This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 861915. Coordinated by George-John Nychas

Minutes of 4th WP Leader’s meeting

Minutes of 4th WP Leader’s meeting

Chalkidiki, Greece and by Conference platform Zoom (hybrid)


19 May 2022


09:00-09:05 Connection & welcoming
09:05-09:30 Introduction, News, issues (WP1) George-John NYCHAS (AUA)
09:30-10:00 Progress* of WP2 ADIV & AUA
10:00-10:30 Progress* of WP3 VIDEOM & AUA
10:30-11:00 Progress* of WP4 UMAAS & (CU)
11:00-11:30 BREAK
11:30-12:00 Progress* of WP5 AUTh
12:00-12:30 Progress* of WP6 WINGS
12:30-13:00 Progress* of WP7 AUA
13:00-14:00 BREAK
15:30-16:00 Progress* of WP8 InNEWS & (AUA)

1.     Project Coordinator (George- John Nychas – GJN):  

  • Welcome/Introduction
  • The PC Prof George Nychas (AUA) informed the WP leaders on the deadline for the 18M Deliverables and asked them to revise the deliverables by 15 June 2022. Prof Nychas also referred to the upcoming meeting with the project reviewers (which will be held around 11-20 July 2022) and pointed out that apart from the European WP leaders some Chinese partners will also attend.

2.     Progress Report from WP leaders; 30 min each (max)

(i)   WP2 (ADIV, AUA; Souad Christieans – SD, Charlène Leneveau-Jenvrin – CLJ, Alkmini Gavriil – AG)

  • A quick overview of WP2 ‘Tracking Hazards & Contaminants Across Food Chain’ was presented; the objectives, tasks, and respective results were outlined
  • Deliverables D2.2 and D2.3 have been submitted on M9 (July 2021).
  • There was a deadline deviation for D2.1 as it was linked to D2.2 and D2.3; D2.1 was submitted with D2.4 on M12 (October 2021) instead.
  • Deliverables D2.5, D2.6 and D2.7 have been submitted on M18 (April 2022).
  • Dissemination activities:
    • Two French Federations: ACTIA, and!
    • IAA Review
    • Participation in Webinar on numeric tools organized by French Ministry
  • The overall assessment of WP2 was also imparted as WP2 ended in M18:
    • A holistic and comparativesynthesis of hazard mapping between both regions (EU & CN) along food supply chain for each pilot alongside the limit criteria and methods of analysis.​
    • An integrated approach was followed due to the diversified production steps of the targeted food product categories, the multiple hazards implicated in the food production chain of each pilot and the different specificities of the participating countries/continents. In accordance totask requirements, WP2 has documented procedures and communication channels across other WPs.​
    • Bonds have been created amongst the implicated parties and institutes of the project.
    • WP2 may facilitate and/or promote commercial transactions (imports/exports) between the two continents. ​
    • Dataresults from WP2-hazard mapping will reinforce scientific perspective regarding the presence and prevalence of the identified hazards across the farm-to-fork continuum​

(ii)   WP3 (VIDEOM/Nette Shultz – NS)

  • A brief overview of WP3 ‘Detecting and Monitoring Tools for Hazards, Malpractices or Adulteration’ was provided; aim and objectives alongside the progress in the specific tasks and the respective achievements/results were presented.
  • 1 was submitted on time M6 as well as D3.2, D3.3 and D3.4 on M18.
  • Contribution to the state-of-the-art:
    • The information derived from the different regions and countries are not only related to the acquired data and results, but also to the plethora of methodologies for food analysis and data analysis. ​
    • The investigated use cases have an important impact for society and science (e.g., the detection of genetically modified corn flour).​
    • The data acquisition and development of rapid methods is an ongoing process and will be enriched throughout the DiTECT project.​
  • Deviation/Contingency plan:
    • Delays due to COVID-19 pandemic
    • Data for oats will also be included in Pilot 1
    • Data for scallops and shellfish will be included in Pilot 4
  • Dissemination:
    • 4 oral and poster presentation in conferences
    • 10 journal publications 
    • 5 webinars​
    • 1 International FoodTec event
  • Future work
    • Data collection​
    • Development-validation of machine learning methods​
    • NEMIS sensor and data acquisition
  • Prof Nychas highlighted that more than 10,000 measurements (in fact around 12,500) have been collected till now. On the same topic, Ms Faye Beligianni (Centaur) mentioned that they have additionally 1100 measurements that had not been included in this presentation. Dr Fady Mohareb (CU) asked where all these data (measurements) are stored and pointed out the need to coordinate the access to these data for WP4, WP5 and WP6. Prof Nychas suggested that all partners (from both EU and CN) should provide information on how many data they have and where these data are uploaded. Then, he suggested that he could share a link from NAS server (in AUA) to make these data available.
  • Chrysoula Tassou (HAO) also stressed the need to add in the presentation the specific impact on the participating SMEs for the project reviewers. Prof Nychas suggested that he would circulate the exploitation plan questionnaire (D 8.4 excel file) prepared by Yiotis (20) amongst partners to expand the impact section by the end of this month.
  • Prof Nychas also mentioned that two adaptations (additions) have been made within WP3, which would probably need to be justified to the Project Officers: 1) the inclusion of oats in the analyzed products, since infant foods are not exclusively produced with maize and 2) the inclusion of scallops and shellfish, since the CN partners don’t have aquaculture.

