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Establishing a strong and lasting international training network for innovation in food and juice industries: a 4D-research approach for fruit juice processing

Project number ITN-ETN-956257

June 2023 - XXXth Internation Conference on Polyphenols in Nantes, France

The project was well represented at the XXXth International Conferenace on Polyphenols in Nates, France, held from 3rd through 6th of July, with three oral presentations, including two from ESRs 1 and 11, and one poster, by ESR3, which was selected for a short talk.

Also this month, we are very pleased to announce that ESR10 was awarded an AOAC/SCIEX Rising Star Scholarship Award, which will see him attend the 2023 AOAC INTERNATIONAL Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA in August this year.

Lastly, we are saddened to announce that ESR2 will be leaving the project at the end of this month. While her contribution to the project will be missed, we wish her every success in her new position in.

April 2023 - Periodic Review Completed and HiStabJuice goes to South America

The review process was completed by the Research Executive Agency and the transfer of the second round of funding for the project was authorised.

Also this month, HiStabJuice visibility reached new heights, with the network’s research being disseminated via a short promotional video in Brazil and Argentina. The video was shown at the SGF IFU Roadshow in Araraquara, Brazil on the 17th, followed by San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina on 20th. Both events were visited by industry professionals and the wider interested public.

March 2023 - Thirty Month Meeting

The thirty-month meeting was held in Vienna on the 20th and 21st at the Technische Universität Wien. The meeting presented a good opportunity for the members to come together from the various parts of Europe and catch up and exchange ideas for future research.

Also, all 11 ESRs were invited to present posters of their research at the IFU Technical Workshop 2023, held at the Austria Trend Parkhotel Schönbrunn from 22nd through 24th. ESR11 was also invited to give an oral presentation summarising the project’s research goals and progress.

Finally this month, the ESRs took part in the Transferable Skills Seminar 2: Business Management. The traing seminar went for two days with five presenters and was well received by the ESRs.

December 2022 - Periodic Report

The HiStabJuice 1st Periodic Report was due at the end of the month. The report outlined progress made to date, as well as dissemination activities participated in, meetings and training held and publications released or in progress, and marks a fitting end to a productive year in the HiStabJuice project.

November 2022 - Two Year General Meeting and EFFOST Conference

The second Annual General Meeting of the network was held in Vienna.

ESRs 2, 6 and 8 took part in the EFFOST Conference in Dublin, presenting a poster titled “The influence of high-pressure processing (HPP) on quality marker of strawberry nectar”.

October 2022 - IFU Juice Summit

ESRs 2, 3, 6, 8, 11 took part in the IFU Juice Summit, held in Antwerp on the 12th and 13th.

ESRs 2 and 6 took part in the 21st IUFoST World Congress of Food Science and Technology, presenting a poster on the “Effect of high-pressure processing and thermal treatments on colour and viscosity in strawberry nectar”.

ESR8 participated in the Century Scientific Conference, held by the SSICA Research Foundation, where he presented a poster titled “Development of methods and technologies for the specific quality improvement of juices and nectars tested with 4D approach (enzymes,microbes, nutrients and physico-chemical parameters)”.

September 2022 - European Researchers’ Night

ESRs 1, 2, 3, 6 and 8 represented HiStabJuice at this year’s iteration of the European Researchers’ Night on 30th September in Vienna and Parma. The events were well attended this year and the HiStabJuice teams were able to garner much interest.

ESR2, Karen Lacey, represented the HiStabJuice team at the 26th Workshop on the Developments in the Italian PhD Research on Food Science Technology and Biotechnology in Asti, Italy, we she presented a poster titled “Development of methods and technologies for the specific inhibition of enzymes relevant for low colour stability of fruit juices and nectars”.

ESR10 participated in the 10th International Symposium on Recent Advances in Food Analysis, presenting two posters titled “Development and Validation of HPLC-MS/MS method for simultaneous analysis of Ascorbic Acid and Dehydroascorbic Acid in fruit juices and investigating the influence of Ammonium Fluoride as an eluent modifier” and “Development and Validation of HPLC-MS/MS method for simultaneous analysis of B-vitamins in fruit juices and investigating the influence of Ammonium Fluoride as an eluent modifier”.

January 2023 - Periodic Report

Due to technical difficulties with the portal, the report could not be submitted before Christmas. These complications were overcome, and the report was finally submitted.

