Dr Derek Stewart, SCRI (now the James Hutton Institute, UK (P1)
SCRI is the major plant and crop science institute in Scotland and is a government research Centre of Excellence. Its total staff complement at present is ca 400, which include both core staff and visiting workers. The SCRI has a proven history of research in genetics and genomics, in the breeding of potato, cereals and fruit, and in analytical chemistry dealing with nutrients and antinutrients. Of particular relevance to this programme is SCRI's proven metabolomics capabilities, housing several state of the art LC-MS and GC-ToF-MS instruments and FT-IR and LC-ECD but also having the statistical capabilities to deal with the large volume of data emerging from metabolomics technologies. The SCRI has already coordinated successful metabolomics programmes funded by the UK Food Safety Authority (£1.2 million GBP), currently coordinates a major analytical workpackage in the EU IP SAFEOODS (Euro 600 K) and applying metabolomics expertise to the EU STREP NOFORISK. The Institute has extensive experience in EU R&D programmes both as a participant and coordinator
RHUL possess expertise in the metabolic engineering of biosynthetic pathways responsible for the formation of health promoting compounds. Metabolite profiling expertise is established with particular reference to those compounds conferring health-based consumer quality traits in tomato. Metabolite profiling methodologies have been utilised to assess these modifications and acquire fundamental knowledge of biosynthetic pathways and their regulation as well as establishing methodologies for the assessment of substantial equivalence as part of FSA and EU (GMOcare) programmes. The outputs from the programme have led to an international reputation in the field and long-term industrial collaborations including Syngenta, Kirin Brewery (JP), Seminis Vegetable Seeds and SBlS (SME with expertise in hyphenated MS techniques included in the proposal). The laboratory possesses extensive transgenic germplasm collections containing a wide variety of GM lines with altered nutritional quality. In addition modern conventional breeding collections are present. Analytically the laboratory and department has state of the art facilitates including 4 Waters HPLC-PDA units, GC-MS, LC MS/MS and MALDI-TOF/MS.
The group (four research scientists, two technicians, four postdocs, three PhD students) has extensive expertise in molecular biology, biotechnology and genomics of tomato, especially with regard to carotenoid biosynthesis in fruits and their control by light. Industrial links have been developed with Italian tomato breeders and growers. The group possesses a complete platform for microarrray profiling in tomato, an HPLC-PDA analyser (to be upgraded with an on-line MS analyzer) and a Bruker Avance 600 with two measure probes (one direct and one inverse), a CPMAS probe for solid and an HRMAS probe for semisolid samples. The group will soon take receipt of an LC-NMR.
Dr Christof Sautter, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zurich, Switzerland (P4)
ETHZ possess expertise in the metabolic engineering of biosynthetic pathways for food plant fortification of rice as a cereal model plant and wheat with health promoting compounds. “Golden Rice” has been developed in our lab for increased provitamin A content in the endosperm of the seeds and rice has been genetically modified to promote iron and zinc uptake, transport and storage in the plant as well as rice and zinc resorption after ingestion. We gained expertise in metabolic profiling for phenotypic characterisation of genetically modified plants and wild type lines under different environmental conditions. In detail, we have experience in measuring flavonoids, iron, zinc, phytate and phosphate in plants. We identify the flavanoids of interest using multiple stage MS-MS analyses by atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation (APCI) on an ion trap mass spectrometer, high resolution Quadrupole Time-of-Flight (Q-TOF) mass spectrometer as well as by comparison with the standards. We are familiar with NMR for phosphate and ICP-MS for iron and zinc.
ISC has a great experience in both conventional and molecular cereal breeding, as demonstrated by the high number of varieties certified in the last decade, possesses a large area to perform field trials and a germplasm collection containing accessions, breeding lines, old landraces, segregating populations and GM lines. In addition, ISC possesses a long years of experience in pasta making and in the evaluation of such parameters affecting pasta quality. At this regard, the laboratory is equipped with a cereal pilot plant including mills, equipment to prepare pasta into the shape of spaghetti, and instruments necessary to measure the rheological properties of wheat products. Very recently ISC-CRA is acquiring expertise also in the field of bread making. The analytical laboratory is equipped with the following metabolomic platform: HPLC-PDAFLD, LC-MS/MS, GC-MS, IC and ICP/MS, and possesses the expertise for the evaluation, in both cereal kernels and grain-based products, of carotenoids, xanthophylls, tocols, vitamins, free fatty acids and microelements; further methodologies are being set up for the determination of other nutritionally relevant compounds by HPLC, GC-MS and LC-MS/MS.
