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Central Food Research institute

The Central Food Research Institute was established in 1959 in order to carry out research and development in the field of food industry. CFRI is paying increased attention to research on food safety. The institute acts under the direction of the Ministry of Agricultural and Regional Development. There are currently 120 people employed, of which 53 are scientists, who are working in to research departments: Food Safety and Food Technology. The Food Safety Department involves the following 4 units: Analytical Chemistry, Biology, Microbiology, and Nutrition.
The main activity of the Food Safety Department related to development and adaptation of new methods (metabonomics, proteomics, immune and molecular biology, biosensors, non-destructive physical and chromatographic techniques, predictive and rapid microbiological methods) for the detection and monitoring of certain chemical (pesticides, heavy metals, stress proteins, allergens, GMOs, etc.) and biological (heat resistant spoilage microbes) risk factors. Novel methods were developed and evaluated for efficacy (probiotic and combined treatments, MAP to eliminate or reduce such type of hazards. Priority has been given to safety assessment of novel foods (GMO, functional foods) and the exploration of hazards in non-controlled technologies (minimal processing), as yet. Evaluating the effects of the applied technologies, exploration of functional changes in major nutrients and biologically active components (bioantioxidants, enzymatic state) has been under way.
The Technology Department provides the basis for developing up-to-date, minimal processing techniques, and unit operations (dielectric treatment, supercritical fluid extraction, membrane separation) ensuring food quality, preservation and rehabilitation of health, safety, (special processing of plant seeds) and environment protection (biodegradable packaging materials, waste utilization) as well as products (food items with specific nutritional purpose). Research activities are basic, applied and development of which the former two dominate, and the latter one have been continuously strengthened. The research related to consumer science contributes to the establishment of the Hungarian National Food Safety Strategy and Program with societal and economic analyses, as well as to risk handling and risk communication to meet the increasing food safety requirements. The assessment of risk is of particular interest as are biostatistics modeling approaches. The CFRI maintains an interdisciplinary group of scientists to face both biological, technical, and biostatistical modeling. The research activity of CFRI is becoming more interdisciplinary and international (SAFE Consortium, SAFE FOODS, SAFEACC, UVTOX, PESTISENS, MYCOSENS), and as a consequence of this coordinative and cooperative in nature National Research and Development Programs (NRDP), too.
WP leader
Dr. Éva Gelencsér Head of Biology Unit and Food Safety Department of Central Food Research Institute (, professor of Budapest Corvinus University (, and member of the Department of Food Science of the Szent István University ( affiliated to the CFRI. She has CSc in chemistry of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She has a wide research experience in food science and plant chemistry. Current focus: detection, gut resistance and impact on the performance and immune activity of bioactive components such as lectins and protease inhibitors, and new proteins expressed in transgenic crops and other potential allergenic proteins. She has participated in several EU programs (SAFE Consortium Toxicology Group, SAFACC, Flair 9, COST 909, COST 98 as co-chairman). She was involved in several national programs (NRDP) related to safety assessment of GM plants (RR-soybean, Bt-maize, PVY-potato, PAT-wheat, CMG-wheat, CHI-wheat). Recently she is the sub-coordinator of the NRDP related to allergenic risk of GM-rice. She has memberships in several national scientific committees (Representative of Common of Doctors for Chemistry Department of H.A.S and member of the Food Science Complex Committee of H.A.S. and the Working Committees on Food Chemistry and Nutrition, Secretary for Codex MNB on Biotechnologically derived foods, Expert for National Advisory Board of HFSO on Novel Foods, Hungarian Scientific Society for Food Industry; Hungarian Society for Nutrition).
This study was funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-3) under grant agreement no.211820 and independently of any commercial input, financial or otherwise. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. None of the personnel involved had a financial or personal conflict of interest with regard to the present study.
 Research Team of the Central Food Research Institute, Unit of Biology, Budapest, Hungary
Central Food Research institute