Brussels, 12 Nov 2004
A new Danish 'farm-to-fork' strategy has called on the country's parliament to investigate the role biotechnology could play in designing better tasting and safer foods.
The ten year strategy aims to analyse opportunities and barriers to using biotechnology to create higher quality, cheaper foods, reports the website foodnavigator.com.
The plan, presented by Danish firms Danisco, Arla Foods, Cr Hansen and Novozymes, has been well received by the parliament, according to Novozymes' Per Falholt a member of the steering committee behind the strategy.
'We are hopeful that we can get some significant funding, at least DKK5 million [670,000 euro], for the five year horizon,' he said.
The strategy sets out a key vision, which ranges from better eating quality and safer foods to sustainable production methods and process controls. 'The ability to produce the food products which consumers are expected to demand in the future is dependent on more fundamental knowledge about the significant factors for eating quality of food,' it reads.
The aim is to apply genomics and proteomics (the study of proteins) to give a better understanding of the interactions between food molecules and humans. Once this knowledge has been gained, new processes and products can be developed which, in turn, will lead to improvements in food, such as new taste variations and better flavours, according to the steering committee.
Another issue the strategy aims to address is the current European consumer backlash against biotech food. 'There is a requirement for research focussing on what it will take for society to feel comfortable with and accept the use of new forms of biotechnology in food production,' argues the strategy.
According to Mr Falholt, the plan for core research centres is to have academic units working in close collaboration with industry. 'We will urge industry to boost R&D [Research and Development], Mr Falholt told foodnavigator.com.