Dr Inci Aksahin, Instrumental Analysis Laboratory, Turkey (P6)
Instrumental Analysis Laboratory, EAL, started to provide service in June 1995 following TUBITAK Science Board's decision to establish EAL in November 12th 1994 in its 12th meeting in order to provide chemical, biological and physical testing and analyses to governmental, private sector, industry and other customers. Later on in April 7th 2001 during the 89th board meeting the name of the laboratory was changed to ATAL (Ankara Testing and Analyses Laboratory). ATAL is competent in providing analyses using the following approaches; NMR, AAS (Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer), HPLC, ICP-MS,, GC & GC-MS,LC/MS and FT-IR. There are plans to install an IR_MS and if possible this will be utilised in the emerging technologies work package WP3. The mainstay activities of the laboratory are the provision of high quality analytical services in the field of food analysis. Examples of their area of analytical expertise are as follows; Vitamins, Nono ans olidosaccharides FAME analysis (essential oil acid components, oil acids composition ), milk and milk products, fruit juice, jam and canned foods, mycotoxins, residual pesticide contaminations, heavy metals and general food analysis (caffein, acrylamide, amino acids, SUDAN-I,II,III,IV).
Dr Panagiotis Kefalas, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Greece (P7)
Main activities of the department include chemistry and analysis of biologically important phytochemicals, with particular emphasis on bioactive plant food constituents. In this context, the research programmes that have been taken over dealt with development of methodologies for assessing antioxidant properties, polyphenolic composition and in vitro antioxidant activity, fingerprinting and authenticity, identification of novel bioactive metabolites, modelisation of reactions that may take place during food processing, and characterisation of reaction products. On the other hand the laboratory of analytical chemistry of the department has obtained accreditation for food analyses according to ISO / EN 17025, within the frame of servicing, and the field of application covers among other analyses pesticide residue measurements in olive oil and various vegetables. Technologies available include: GC/NPD/FID,GC-MS, LC-RI/UV/PDA/FLD, LC-MS and ICP-MS.
Professor Rodica Ion, Institutul National de Cercetari pentru Chimie si Petrochimie, Romania (P8)
The “biotechnology” department is functioning in the framework of ICECHIM, having a special position owned to its application area. Its researchers are involved in a wide number of projects in National Research-Development and Innovation Programmes, such as Biotech and Relansin. It is also involved in international partnership projects, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Eureka. Research areas encompass the following areas; Biotechnological process for biologically active products; Biotechnologies for environment protection and recover; Biotechnological and bioinformatical equipments; biotechnological products and methods control and its synthesis and utilisation risk prevention; Modern infrastructures organisation for biotechnologies facilities and services.
Dr Alisdair Fernie, Max-Planck-Institut für Molekular Pflanzenphysiologie, Germany (P9)
The MPIMP has a total staff of ca. 300 scientists, divided into 26 research groups. The main research aim is to employ interdisciplinary methods from genetics, molecular, molecular biology, chemistry, physics and informatics to obtain system-orientated knowledge about basic physiological process in plants. The basic research strategy is to subject defined genetic diversity (generated via reverse genetics or by creating genetically defined populations from crosses between different parents) to a wide range of phenotyping methods, and to analyse the results using cutting edige bioinformatics approaches. The main biological topics analysed at present relate to central metabolism and nutrient relations. Of particular relevance for EU-SOL is that the MPIMP has been involved in plant metabolism in general and in plant metabolomics in particular from its conception. This provides experience in the preparation and analysis of material, in the evaluation of the spectra including the development of databases to aid peak assignment and quantification, and in the handling of large scale data sets and the interpretation of metabolic data with a wide range of bioinformatics tools, including their application in Solanaceous species for many years.
Professor Marina Heinonen, University of Helsinki, Finland (P10)
At UoH the focus of the food chemical research has been on various aspects regarding bioactive compounds including fat- and water soluble vitamins, phytosterols, cholesterol and other lipids, flavonoids and phenolic acids as well as minerals. Our analytical tools include eight HPLC units with various modes of detection, LC-MS, GC-MS and ICP-MS. As a part of an EU-funded project (QLK1-1999-00576), we showed that the folate contents of cereal products can be enriched by bioprocesses leading to greater impact of cereal products as folate sources. Vitamins D and K were studied mainly for occurrence and bioavailability. The research also found ways to improve the anthocyanin colour of berry products by colorless phenolic acids leading to formation of novel copigmentation products, identified as pyranoanthocyanins (QLK1-1999-00124). Food compositional analyses on flavonoids and other phenolic compounds as well as tocopherols and carotenoids have been part of the investigations on different bioactivities of plant constituents The analytical expertise achieved regarding sterols can be exploited for example in safety evaluation of sterol enriched foods. Among our interest has also been method development and participations in collaborative efforts focused on method harmonisation and production of standard reference materials.
