The development of functional foods is a key development trend in the global food-processing branch, and it is also a recommendation of the WHO (World Health Organisation). Also, the specific objectives of the project Functional Foods of the Future (F4F) were designed for this.

Development work is being done on two main sets of product groups: (1) fortified foods with additional functional features, and (2) foods with reduced content of undesirable substances. The programme includes 7 chains of added value (cereals, milk, meat, fruits / vegetables, honey, food supplements, and intelligent packaging). The programme consists of 11 projects, where the aim is to develop 9 groups of prototypes. The entire programme runs through TRL 3–4 and TRL 5–6.

 

 
The objectives will be achieved through the cooperation of the leading and internationally recognised Slovenian research and development institutions and companies. Among them are Žito as the largest Slovenian cereal processor; Droga Kolinska as the leading company in the field of meat spreads in the whole region of SE Europe; Frutarom Etol as part of a global corporation in the field of fruit / vegetable flavours and extracts; Mlekarna Celeia, the second largest Slovenian dairy and the first one to obtain the “GMO-free” certificate; Jata Emona as the largest producer of feed for domestic animals and the largest egg producer in Slovenia; Medex as one of the leading companies in Europe in the field of processing and sales of Beehive products; Amba as the biggest manufacturer of flexible multilayer printed packaging in Slovenia and Valens as a patent holder and one of the world’s most innovative companies in the field of food supplements and functional ingredients. They cooperate with the most excellent Slovenian research institutions: universities of Ljubljana and Maribor, Jožef Stefan Institute, National Institute of Chemistry, National Institute of Biology, Agricultural Institute of Slovenia and the Higher School of Applied Sciences.

F4F develops sustainable production of quality food and impacts the creation of innovative short supply chains. Projects are carried out in the area of sustainable production and processing of food products to functional foods and the development of technologies for sustainable crop and livestock production. The entire programme is an important contribution to the aim of raising the value added per employee.