LYCOCARD: The Role of Lycopene for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases
Cardiovascular diseases, along with cancer, are the main mortality causes in Europe and other developed countries. Lycopene is a plant pigment found in high concentration in red fruits, especially tomatoes – Europe’s second-most important crop. Strong correlative evidence suggests that lycopene may provide important protection against cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
However, these two aspects – lycopene content of tomatoes and lycopene’s beneficial effects – have not been sufficiently linked because research has lacked a “total food chain” approach. The missing links in the chain are the development of healthy new foods and nutritional guidelines. There are also many details regarding bioavailability, metabolism, and molecular mechanisms of lycopene biological activities that are still unknown. LYCOCARD will investigate the role of lycopene in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, adopting a "total food chain" approach by addressing each link in a "farm to fork" approach.
AMITOM was a partner in this Integrated Project funded by the European Union within the 6th Research Framework Programme (IP16313) which started in April 2006 and ended in March 2011.
FLONUDEP: Promoting supply chain joining the sustainable development through a decision making tool combining three key elements of the fruit and vegetables market : environmental durability, nutritional quality, socio-economic aspects
Sustainable development concept integrates more and more into food supply chain. The difficulty for this food supply chains is to combine environmental, nutritional, economical and social criteria. This concept is argued nowadays and offers until now a significant place only to environmental dimension.
At the heart of this problem is the fruit and vegetable supply chain subject to deseasonalizing, relocation of yields and crops intensification. Regarding fruits and vegetables consumption in France, it is judged to be insufficient next to international recommendations, and doesn’t seem to progress either, despite active campaigns of Health and Nutrition National Programme (PNNS). Three key factors could pump it up: (i) price, (ii) nutritional quality, (iii) environmental speech that impresses more and more consumers and make the object of a strong political engagement (Grenelle, 2007).
In order to guaranty the consumer an optimal mix of these elements, the professional is rather uncomfortable regarding his decision to privilege one aspect to another. However, any decision of reorganising its activities can have significant consequences on company’s competitiveness. FLONUDEP project consists in setting up and testing one and only method for simultaneously evaluate a food supply chain, on the bases of three major concerns of sustainable food: environment, nutritional quality and social and economical dimensions. For that, the approach of life cycle analysis (LCA) will be employed for the first time on the three criteria all along a food supply chain, ranging from manufacturer to consumer, via industrials and suppliers. This project will also create a decision making tool having two objectives: serve as a guide to any professional for an efficient organisation of its food supply chains and be a discussion topic between the participants to these chains, and thus providing them with concrete indicators for all levels of a food supply chain.
The tool will be adapted to all fruits and vegetables supply chains. However, for our project, the tomato supply chain has been picked as generic supply chain, as it includes all manufacture and marketing systems in France and abroad. The extension to other supply chains will be to deploy after this project ends. For reasons of representation and dissemination, the project consortium is multidisciplinary: (i) scientific aspect, collaboration between various research units (IAMM, CIRAD, INRA, CNRS and Universities with specialised experts) is guaranteed; (ii) dissemination and transfer to professionals aspect, we collaborate with AFNOR; (iii) and concerning professionals playing an active role, our partners are: CSIF, SNIFL, BRM, AMITOM. We also collaborate with actors that will give us their opinion all along the project: Carrefour, ANIA, UNCGFL, APREL and AOP Tomates-Concombres.