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MoniQA: An update of the European Union funded Network of Excellence in 2011: Monitoring and quality assurance in the food supply chain: Working for safer foods by harmonizing worldwide food quality and safety monitoring and control strategies

Abstract

Monitoring and quality assurance in the total food supply chain (MoniQA, http://www.moniqa.org) is an EU‐funded Network of Excellence (NoE), which involves experts from around the globe working for safer foods though harmonization of worldwide food quality and safety monitoring and control strategies. MoniQA is coordinated by the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC, http://www.icc.or.at), and the initial network of around 150 scientists from 20 countries has grown to more than 500 experts from some 40 countries across five continents. The consortium has committed its knowledge, international relationships, and communication resources to providing reliable information, globally agreed standards and tools to ensure safe foods, to support regulatory bodies in developing better regulations, and food manufacturers in the production of high‐quality food and achieving legal compliance. MoniQA focuses on validation of methods used to analyse foods and food products for safety and quality. The main emphasis is on rapid methods and emerging new technologies, their applicability and reliability in routine testing. The work involves validation studies, design and development of reference materials, and validation guidelines, as well as socio‐economic impact assessment for better future regulations. MoniQA's outputs will impact society at several levels, including research and development, industry and SMEs in food manufacturing, retail and food analysis, regulators, policy makers, associations, international organizations and consumers as well as international trade. Progress towards the goals of MoniQA and response to the original drivers for this project are considered, and MoniQA's sustainability plans are described in more detail by highlighting some selected outputs.

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