On Friday, November 17, 2017, a new working meeting took place at the headquarters of the National R&D Institute for Food Bioresources, IBA Bucharest, after the invitation received from Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier, President of European Retail Academy, Germany, to join the recently created Thematic University Network for Research and Knowledge Penetration along the Total Supply Chain from farm to fork (TUN EQA). This new working has been attended by: the President of “ONE HEALTH – New Medical Concept” Association in Bucharest, Romania (OHNMC), Prof. Emeritus H.C. Dr. H.C., Nicolae Manolescu, Correspondent Member of the Romanian Academy, Correspondent Member of the French Academy of Medicine, Member of the Romanian Academy for Medical Sciences; Nastasia Belc, PhD, Food scientist, Director General of IBA Bucharest (Dr. Belc being the OHNMC’s representative within the collaborative partnership with SANABUNA); Prof. Dr. Theodor Purcarea, President of the SANABUNA International Congresses; Eng. Virgil Nadolu, Head of Bioeconomy & Management Department, OHNMC. It was a productive meeting, all the participants focusing on the stated agenda, everyone being heard considering the deeply sensitive topic, ensuring the transition from one agenda item to another, and setting the stage for the hard and important work to continue.
The discussions started from the impact of food insecurity (one of the most significant nutrition-related public health issues) on health outcomes – including the importance of addressing food access, education and resources so as to improve nutrition, considering the numerous consequences (occurring across the age spectrum, nutritional requirements and critical health outcomes varying across the lifecycle) of food insecurity, the importance of the adequate programmes focused on specific nutritional objectives, and the clarification of how nutrient intakes would affect food insecurity (the impact of health care limitations on food insecurity) – and from the growing consumers’ health concerns, growing consumers’ concern about food safety, about the way food is produced, what ingredients are in food products (the relation between consumer willingness to pay/the evolution of the consumer behavior and the information regarding ingredients and food production processes, taking into account labels’ significant impact on consumer demand within the positive-negative asymmetry), how animals are raised, and continued with the importance of reducing nutrient losses and food loss and waste (SAVE FOOD), and of encouraging sustainable food production and food consumption patterns, and the last but not the least with the link between food consumption and cancer, obesity and diabetes etc., being highlighted the real need of controlling (as a critical determinant of the necessary success) the problems faced, by adequately managing the surrounding biochemical conditions which discourage the progression of diseases, and encourages the recovery and the improvement of the long-term health, wisely feeding both body and brain. For instance, as revealed by the international researches and best practices, as each consumer has a unique physiology, an adequate nutritional assessment (made by a nutritional therapist) and a consumer-tailored dietary advice service can generate the wanted transformations in health and fitness. It is well-known, for instance, that Dr. Nastasia Belc has been awarded 1 Silver Medal at Inventika, Bruxelles, 2000, for gluten free products.
The National R&D Institute for Food Bioresources, IBA Bucharest, is a brand with strong equity that ranks high on differentiation, knowledge, relevance and esteem in advising consumer groups, the national food industry and different governmental agencies, being engaged in various research programmes. Given its recognized expertise in Food safety (food preservation, food contaminants, food packaging; detecting and reducing the level of food contaminants – chemical and microbiological; food authenticity – quality and origin; food microecology; innovative preservation methods), Nutrition (influence of diet on health, food intolerance – coeliac disease and phenylketonuria, healthy food; new food matrixes improved in bioactive compounds for different consumers categories and improved sensorial attributes; functional food; understanding the role of whole meal in health and well-being), Food (bio) technologies (the influence of technology and food matrix in nutrients bioavailability; ecological food technologies; decreasing the level of additives in food; mild food technologies keeping the initial level of nutrients in raw materials; clean technologies; technologies with low energy consumption; increase the diversity of vegetal raw materials in food), and Consumer Science (understanding the attitude of consumers related to food choices; understanding the Romanian consumer behavior; identify the determinants of food to be chosen as part of diet; relation between consumer and food market availability; relation about labelling and health and nutrition claims.), IBA Bucharest has developed numerous research programmes, both national and international – FP5, PSO+, FP6, FP7, Horizon 2020, EU Health Programme, Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus (Socrates), Erasmus Plus, SEE Transnational Cooperation Programme. Its laboratories are well equipped: Food Chemistry and Biochemistry Colloidal Laboratories, Food Packaging Laboratories, Sensory Analyst Laboratories, RMN Laboratory, Microbiology – Elisa Laboratory, Nutrition Laboratory, Chromatography Laboratory, Molecular Biology Laboratory, and Pilot Processing Stations Laboratory (meat, cereals and flours, vegetable and fruits).
The activities (Fundamental research; Applied research; Development; Innovation; Food supplements notifying/survey/control; Laboratory accredited tests for industry, authorities and research; Consultancy; Technical assistance; Professional training; Competences evaluation; Proficiency tests; Technological demonstrations; Food product) and departments (Nutrition; Food Chemistry; Colloidal Biochemistry; Food Packaging; Microbiology-Elisa; Molecular Biology; RMN; Senzorial Analysis; Chromatography; Interdisciplinary Research; National Service for Aromatic and Medicinal Plants and Bee Products; Human Resources Development Pilot plants for cereal, meat and fruit and vegetable processing) of IBA Bucharest are greatly appreciated by national and international Partners.
IBA Bucharest has experienced researchers, who benefitted from training and specialization as shown by the map below. Special consideration is given by IBA Bucharest to the establishment of healthy partnerships, taking into account both compatibility and complementarity, willing to work and make it last with the help of the significant relationship capital’s influence on the partnership performance.
It is worth remembering within this framework that based on the preparations for the 200 years Anniversary of the University of Bonn, the two international networks EQA (Education Qualification Alliance) and ERA (European Retail Academy) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU, signed by the Chairman of the Board of EQA, Christian Gruetters and Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier for ERA) to institutionalize this Thematic University Network conceived as an excellent platform for global dialogue, whose vision and mission were explained jointly by Prof. Dr. Brigitte Petersen, President of the International Center for Food Chain and Network Research (FoodNetCenter Bonn, founded in 2006 as interdisciplinary center of the University of Bonn, and having as main objectives: interdisciplinarity; contribution to university profile; outstanding research & development; Focus Groups: Food Waste, One Health, Responsible System Information) and Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier (ERA).