Each of us has faced a situation when after ordering the desired product we later realised that we had not received what we expected. Such cases undoubtedly undermine our confidence in traders and create a suspicious atmosphere in society. Although it is hard to believe, the global food fraud market is estimated at 15 billion US dollars, and complex food supply chains make the food sector even more vulnerable. This affects vegans and those who eat only Halal or Kosher food because of their religious beliefs the most, as these groups are highly vulnerable in the context of food fraud. Therefore, the possibility of reliable food authentication would significantly contribute to fighting food fraud and increasing consumer confidence in the European food system.


ETHIChain will focus on developing rapid and portable DNA analysis systems to verify the absence of unwanted species in vegan, Halal and Kosher foods to help deter food fraud among these commodities. The obtained results will be digitalised and directly integrated in the product´s traceability system.

The communication and implementation of systems of this kind will be a boost to improve consumer confidence in those brands incorporating innovative solutions to verify authenticity.

Traceability systems having portions of accessible and understandable information for consumers will make them feel the witness of food industries’ effort to make production more transparent.

Expected outcomes:

  • The development of a series of DNA analysis-based authenticity kits to detect the possible presence of animal food in vegan food; pork DNA in Halal food; and pork, donkey, and horse DNA in kosher food.
  • A comprehensive evaluation of vegan, Halal and Kosher products commercialised in Europe and Israel to demonstrate the level of authenticity among those products.
  • A digitalisation system gathers information from food sensing technologies for direct incorporation into the product's proprietary traceability system.

Project partners

AZTI (Project lead) – a company that transforms science into solutions that respond to the great challenges of the food value chain. To do this, AZTI develops sustainable products, services and business initiatives aimed at activating the industrial fabric while recovering and preserving natural resources

ART21 – a boutique innovation house delivering AgriFood Tech solutions that shape the future of agriculture and food.

Technion, Israel Institute of Technology – a science and technology research university dedicated to the creation of knowledge and the development of human capital and leadership for the advancement of Israel and humanity. Technion is a global pioneer in both traditional and novel engineering fields.

Bologna University – a comprehensive research university connecting research and teaching, which invests in multidisciplinary cross-cultural. This university has a broad international network and has formed strong knowledge alliances with industries and public/private organisations.

SwissDeCode – a company specialising in food quality, authentication and compliance.

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