IJS science institute to help protect Slovenian food

Ljubljana, 23 November - Slovenia's top science institution, the Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS), has upgraded its department of environmental sciences to among other things enable scientists trace the origin of food products. "Thus we will help protect Slovenian products and support the food industry," an IJS official has said.

Nives Ogrinc of the IJS said the new equipment of the department, which operates as part of the Reactor Centre Podgorica in Dol pri Ljubljani just outside the capital, would allow the institute to help preserve food quality by tracing its origin and protect the competitiveness of Slovenian food products.

The 800 square metres of new and 1,145 square metres of renovated research infrastructure along with high-tech research equipment was inaugurated today.

The department head Milena Horvat labelled the EUR 6.9m project an important milestone.

The construction and renovation works, for which the institute got EUR 6.4m in EU funds, was carried out between April 2012 and November.

"The new facilities will turn the department of environmental sciences into a key research centre in the field, not just in this part of Europe but wider," IJS head Jadran Lenarčič said about the project.

The department will be able to raise the quality of isotope based research with the new equipment and contribute to the safety of food products. This touches on diagnostics, prevention and public health, according to the department's head Horvat.

The department of environmental sciences was set up through a merger of several of the institute's subdivisions.

It focusses on the chemistry of the environment, observes biological and geochemical circulation of substances in the environment, interactions between the environment and people's health, and offers support to the development of clean energies and waste management.