The first results from the FP6 were presented in a conference that took place on 12 December 2006, just a few weeks before FP6 will be replaced by FP7 on 1 January 2007. "We need to communicate our findings so that the results of EU research don't just get archived but are made known for consumers, industry, regulators and citizens," said Christian Patermann, director of food research at the Commission's DG Research.
The results were yielded by projects funded under FP6's thematic priority Food Quality and Safety, which had a budget of around €685 million for 2002-2006. The aim was to demonstrate how EU research is helping to make food healthier and of improved quality.
Some examples of the FP6 results include the findings that organically produced food has a higher nutritional value than food produced by conventional methods. One project study found, for example, that organic milk contains 60% more beneficial fatty acids, such as omega-3, and 20% more antioxidants and vitamins than conventional milk. Another project has discovered hitherto unknown health benefits of fish and seafood - particularly their role in preventing colon and intestinal cancers and increasing the anti-oxidant potential of the blood, which reinforces anti-cancer benefits.
The researchers also studied consumers' views and scientists' findings on animal welfare to try to integrate good husbandry into the food-quality chain. Animal health was also found to be a food-quality contributor - "happy animals mean good food", according to the research.