August 2022 - ESR7 Selection

We are happy to announce that we have a successful candidate for the position of ESR7, who hails from Montenegro, and will prospectively start her contract on 1st October. Her addition to our ESR body expands our internationality, with a total of 10 countries being represented. It also shifts the gender-balance of the project, with five female ESRs. We will introduce the successful candidate in more detail in the near future. We look forward to working with her and wish her every success in her research.

Juliy 2022 - ESR7 Replacement

It is with deep regret that the HiStabJuice must acknowledge the loss of ESR7, Massimiliano Pelacci, who, after much deliberation, has tendered his resignation, effective at the end of this month.

Although the entire community will keenly feel the loss of a valued member and well-liked colleague, Massimiliano leaves with nothing but understanding for what was undoubtedly a difficult decision, and well-wishes for his future career.

This means that 25 months employment for the position of ESR7 are now open. We welcome all qualified applications to the position and detailed information on the selection process are available on the EURAXESS portal.

June 22 - Kick Off Workshop

At long last the Kick Off Workshop was held this month in Parma, IT. The workshop was massively delayed by the travel restrictions imposed across Europe in response to the pandemic. This delay did, however, bring with it the advantage that the ESR had already had the opportunity to get too know one another, albeit online, save for the recent Transferable Skills Seminar. Also, the belated nature of the workshop, each of the ESRs had already performed significant research work within the project, making the exchanges much more substantive. All of this would not have been the case, had the workshop taken place at the beginning of the project, as would have been normally planned.

The entire project community is very grateful to Luca Cattani of Beneficiary 4 for his tireless efforts and excellent organisation of the event. Thanks must also be extended to Beneficiaries 6 and 7, as well as Partner Organisation 5 for organising excursions to their respective premises.

April 2022 - Transferable Skills Seminar 1

At long last, we were able to hold an in person event, with all ESRs meeting in Vienna, at the Technische Universität Wien, for the Transferable Skills Seminar 1: Project Management, held from 6th through 8th of this month. Over the three day course of the event, the ESRs were treated to the expertise of in total six lecturers and trainers, covering such topics as project management skills, ethics in research, data management, and open science. After hours the ESRs were able to take in the sights and night life of Vienna, as well as enjoy a wine and juice tasting at Beneficiary 2’s premises in Klosterneuburg.

December 2021 - ESR6

We are excited to announce that our last ESR, Dario Pavon Vargas, this month signed his contract. His arrival in the near future will complete our ESR body. Although the success of his application to the position has been known, both to him and the project, for some time, his arrival was unfortunately delayed until now by visa complications arising from the ongoing pandemic. Having said that, we’re sure he’ll hit the ground running once he arrives early next year, and we look forward to a bright future with a complete ESR body.

With the submission of the progress report last month, focus has now turned to organising the “Mid Term Check”. This meeting with the Project Officer is an important opportunity for the project officer to get to know the ESRs and the team leaders, albeit in an online format. The suggested date is the 28th February 2022, and will be attended by all consortium members and partner organisations.

November 2021 - First Annual Meeting

The first annual general meeting was held on the 18th November. Once again, the meeting was held online due to the ongoing pandemic. The ESRs all had an opportunity to present their research work and their results to date.

Also this month, the Progress Report was drawn up and submitted as deliver 1.4. This marks the completion of all deliverables in work package 1, although, naturally, work will continue behind the scenes.

The report was quite positive, reflecting a smooth-running project that is successful overall. However, as with most things in recent times, it was marked by a number of complications that have arisen due to the ongoing pandemic, such as the difficulty in procuring and transporting raw materials, delays in recruitment and rolling travel restrictions and lockdowns in different parts of Europe at various times. Indeed, the success of the project to date, and thus the report, repeatedly highlighted the great flexibility of the network as a whole in adjusting to this ever-changing situation.

October 2021 - ESR3

Happily, ESR3, Ibrahim Rabeeah has joined us from Iraq. We are very happy that he has been able to join us in a timely fashion, despite the complications brought about by the pandemic. We welcome Ibrahim to the network and wish him every success in his research work. The visa for ESR6, unfortunately, remains a work in progress.

September 2021 - ESRs 2, 4 and 7

Three more ESR positions have been filled this month with Karen Lacey of Ireland, Krystina Simkova of Croatia and Massimiliano Pelacci of Italy joining us as ESRs 2, 4 and 7, respectively. We look forward to working with these budding young scientists and are delighted that the internationality of our ESR body, and the project as a whole, has been further expanded by another two countries.

Also this month, ESR8, Andrés, presented the project at the 7th International Food Operations and Processing Simulation Workshop, which is focused on the implementation of the latest technologies for the food industry, making it an excellent fit for the project.

