Project Description

The Territorial Competitiveness Specialization Project (PECT in its acronym in Spanish) Nutrisalt is an initiative to transform and boost the agri-food sector in Reus and the Camp de Tarragona with the aim of converting the area into a leading hub of nutritional and health activity on the international arena, leading the innovation and the development in the south of Europe in this area and being the base of economic progress, employment and innovation in the territory.

The PECT Nutrisalt proposes five specific measures that are covered by three main pillars of work: bringing the technologies closer to give added value to locally-sourced food products and to consumers’ well-being, ensuring the food safety of products destined for human and animal consumption with the creation of platforms offering technological support to local industries and, finally, planning the future regional development and support to the competitiveness of agri-food companies and products.

The project, coordinated by Reus Town Council, counts on the participation of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), the Fundació URV, the Institute de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentària (IRTA) and Eurecat, as well as the collaboration of the business fabric, particularly the Food & Nutrition Cluster, and various town councils in the Camp de Tarragona.

Eurecat, as a beneficiary entity of the PECT, is heading two operations. The first of them has the aim of looking for new bioactive ingredients based on locally-sourced products. As far as the second operation is concerned, a Food Safety Unit will be set up for the agri-food sector as well as an Ecotoxicity Platform, specialising in carrying out the environmental impact tests necessary for registering and placing new veterinary drugs on the market.

Operation 2 ‘Search for new ingredients in local products’ is part of thematic objective 1, which promotes research, technological development and innovation. Specifically, the objective of the operation is to encourage and promote business-led R&D activities, support the creation and consolidation of innovative companies and support innovative public procurement.

Operation 3 ‘Creation of the Food Safety Unit and the Eco-toxicity Platform’ is part of thematic objective 3 to improve the competitiveness of SMEs, the agricultural sector and the aquaculture sector. As a specific objective it focuses on supporting the creation and expansion of advanced capabilities for the development of products and services of companies in the sector.

The PECTs are initiatives promoted by the stakeholders in the territory and headed by local public organisations in Catalonia that organise projects with operations and measures for the economic transformation of the territory. The PECT Nutrisalt is in line with the objectives of the RIS3CAT and of the ‘FEDER de Catalunya 2014-2020’ Operational Programme to favour research, technological development and innovation in the territory.

Methodology database

Eurecat has generated, in the Food Security Unit implemented in the PECT Nutrisalt, an open access database for small and medium-sized companies and research departments, which includes analytical tools for the detection of food fraud in more than ‘a hundred plant and animal species native to the Mediterranean area.

The database includes the methodologies available to detect food fraud in more than a hundred plant and animal species typical of the Mediterranean area and therefore, part of them in Camp de Tarragona. The possible adulterants indicated in no case have been detected in our region, but are part of possible fraud situations worldwide. The ingredients of each species are arranged alphabetically and for each one a description of the available methodologies is offered that would allow the detection of the adulterants indicated. Regarding the detection of allergenic substances, a compilation of the most used techniques for the detection of the main allergens on surfaces has been made; those that affect more people or can cause more serious reactions.

Analysis systems to detect food fraud

Seminar “Healthy, safe and sustainable products: new innovative services for the agri-food and health industry”

In September 2020, the Eurecat technology center held the online seminar “Healthy, safe and sustainable products: new innovative services for the agri-food and health industry”, in which it presented the main tools and services for companies, resulting from the research that has been implemented in the PECT Nutrisalt, in order to face the challenges of the agri-food and health sectors, and that you can see here.

Video – “Identify healthy ingredients in plants in the Camp de Tarragona to promote the circular economy”

Video – “New ecotoxicity platform that detects the environmental impact of aquatic and terrestrial pollutants”

Video – “New food safety platform to detect food fraud in the Mediterranean area”

PECT Nutrisalt eurecat

General details

Project

NUTRISALT – Specialization and Territorial Competitiveness Project (PECT) Reus and Camp de Tarragona for innovative, safe, healthy and sustainable food.

Programme and call for tender

Project cofounded by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) under the FEDER Catalonia Operative Programme 2014-2020 (50% of the total sum) and the Diputació de Tarragona (25%). Total budget:  €1.924.573