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Novel Technologies to improve safety and transparency of the chilled food supply
                                 chain (FP6)

Basic information

The CHILL-ON project, which is coordinated by the Technology Transfer Centre (TTZ) in
Bremerhaven, Germany, aims to develop for the first time an integrated traceability,
quality and safety solution for the entire frozen and chilled food supply chain. The focal
point of the research is the development of a eChillOn Smart Labels, a combination of a
Time-Temperature Indicator (TTI) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag. This will
be done by implementing an interdisciplinary R&D work programme which includes a
wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from biochemistry, genetics and microbiology,
through chilling, packaging, and logistics to IT.

Fish is the third most-consumed food product in Europe and, with its relatively short shelf
life; it is sensitive to food poisoning. Therefore, the chilled and frozen fish supply chain
was selected as the test case for this project. To ensure the transferability of the results to
all sectors, poultry meat was selected as the second high-risk product group to be
studied. Started in summer 2006, the project runs till summer 2010.


                                                Food Safety is a tender subject
                                                nowadays, pushed by recent food crisis
                                                and     rising   consumer      awareness.
                                                Furthermore, growing international trade
                                                exhibits a major food safety problem.
                                                Quantitative risk assessment, involving
identification of hazards and estimating the risk exhibited by them is therefore becoming
increasingly important for the control and management of food safety. The quantitative
microbial risk assessment module to be developed in CHILL-ON will calculate the
probability of an adverse health effect based on temperature data and product

Traceability along food supply chains is required by EU Regulation 178/2002, which took
effect on 1st January 2005. One of the major weaknesses of the agri-business supply
chains is the information gap between entities, arising from the inability to share
information (due to lack of supporting technology) or the unwillingness to share
information. CHILL-ON intends to provide suitable, affordable solutions furthermore
providing an additional added value for the stakeholders through the possibility of
improved supply chain management.

Quality assurance aims at realising food quality that complies or even exceeds customer
and consumer requirements. In the case of CHILL-ON, the managerial part of the quality
management will be covered by novel software solutions which can work either as stand
alone solutions or in combination with other technologies as a holistic approach.
Furthermore, improved cooling technologies and temperature monitoring along the chain
contributes to technical maintenance of product quality.


At the moment the project runs field trials for different technologies in several supply
chains. These will be the main outputs after testing:

   •   Novel software based Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment prediction model
       (QMRA) allowing for a quantitative HACCP to be integrated into as Decision
       Support System (DSS)
   •   Novel PCR based method for the quantitative and qualitative detection of pathogen
       bacteria and spoilage organisms (e.g. Listeria). Analysis time anticipated : 4 hours
   •   New generation of Time Temperate Indicators (TTI’s) combined with RFID for
       product related temperature monitoring – eChillOn smart labels
   •   Improved bubble Slurry Ice technology for smooth killing of a live fish
   •   Tracechill traceability software system including DS and SCM module

Christian Colmer
Project Manager
Dissemination Manager
Bio Process Engineering/Food Technology

ttz Bremerhaven
Fischkai 1
D-27572 Bremerhaven (Germany)
Phone: +49 (0)471 48 32 -150
Mobile: +49 (0)163 49 44 - 891
FAX: +49 (0)471 48 32 - 129

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