More safety and quality for the agri-food industry


Main objective of the operation: the main objective of the PON Research and Innovation is the competitive repositioning of themore disadvantaged regions in order to produce changes of structural value to increase the ability to produce and use quality research and innovation to trigger intelligent, sustainable and inclusive development.

DESCRIPTION: DEMETRA stands for DEvelopment of MatErial and TRAcking technologies for the safety of food, and it's a project financed under the PON Ricerca e Innovazione 2014-2020. The project aims to develop an integrated system of technologies to increase the safety, food quality and environmental compatibility of the food industry.

CUP: B54E20000080005
AMOUNT FINANCED: € 612.816,50  
[email protected] |

The DEMETRA – DEvelopment of MatErial and TRAcking technologies project for the safety of food aims to develop an integrated system of technologies to increase the safety, food quality and environmental compatibility of the food industry.

The system consists of three highly innovative technologies, each of which can be used independently, although it is their synergy that amplifies their intrinsic potential.


Advanced technologies for treating materials and parts in contact with food in treatment and packaging systems to improve their cleanability and eliminate the release of potentially harmful elements into food. To do so, two technological directions are being investigated:

  1. The applicability of nickel-free steels, developing pickling and/or passivation treatments.
  2. The deposition processes of surface layers to make the surface of the components of treatment and packaging plants easier to clean. This would reduce the number of cleaning cycles required or, alternatively, the time and/or consumption of water (approximately 30%).

The objective is to obtain optimized processes scaled up to the pre-industrial phase while solving the problems related to the coating of large surfaces and the possible application and restoration of layers in the field. For both technological lines, a qualification level compatible with the issuing of certifications for food uses is to be achieved.

A cutting-edge marking system for Agri-food products, based on objects which, as a result of their nano/microstructure, are intrinsically non-reproducible (non-clonable).
These labels univocally associate a specific product with the information contained in the tracking system, thus also providing a powerful anti-counterfeiting tool. The individual label in fact acts as the digital fingerprint of the product and can be read at various security levels: Overt for the final consumer, Semi-Overt for the distribution chain and Covert for legal disputes.

Innovative solutions to protect information security in the logistics and agri-food products sector. To protect both the production and the distribution of food as much as is possible.
The following is thus being carried out:

  1. The development and definition of IT systems based on Blockchain architecture and advanced cryptographic solutions in order to track all the key events relating to the entire production, processing, transport and product sale chain.
  2. The development of an online sales platform of products in the agri-food chain totally integrated in the Blockchain-based framework,  capable of improving the sales opportunities of the target products, guaranteeing the security of payment transactions and promoting tracked logistics services for retail customers and for large distribution.
  3. Identifying innovative methodologies for determining, monitoring and mitigation of the IT risk, so as to protect the entire planned infrastructure.

Finally, the DEMETRA project aims to integrate the three technologies (described above) into a marking and tracing system that can be the starting point for establishing quality marking of food produced and packaged with nickel- free systems.

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