FOX project kicks off in Brussels

At the start of summer 2019, 25 partners met in Brussels for the kick-off meeting of the FOX project. Joined in Hotel NH Brussel Bloom the tone was set for a productive two days discussing the four-year project (Jun 2019-Nov 2023).

In a nutshell

The FOX project will create innovative mild food processing technologies downscaled to a mobile container unit. As such, the processing of fruit and vegetables can be done at the farm. To create impact, a business model and consumer research will be carried out in parallel. The EU expects to find new healthy and sustainable solutions for the food system through focussing on the short value chain approach.

: Kick-Off Meeting Day 1

Downscaling innovative, mild food processing technologies

The project will focus on innovative mild food processing technologies for fruit and vegetables. The four different food processing technologies are:

  1. Low oxygen juice extraction
  2. Low temperature drying
  3. Innovative quality analysis and sustainable packaging
  4. Upscaling of plant side streams

Food processing at the farm

The four different technologies will be prototyped and tested in four European regions or so-called Food Circles. The mild food processing techniques will be downscaled, meaning they will be set-up in a mobile container unit that can go from farm to farm within each region. At peak harvesting times, mild processing of local fruit and vegetables can happen on the spot.

Discover on the map below the four Food Circle regions and which mild processing technique will be used for the fruit and vegetables.

EU map: Positioning of four Food Circles and locating FOX consortium
Project Coordinator Kerstin Lienemann from (DIL) front row, 3th from the right with full FOX consortium

Creating impact

The Food Circles will focus on the technical and innovative part of the project. They will be supported by experts in business development, consumer research and sustainability and health. The responsible partners will be on the lookout to increase the impact opportunities of the FOX project.

To build community, FOX will initiate an open dialogue with experts in the field of short food supply chains. Relevant businesses and university experts will be invited to join a European Interest group that will encourage valuable conversation in line with the project goals.

Setting EU expectations

The European Commission expressed the need to put a high emphasis on project communication, dissemination and exploitation towards a wide audience of;

  • Small-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the food sector
  • Food science and technology communities
  • Research field
  • Consumers
  • Farmers

The short-term focus will need to go to healthy and sustainable aspects of food, the specific food processing technologies adapted to the industry, the flexibility of processing units, food authenticity, reduced food loss and creating job opportunities in rural areas. In the long term, Europe strives to increase competitiveness, sustainability, circularity and diversity in regional and local food systems.

Consumer research partners discussing the impact of the FOX project

Looking ahead

The fruitful two-day meeting brought new energies, great insights and strengthened the bond between the partners. The project can go on its vast journey ahead in innovative mild fruit and vegetable processing technologies for a more sustainable future.