from fork-to-farm with a multitude of interacting aspects related to peoples demands as consumers, as citizens and as producers of economic and environmental sustainability.
The need for developing innovative, integrated, and sustainable food production chains of high quality pork products matching consumer demands was therefore addressed by Q-PorkChains.
The objective of Q-PorkChains was to develop innovative, integrated and sustainable food production chains of high quality pork products matching consumer demands, by development and testing of advanced and multi-disciplinary approaches for identification, characterisation, prediction, and control of the quality of pork and pork products in different stages of the pork chain in diverse production systems. Q-PorkChains was the largest project of the EU six framework program, which was engaged in meat science. More than 50 organisations from 21 countries worked together on the project for five years, from 2007-2011.
Eight research and development modules
Research, technology and innovation from „fork-to-farm“ were addressed in six research modules I-VI, which were the pillars of the project, and one horizontal pilot and demonstration module (Module A). Another horizontal module (Module B) included communication and knowledge transfer.
The six pillars explored specific development potentials of different aspects of the pork production sector: consumer and citizen behaviour and preferences; on-farm production systems; product development; integration and sustainability within the pork production chain; new biology for quality control; and the development of prediction models for food quality, food safety and animal welfare.
The horizontal module A ensured that research is followed by innovative actions and exploitation of the research results through the formation of research pilots and demonstration chains.
The core of Module B was to transfer new knowledge in education and training programmes at different educational levels from vocational school to university. GIQS took the role as “SME Liaison Office”, to inform Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) throughout entire Europe about the development and results of Q-PorkChains and to support their involvement in project activities.
The third horizontal module C focused on project management and coordination.