(iii) WP4 (MU, Christopher Brewster – CB; CU, Fady Mohareb- FM)

  • A quick introduction to data management was given at first, while the main goals of WP4 followed.
  • The progress in every task of WP4 was also presented
  • 1 (M12), D4.6 (M6), and D4.2 (M18) were all submitted on time.
  • Future work includes:
  • Evolve the software as requirements arise from data and evolving platform​
  • Clarify the different types of data that need to be included in the central repository and ensure that it handles metadata effectively.​
  • Development of a federated querying and federated learning prototype. ​
  • Completing ontology (major rapid sensor data elements, sectors beyond beef)​
  • Aligning with other food focused ontologies​
  • Giving due consideration Chinese national standards​
    • Guideline and manual to be developed explaining FAIR principles and ensuring processes are coherent.​
    • Governance of data needs further exploration specially if we are to share data not just within EU or CN but also between regions.​
  • A brief overview of the ‘ontology engineering process’ was provided.
  • The interaction with the other WPs and connected results was highlighted.
  • Offers from SAFEFOOD4EU project to collaborate on ontology development
  • Prof Mohareb commented that since the implementation of iFSMS is a little bit behind, they should start collecting data from all partners for both SorfML and iFSMS platforms. Prof Nychas and Prof Brewster proposed a meeting between UMAAS and CU in Cranfield to go through implementation issues within July, followed by a meeting in Athens among UMAAS, CU, AUA and Wings at the end of August before or after FM 2022 conference.

(iv)  WP5 (AUTH, Kostas Koutsoumanis – KK, Zafi Aspridou – ZA)

  • A brief overview of the aim and objectives of WP5 ‘Biological Hazards, Chemical Hazards across the food chain in EU and China’ aim and objectives was provided alongside the progress on the specific tasks of the WP.
  • Milestone MS8 was achieved at M18. Deliverables D5.1, D5.2 and D5.3 are due by the end of M24 (October 2022) and onwards.
  • Contribution to the state-of-the-art
    • The development of the databasethat may serve as a reference tool for further risk assessment models 
    • The development of risk assessment tools that combinesdata mining, predictive modelling, and microbiological risk assessment features. ​
    • The development of a “on-time” tool for food business operators’ decision making based on the risk due to the consumption of a specific product from a given consumer (specific eating preferences /age).
  • Dissemination
    • Common publication of AUTh and USST (Partner 9).
    • 4 oral and poster presentations in international conferences
  • Dr Christieans asked how the metagenomics will be incorporated in the risk assessment models. Prof Koytsoumanis and Prof Nychas commented that this is still a big question. Nevertheless, metagenomic data from Pilot 1, 2, 3 and 4 processing industries are currently analyzed by UNINA.

(v)  WP6 (WINGS, Evangelia Lamprakopoulou –EL)