Dr Eugenia Barros, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa (P11)
The CSIR is a South African Science Council with the staff complement of 2,200 including over 700 PhD/MSc level scientists. It consists of eight major operating units. CSIR- Biosciences has expertise in genetic modification of cereal crops, DNA profiling of cereals (maize, wheat) and sunflower, proteomic profiling of cereal (maize, wheat) and legume (soybean, sorghum) crops and metabolic profiling of potato, maize and indigenous teas. CSIR has been involved in an EU 5th Framework project for genetic improvement of maize and an EU 6th Framework project SAFEFOODS. Specific areas of expertise relevant to undertake the requirements of EU DEVELONUTRI programme include: a large range of analytical equipment including MALDI-ToF-MS, GC-MS, LC-MS and NMR (200MHz and 400MHz). The 200MHz NMR spectrometer is equipped with a broad-band interchangeable probe, capable of detecting 1H, 19F, 13C and 31P nuclei. The 400MHz NMR spectrometer is equipped with an inverse detection probe mostly suited for inversely detected 2D experiments such as HMBC or HMQC, although the sensitivity of 1D 13C detection is severely compromised. A 5mM broad-band interchangeable probe is also available for the 400MHz NMR spectrometer.
Professor Halket is the founder and cornerstone of Specialist Bioanalytical Services Limited (SBSL). This company was founded in 1986 (as McKnight International Ltd) and provides wide-ranging analytical services drawing on the latest developments in mass spectrometry. However due to its small size Professor Halket will be represented in this project as a part of Chemical and Bioanalytical Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL). This group and its staff is a focus for active collaboration on interdisciplinary research between experts in chemistry and the biological sciences. The centre has equipment for proteomics, metabolomics and bioimaging. These include a Bruker Reflex III MALDI-TOF MS, ABI Qstar MS/MS, a broad range of LC and GC, including nano-LC with appropriate detectors (PDA, FID, ECD, EI-MS, electrospray-MS, fluorescence). The staff of this group specialises in delivering research, development, testing and consultancy services to a diverse group of customers including government, universities, the pharmaceutical, food and environmental sectors and international agencies. The group staff have a combined experience of over >100 man-years of establishing and applying mass spectrometry and hyphenated techniques to a variety of problems in biomedical, pharmaceutical and environmental areas including metabolite profiling methodologies using hyphenated MS techniques as part of Food Standard Agency programmes on food safety issues. Particular expertise in metabolic profiling and mass spectral library creation and application. RHUL’s equipment includes GC/MS (quadrupole and TOF), ion trap LC/MS/MS (LCQ DECA) and triple quadrupole LC/MS/MS (Micromass Quattro LC). Also access to MALDI, SELDI and ICP/MS.
Dr Martin Rychener, Swissmill, Switzerland (P13)
NO longer part of the project.
Anna Grazia Dichio, Tamma Industrie Alimentaria Di Capitana S.R.L., Italy (P14)
Tamma is a milling and pasta factory active in South Italy since 1933. Tamma is present on national and international markets offering a very large catalogue of different types of pasta. The factory has the capacity to produce more than 30 t per day of durum wheat semolina and more than 20 t per day of pasta. Tamma works with a quality system certified ISO 9001 and has a laboratory dedicated to quality control with equipment and expertises in the technological characterisation of durum wheat semolina and pasta. Tamma is contributing to the demonstration activities within WP IV by providing a set of semolina blends and pasta samples characterised by different quality traits, to the partners. The sample set will include standard types of pasta as well as special pasta made with the addition of tomato. All samples will be subjected to technological characterisation in the Tamma laboratory before metabolomic investigation.
Parripak (formerly Solway Veg Ltd) (P15)
Solway Veg were one of the original project SMEs but became part of the Parripak group shortly after the project started. Solway were, and Parripak continue to be, a leading quality processor and supplier of vegetables and fruit, to the UK’s major food manufacturers of ready meals. Parripak is the largest suppliers of freshly prepared vegetables to the ready meal market. Prior to the acquisition of Solway Veg Ltd the company had geographical access to 65% of the UK food producing market; this has now increased to 95%. Via the former Solway, and current Parripak activities, the project has access to the storage of produce following harvest to be followed in a commercial environment. They will also process the vegetables with a range of slicing, dicing, flaking and packaging process. And will provide representative samples of potato and tomato for each of these processes. The company are innovative with a keen thrust in new product development and maintenance of procure nutrient a priority. Within this project materials will be sampled as several points from harvest through to the final product and will rely heavily on the companies own transportation network for in situ sampling.