European Research Infrastructure for Food Security by Food Fraud Detection, EURALIM, aims to become a regional development pole for food fraud detection that Europe is facing more and more acutely in recent years

EURALIM aims to increase food security by developing methods for food fraud detection having in view to ensure a more rigorous control of food safety and security throughout the food chain, from farm to fork. Research activities are focused to the development of new working protocols and new, robust and rapid analytical methods in order to determine: adulteration, the presence of chemical residues, origin of raw materials, nutritional value. The working protocols and new analytical methods developed will provide support to national and international control institutions, responsible for verifying food safety and security, to overcome the technological limitations of the current methods used for food fraud detection

EURALIM addresses extended target groups. The facilities offered (free access to data and specific services, standardized operational procedures, intercomparation of procedures and results), participation in the the frame of research projects and specialization opportunities will generate beneficial effects in the scientific and academic environment, industry and the general public

Scientific context
It is important for the food to be viewed from the perspective of the presence or absence of contaminants, but also from the perspective of the presence or absence of allergens, GMO, nutritional value, antioxidant capacity, functional character. Areas addressed by EURALIM are highly perspective and in line with current trends in interdisciplinary issues. EURALIM inception is a viable argument for stimulating high-performance scientific work to develop new innovative processes, technologies and applications with character of priority technique novelty for supporting sustainable development policies of the country and aligning research activities in the fields of security-food safety-bioeconomy to the international standards.
Through its components, EURALIM contributes to: (1) obtain and disseminate new knowledge in the field of analytical chemistry, environmental protection (food is one of the environmental factors) and food quality; (2) ensure progress in the field of analytical instrumentation through the development of new concepts and tools for food safety testing; (3) provide essential conditions for the scientific community for both fundamental and applied research in the field of food safety; (4) bring scientific evidence to Romanian and European decision-makers for changes in legislation, as there is currently no definition of food fraud in national and EU legislation. EURALIM will be an open access research point, a regional expert core for testing food chain security, from raw material to finished product, covering all its complex aspects. EURALIM supports the food-producing or importing companies, as well as the national control bodies so that the food fraud detection can ensure high food security.

Stage of implementation
EURALIM was initiated as part of the INOVA-OPTIMA infrastructure. The acquisition of new equipment through the INOVA-OPTIMA project has facilitated the development of a new infrastructure within the ICIA Subsidiary dedicated to developing new innovative processes for food safety and security and for the determination of genetically modified organisms and the quality/functional character of food. After ESFRI’s status obtaining, the implementation of the EURALIM infrastructure at regional/national level will be initiated, aiming at both (1) consolidating the existing infrastructure, planning and initiating the construction of the additional elements necessary for the proper functioning of the infrastructure, establishing the organizational and legal framework in which the research activities in the frame of EURALIM will be carried out and (2) establishing the long-term EURALIM strategy.