The “ISO-FOOD” ERA Chair for isotope techniques in food quality, safety and traceability will act as an independent Centre hosted by the Jožef Stefan institute (JSI), which will be a sustainable and leading research and educational institution in the field of food (including fodder and forage) analysis in the region, embedded into the national and European research area through collaboration with international partner organizations and stakeholders. To advance the knowledge of food quality, safety and traceability, the research activities of the ERA Chair will focus on interdisciplinary topics combining the expertise in radiochemistry, stable isotope biogeochemistry, electron microscopy and microanalysis and combined analytical techniques (e.g. organic compound profiling, NMR chemical profiling), as well as multivariate statistics and data management, to develop universally available analytical strategies to verify the origin (provenance) of agricultural produces and foodstuffs,
agricultural practices, food contamination, contamination sources and their safety. Nuclear and nuclear-related techniques for food traceability, which are tailored for fingerprinting of food provenance and authenticity, will be developed and combined with elemental markers and biomarkers. Existing databases of authentic food products will be upgraded and extended. The ERA Chair will harvest the knowledge and excellence of four JSI Departments, two centres of Excellence coordinated by the JSI and capacities of the Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School, which will perform the new doctoral study programme on Food Science, developed by the ERA Chair, in collaboration with international academic institutions. ISO-FOOD will collaborate with national stakeholders and decision makers, providing knowledge and means for bridging the gap between the fields of economic and spatial development, and, on the other side, environmental and national health.