Ph.D. degree award:
INSTITUTUL NATIONAL DE CERCETARE DEZVOLTARE PENTRU TEHNOLOGII IZOTOPICE SI MOLECULARE I N C D T I M
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Publications & Patents
DEVELOPMENT OF INOVATIVE METHODS, IMPLEMENTATION OF FUNCTIONAL AND DEMONSTRATIVE MODELS IN ORDER TO PROMOTE ON THE UNIQUE MARKET THE TRADITIONAL CHEESES MANUFACTURED IN TRANSYLVANIA
Joint Applied Research Projects - PCCA 2013 - call
Role in this project:
UNIVERSITATEA DE STIINTE AGRICOLE SI MEDICINA VETERINARA CLUJ-NAPOCA
UNIVERSITATEA DE STIINTE AGRICOLE SI MEDICINA VETERINARA CLUJ-NAPOCA (RO); INSTITUTUL NATIONAL DE CERCETARE DEZVOLTARE PENTRU TEHNOLOGII IZOTOPICE SI MOLECULARE I N C D T I M (RO); COMPANIA DE INFORMATICA APLICATA S.A. (RO); UNIVERSITATEA DE MEDICINA SI FARMACIE (U.M.F) Cluj-Napoca (RO)
INSTITUTUL NATIONAL DE CERCETARE DEZVOLTARE PENTRU TEHNOLOGII IZOTOPICE SI MOLECULARE I N C D T I M (RO)
Part of the interdisciplinary applied research, the TRAD_FOOD project aims to develop innovative ways to certify molecular and biochemical markers specific for traditional dairy products obtained in Transylvania, in order to use them for authenticity certification of these products on the European market. The methods of processing the traditional dairy products are an integrated part of the folklore of the region that imposes its particularities through geographical printing. The nowadays consumers’ require traditional dairy products obtained in safety and quality conditions, healthier and more nutritious, adapted to the modern society. The lack of innovative methods currently implemented in Romania for geographical printing of dairy products leads to the insufficient exploration of this domain by the traditional producers found in regions with specific character.
In order to facilitate the maximum exploitation of this significant area of production and to help out the producers, the purpose of this project is to test and implement biochemical and molecular methods to certify the authenticity and origin of products, taking as study model various cow and sheep cheeses obtained in Transylvania. These methods will be used further for certifying other similar products obtained in other regions of the country. Thus, the project will implement for the first time in Romania, the isotopic print of cheese obtained in Transylvania by using the reports of easy stable isotopes (2H/1H, 13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O). The isotopical print of animal dairy product by using complementary methods such as IRMS and ICP-MS techniques is new for Romania and also worldwide. This project is also aiming to test and validate molecular techniques – such as PCR to certify the DNA of the species – and the IEF technique to identify the milk protein specie-specific. These methods are currently the safest techniques to establish and confirm the species and the authenticity of food products; however they are not used in our country. The quality of the raw material and of the end-products will be assessed through the PCR technique. By implementing these methods in the dairy production chain, in every stage of milk processing, a data base will be formed which can develop the knowledge of the producers, as well as of the control authorities. The analytical methods of the gathered biochemical data will be based on chemometrical testing, this way assuring the accuracy of the evaluation.
The complexity of this project is also given by its interdisciplinary character, various competences being needed in fields like physics, food chemistry, biology, pedology and hydrology. The methods used in determining the Romanian cheeses’ uniqueness are of high precision, in full development in the UE, so that the project can be considered an interdisciplinary one of high complexity. The added value of the project resides in the development of traditional rural production from Transylvania area by conceiving a methodological model of authentication and by submitting for accreditation validated methods for certifying the traditional cheeses in order to commercialize them on the unique market. The results are validated through: the elaboration of a practical guide for authentication; elaboration of innovative methodological models transposable in other production food chains; identification and proposal of patentable ideas along with the publication of articles in ISI indexed journals. Along the scientific impact of this project brought by originality and complexity, we underline the social-economical dimension through the development of small traditional producers and the protection of the honest workers as well as the educational dimension, by involving and training for research the PhD students, post-doctoral students and the ones found in the continuous college learning programs.
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