August 2021 - ESR 3 and 6

Two more ESR positions have been filled, with the selection Ibrahim Rabeeah from Iraq and Dario Pavon Vargas from Ecuador being selected for the positions of ESRs 3 and 6, respectively. The current global situation will surely mean a delay to their visa processes, but we are optimistic that they will nonetheless be able to start in a timely fashion.

June 2021 - ESR11

The position of ESR11 has been awarded to Sebastian Rincon, who will is set to start his work at Beneficiary 11 (INRAE) on the first of the month. We congratulated him on his successful application and wish him every success in his PhD project.

Also this month, strawberry season is starting, and the sourcing of raw materials for the first season is in full swing.

May 2021 - More ESRs Welcomed… and a Project Officer Farewelled

ESR9, Astrid Gedas, and ESR10, Hassan Zia, started their employment at Beneficiary 5, UHOH, and Beneficiary 10, GfL, respectively, this month. We look forward to their excellent work over the coming years.

Unfortunately, our REA Project Officer, Patricia Rischitor, has left us, due to a promotion. We thank her for the excellent cooperation during the Grant Agreement Preparation and offer our congratulations and best wishes for her new position. In the interim, she will be replaced by Julien Giodani, with Ana Maria Grigore then taking over permanently as of 01.06.2021. We look forward to the fruitful collaboration.

The Six Month Meeting was also held this month, once again online, as has become the new norm, at least for the time being. The ESRs all introduced themselves by way of ten minute presentations. Each of the presentations was very well delivered and received with much interest.

The 17th of this month marks the dead line for the last applications, meaning the selection process for the final ESR positions is now in full swing.

Last, to round out an extremely busy month, Partner Organisation will be hosting an online training seminar, to be attended by industry professionals from all over the world. Manfred Gössinger, of Beneficiary 2, will use this opportunity to introduce the project to the wider international fruit juice community. The training seminar will also serve as HiStabJuice’s first network wide training event, attended by all ESRs who have already been contracted.

April 2021 - ESR5 Start

We are pleased to welcome our second ESR, Helen Murray, into the fold. She will be working with Beneficiary 2 and studying at Beneficiary 1. We wish her all the best and every success for the years ahead.

March 2021 - First ESR Positions Filled

The selection process for the first six ESR positions has been ongoing over the past months, with the last of these first six positions being filled this month. The first of them, ESR1 aka Alberto Zavarise, has already started his employment at Beneficiary 1, TU Wien, whereas ESR8, Andrés Moreno Barreto has started at Beneficiary 6, SSICA. We are all excited to watch these budding young scientists develop over the coming years.

February 2021 - Consortium Agreement Signed

The Consortium Agreement has been signed and uploaded to the REA. This is no small feat, given the diverse and international nature of the consortium, with nine Beneficiaries from five different countries, from both the academic and non-academic sectors.

January 2021 - HiStabJuice Gains AAA: First Three ESRs Selected

With the first three ESRs selected, a happy coincidence materialised: the three successful candidates, Astrid, Andrés and Alberto, mean that HiStabJuice is now AAA accredited (sic).

December 2020 - First ESR Interviews Held

After much deliberation and consideration of the many excellent applications received, the first interviews were held. The high quality of the interviewees did not make the selectors’ already difficult decision any easier.

November 2020 - Project Start and Kick Off Meeting

This month marks the official start of the HiStabJuice project. This means that a lot of obstacles have successfully been overcome, but also that the real work has only just begun. No doubt, we have an exciting, albeit busy, four years ahead of us.

Fittingly, this month also saw the first official project meeting, the Kick-Off Meeting. Due to the ongoing pandemic the meeting was held online, rather than in person. This meant that formal introductions within the project team will have to wait for such a date as when an in-person meeting becomes once again viable.

October 2020 - Website Established and First Jop Openings Posted

The HiStabJuice website has been established. Although it has to date had little traffic, it is intended that the site will serve as a first point of contact between the project and the interested public. What this space for ongoing updates.

Also, the first four job openings/ESR positions were posted this month. In addition to the EURAXESS platform, the job listings were sent out to many leading universities Europe wide and to over 2000 industry stake holders worldwide. The first responses/applications have started trickling in, and first indications are that the project will be able to draw from a highly qualified and very diverse field of applicants.

September 2020 - Grant Agreement Signed

After many hurdles, not least of which arising from the ongoing pandemic, the Grant Agreement has finally been signed by all Beneficiaries. This marks the end of the Grant Agreement Preparation phase and paves the way for a smooth start to the project in November.