FoodOmicsGR_RI. A Consortium for Comprehensive Molecular Characterisation of Food Products
Abstract: The national infrastructure FoodOmicsGR_RI coordinates research efforts from eight Greek Universities and Research Centers in a network aiming to support research and development (R&D) in the agri-food sector. The goals of FoodOmicsGR_RI are the comprehensive in-depth characterization of foods using cutting-edge omics technologies and the support of dietary/nutrition studies. The network combines strong omics expertise with expert field/application scientists (food/nutrition sciences, plant protection/plant growth, animal husbandry, apiculture and 10 other fields). Human resources involve more than 60 staff scientists and more than 30 recruits. State-of-the-art technologies and instrumentation is available for the comprehensive mapping of the food composition and available genetic resources, the assessment of the distinct value of foods, and the effect of nutritional intervention on the metabolic profile of biological samples of consumers and animal models. The consortium has the know-how and expertise that covers the breadth of the Greek agri-food sector. Metabolomics teams have developed and implemented a variety of methods for profiling and quantitative analysis. The implementation plan includes the following research axes: development of a detailed database of Greek food constituents; exploitation of “omics” technologies to assess domestic agricultural biodiversity aiding authenticity-traceability control/certification of geographical/genetic origin; highlighting unique characteristics of Greek products with an emphasis on quality, sustainability and food safety; assessment of diet’s effect on health and well-being; creating added value from agri-food waste. FoodOmicsGR_RI develops new tools to evaluate the nutritional value of Greek foods, study the role of traditional foods and Greek functional foods in the prevention of chronic diseases and support health claims of Greek traditional products. FoodOmicsGR_RI provides access to state-of-the-art facilities, unique, well-characterised sample sets, obtained from precision/experimental farming/breeding (milk, honey, meat, olive oil and so forth) along with more than 20 complementary scientific disciplines. FoodOmicsGR_RI is open for collaboration with national and international stakeholders.