The STARTEC Decision Support Tool for Better Tradeoffs between Food Safety, Quality, Nutrition, and Costs in Production of Advanced Ready-to-Eat Foods

Taran Skjerdal*, Andras Gefferth, Miroslav Spajic, Edurne Gaston Estanga, Alessandra De Cecare, Silvia Vitali, Frederique Pasquali, Federica Bovo, Gerardo Manfreda, Rocco Mancusi, Marcello Trevisiani, Girum Tadesse Tessema, Tone Fagereng, Lena Haugland Moen, Lars Lyshaug, Anastasios Koidis, Gonzalo Delgado-Pando, Alexandros Ch Stratakos, Marco Boeri, Cecilie FromHyat Syed, Mirko Muccioli, Roberto Mulazzani, Catherine Halbert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
163 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A prototype decision support IT-tool for the food industry was developed in the STARTEC project. Typical processes and decision steps were mapped using real life production scenarios of participating food companies manufacturing complex ready-to-eat foods. Companies looked for a more integrated approach when making food safety decisions that would align with existing HACCP systems. The tool was designed with shelf life assessments and data on safety, quality, and costs, using a pasta salad meal as a case product. The process flow chart was used as starting point, with simulation options at each process step. Key parameters like pH, water activity, costs of ingredients and salaries, and default models for calculations of Listeria monocytogenes, quality scores, and vitamin C, were placed in an interactive database. Customization of the models and settings was possible on the user-interface. The simulation module outputs were provided as detailed curves or categorized as "good"; "sufficient"; or "corrective action needed" based on threshold limit values set by the user. Possible corrective actions were suggested by the system. The tool was tested and approved by end-users based on selected ready-to-eat food products. Compared to other decision support tools, the STARTEC-tool is product-specific and multidisciplinary and includes interpretation and targeted recommendations for end-users.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6353510
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalBioMed Research International
Volume2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 04 Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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