Dutch FSA to complete project “Apollon” for detection of Emerging Risks in Food Chains
A new phase in the development of an automated system to detect Emerging Risks in food chains has been completed last month. Project Apollon followed up on the work from the project EMRISK commissioned by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In this project (2004-2006) the partners developed a vision for a more automated Emerging Risk detection system, based on expert knowledge and information technology, that takes into account the complex and holistic influences that have a direct impact on the food safety in Europe. “The starting point of the EMRISK project was to draw the information necessary for the identification of emerging risks from a combination of knowledge both from inside as well as from outside the food supply chain (i.e. covering the fork to farm continuum and its host environment). This holistic vision was used to identify the various influential sectors (areas of disciplines), which are more or less related to the food production chain.” (according to the EMRISK report). The years after, a prototype of this envisioned system was developed (see report) based on ontologies and language processing.
The Apollon project takes this vision to the next level by using commercially available software as its main engine, with an open source rule engine to implement intelligence. The software, in this case developed for the military and intelligence industry, enables the user (in our context typically a food safety analyst) to browse and develop analyses of structured and unstructured sources. It uses an ontology as a data model. The Apollon project took AGROVOC as the main ontology and added new concepts, properties and relations. The Apollon ontology is available for re-use and accessible via the following download link (open access to file after registration). The rule engine implements specific rules developed by experts. These rules identify relationships between indicators from various sectors and when applied the rules trigger a signal when significant changes are observed. This is called a potential emerging risk.
The project report (in Dutch) is available here.
Details about the project can be obtained from Wim Ooms DVM, Senior Advisor Foresights at Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, email: firstname.lastname@example.org