  • The aim and objectives of WP6 ‘Development of a Web-Based interactive decision Food Safety Management System’ were presented at first while the achievements of every task of WP6 followed.
  • Progress of the state-of-the-art:
    • Through the iFSMS the users will be able to upload and review datasets from a range of laboratory equipment (e.g. rapid sensors), from files they have created themselves (e.g. excel files) and will be able to review them. These files will be tagged with rich metadata which will allow a thorough analysis of the results in order to result in accurate risk modelling analysis via advanced Machine Learning mechanisms.​
    • BCT in the agrifood is not backed up by robust results and other similar to BCT technologies or aspects of the BCT might be more useful for this specific project and in extension for the food safety, such as digital signing and the open-source Splinter technology
    • Τhe work being done on the security framework is innovative as it will support enhanced but also fine-grained authorization policies, allowing the combination of different access control mechanisms, attributes which are not to be fined in existing similar platforms
  • 1, D6.2, D6.3, D6.4, D6.5 have been uploaded according to the project time-plan​.MS9 and MS10 have also been submitted on time
    • Future work:
      • The second version of the iFSMSplatform to be provided byM26. ​
      • 30-40% progress of iFSMS components development in Y2​
      • Additional clarification will be provided as to the stepsundertaken to validate the platform
    • Dr Mohared asked whether partners could have access to the prototype iFSM database and Ms Labrakopoulou commented that this could be discussed. Additionally, Prof Nychas suggested it would be beneficial to conduct a live demonstration of the existing iFSM system to the project reviewers and prior to that to perform a demonstration among WINGS, UMAAS, CU and AUA partners.

(vi)    WP7 WP7 (AUA, George Papadopoulos – GP, Katerina Kasimati – KS)

  • A quick overview of the WP ‘Pilot Trials monitoring and evaluation’ was provided; the aim and objectives were outlined, alongside the progress of every task of the WP.
  • 1 (M18) and M11 (M16) were submitted on time.
  • The interaction with the other WPs and Partners was underlined
  • Future work:
    • End-user survey
  • Set the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for each pilot together with the Partners involved in WP2.​
  • List of KPIs (defined by the relevant protocols)​
  • Match the KPIs with the Pilots ​
  • Start the evaluation of Pilots based on the KPIs​
  • Mr Papadopoulos reminded that deliverable D7.2 is due to October, but he will expect implicated partners to set the KPIs and match them with the relevant protocols defined in D7.1 by the end of June. He will soon inform partners via e-mail for deliverable D7.2 needs.
  • Mr Papadopoulos reminded that the deliverable D7.2 is due by the end of October 2022 (M24), but he expects that the implicated partners will set the KPIs and match them with the relevant protocols defined in D7.1 by the end of June. He will soon inform partners via e-mail for the needs of D7.2.

(vii)                     WP8 (InNews, Marylou Tzempelikou – MT)

  • A synopsis of WP8 ‘Dissemination, Exploitation and Training’ was presented; the aim and objectives were described, and the achievements were outlined.
  • An update on social media accounts and newsletters of the project was given
  • 1 (M3), D8.2 (M12) and D8.3 (18) were submitted on time.
  • Dissemination and communication activities:
  • Workshops (2): delayed due to Covid19. Nemis Technologies (CH/P31) will host one​
  • Webinars (4): 11 Accomplished (​
  • Training sessions / 8: at least 2-3 (g.,Videometer/P7 in GR)​
  • International Conferences (8): 13 Accomplished (MicroBioKosmos, IAFP, World Microbe Forum, EFFoST) + upcoming ​
  • Common Publications with CN (12): 2 Accomplished​
  • 106 published Scientific Articles [57 from CN Partners]​
  • 13 Posters & Oral Presentations​
  • 8 Seminars ​
  • December 21: GR/CY Meeting (13 partners in total)​
  • Regular online meetings ​
  • 3 Press releases
  • Good EU-CN dialogue
  • Future work:
    • Integrated communication actions will be planned, developed and dispersed by the whole Consortium on a continent-wide scale to enhance their impact, with high emphasis on dissemination of results to end-users, citizens, academics, consumer organizations, industry and policy makers. ​
    • The communication of DiTECT goals, activities, advances and results, including open access scientific publications, demonstration initiatives, software tool kits and manuals will be spread at the EU and China to enhance their impact, addressing food industry enterprises, food transport chain actors, food research organisations and academics, consumer organisations, food safety inspection bodies and policy makers.​
  • Dr Tassou informed the Partners that the project has already been disseminated via leaflets in IAFP 2022 conference, and will also be disseminated in the upcoming FM 2022 Conference in Athens, Greece.
  • Colm O’Donnell (UCD) also informed the WP leaders that they have contacted EFFoST organization asking to perform a DiTECT session in the upcoming 36th EFFoST International Conference 2022. He will inform partners as soon as he has a reply.

3.                  AOB

  • DiTECT Project Coordinator Presentation:

Prof Nychas presented DiTECT project to all PROTECT-DiTECT joint meeting participants

  • NEMIS demonstration

Dr. Redouan Mahou (NEMIS) presented N-light TM Listeria monocytogenes rapid test that has been launched in 2021. NEMIS expects to launch N-light Salmonella by the end of 2022.

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