Agri-food: 17 million "METROFOOD-IT" PNRR project for food safety gets going


Strenghtening Italian scientific excellence in food safety by developing platforms and services for the quality, authenticity and traceability of raw materials and products and the digitization of the sector. This is the goal of the METROFOOD-IT project, funded with 17.8 million euro by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR)[1] and coordinated by ENEA. The project, in which the National Institute of Metrological Research (INRiM) and the Universities of Bari, Federico II of Naples, Molise, Parma, Sapienza of Rome and Siena participate, was launched a few days before the World Food Day, celebrated every year on October 16th.

ENEA will make available 11 infrastructures and laboratories located in 5 research centers, 6 operational units and a mix of ICT technologies like apps, software and models, to provide services and develop an open data platform useful to researchers, inspection and control agencies, policy makers, companies and citizens to improve quality, safety, traceability but also "food transparency" and the circular economy.

To meet these goals, ENEA will make available its laboratories of metabolomics, atomic spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and characterization of nanoparticles and microbiology and the gamma irradiation plant Calliope in the Casaccia Research Center (Rome); the Smart sensors & IoT laboratory in the Frascati Research Center (Rome); the Agri-food Reference Materials plant and the NMR Facility in the Trisaia Research Center (Matera); the Circular Bioeconomy Facility in the Brindisi Research Center; the CRESCO6 supercomputer in the Portici Research Center (Naples).

"We wanted to present the project a few days before World Food Day, celebrated every year on October 16, because its contribution will be fundamental to achieving the priority objectives of the agri-food sector", pointed out Claudia Zoani, of the Biotechnology and Agro-industry Division and coordinator of the project. "Among the most important are transparency, especially between micro-enterprises and SMEs, reduction of food fraud and adulteration, food defense and production process control systems, digitalization, support to policy makers and inspection and control agencies, consumer confidence and awareness towards the adoption of healthier and more sustainable diets, the reduction of food waste ”, she said.

METROFOOD-IT will act as an interface between research and innovation, industrial actors and consumers, defining and testing processes and scenarios for the development of sustainable and innovative agri-food systems, through the application of a "multi-actor" approach and the creation of Living Labs encouraging direct and motivated involvement among the various stakeholders on objectives, activities, results and impacts.

From 7 to 9 October METROFOOD-IT was present at the Maker Faire Rome 2022 with the stand “Do you know what you eat? METROFOOD in support of agri-food systems "(pavilion S.14 pav. L). The topics included: double food pyramid; colors and seasons of food; 5 senses & foods; agri-food chain; authenticity & fraud; sustainable spending.

The METROFOOD-IT project is part of the METROFOOD-RI European Research Infrastructure coordinated by ENEA, an excellence in the "Health & Food" sector of the roadmap of the European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI); thanks to the results achieved in the first phase of the project, ENEA also launched the project METROFOOD-PP, funded by the Horizon 2020 program with 4 million euro.

For more information please contact:

Claudia Zoani, ENEA - Biotechnologies and AgroIndustry Division,



Claudia Zoani - Researcher at the Biotechnology and Agroindustry Division of ENEA, a PhD in Analytical Chemistry and another in Agricultural, Food and Agro-Environmental Sciences. Expert of atomic spectroscopy techniques, mass spectrometry and metrology, she conducts research and development activities on reference materials and methods, measurement uncertainty, quality, safety, food traceability, sustainability of agri-food systems and chemical risk assessment. Scientific secretary of the IMEKO TC23 Technical Commission "Metrology in Food and Nutrition", member of the ISO / REMCO WG 17 Liaison Coordination commission of the Eurachem Working Group on Reference Materials and the UNI Metrology commission. In 2014 she won the Leonardo UGIS "Communicating Research" Award. Selected by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) to participate in the Comité des Dix-Italie-Sommet des Deux Rives initiative, she is the coordinator of the METROFOOD-RI Research Infrastructure and acts as Principal Investigator in several national and international projects.



[1] PNRR - Mission 4 – “Education and Research” - Component 2: from research to business - Investment 3.1: “Fund for the realisation of an integrated system of research and innovation infrastructures - Action 3.1.1 “Creation of new research infrastructures strengthening of existing ones and their networking for Scientific Excellence under Horizon Europe

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