An integrated approach to the challenge of sustainable food systems: adaptive and mitigatory strategies to address climate change and malnutrition

Background and aim

Securing sufficient and healthy food for all, while minimizing environmental impact is the great challenge we face already today. Climate change increasingly affecting food production in areas, which are already disadvantaged, unprecedented population (especially in urban and coastal areas) income growth and deterioration of usable land, will intensify these challenges. We need a holistic approach to transform the global food production system with the ability to adapt to regional contexts. The SYSTEMIC network (an integrated approach to the challenge of sustainable food systems: adaptive and mitigatory strategies to address climate change and malnutrition) will bring together scientists and practitioners from different disciplines and expertise on different parts of the food system to explore cross-cutting solutions, identify knowledge gaps and develop pathways for a food system transformation, which is climate-resilient and able to cope with societal challenges. While the information on policies and technologies that would enhance productivity and sustainability of individual agricultural sectors is available to some extent, literature is practically devoid of information and experiences for countries and communities considering a comprehensive approach (cross-sectoral policies, strategies, and technologies) to sustainable food supply and agriculture. This project is the first effort to fill this gap, providing information on proven options and opportunities that provides sustainable, resilient, and nutritional food from both land and sea.

Expected results and impact:

SYSTEMIC will develop a joint vision for the development of an integrated food system for continuous improvement in sustainability at production, consumption, and public health. The project involves contributing towards the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): (2) zero hunger, (3) good health and well-being, (12) responsible consumption and production, (13) climate action, and (17) partnerships to achieve the goals.


The SYSTEMIC project idea is based on researchers from eight European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Portugal, and Spain) by creating a network for a better understanding of food and nutrition security in a changing environment. National and transnational collaboration in R&D projects together with the transfer of knowledge and technology are the major aim of the research teams working in this project. SYSTEMIC works on seven interrelated working packages and case studies.


Partner Organization Partner Country
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research Norway
University of Florence Italy
University of Porto, Institute of Public Health Portugal
Ghent University Belgium
National Institute for Agricultural Research - Safety and Quality of Plant Products France
National Institute for Agricultural Research - Science and technology of milk and eggs France
National Institute for Agricultural Research - Plant and cropping System in Horticulture France
National Institute for Agricultural Research - Nutrition Physiology and Ingestive Behaviour France
National Institute for Agricultural Research - Centre for Cardiovascular and Nutrition research / Aix-Marseille University France
National Institute for Agricultural Research - Food and Digestive Microbiology to serve Health France
National Institute for Agricultural Research - Food Process Engineering and Microbiology France
Technical University of Munich, ZIEL Institute for Food and Health Else Kröner-Fresenius - Centre of Nutritional Medicine Germany
Kiel Ocean Assessment and Solution Centre at Kiel University Germany
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research Germany
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Research Centre for Cereal and CREA-CI Giuseppe Mandolino Italy iii Industrial Crops Italy
University of Palermo - Department of Engineering Italy
University of Milan, Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences Italy
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Research Centre for Food and Nutrition Italy
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics - Research Centre for Genomics and Bioinformatics Italy
University of Sassari/Centre for Conservation and Evaluation of Plant Biodiversity Italy
Ente Nazionale di Ricerca e promozione per la standardizzazione Italy
Libera Università di Bolzano Italy
Alta Scuola in Management ed Economia Agro-alimentare/ Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Italy
Polytechnic University of Marche - Dep. Life and Environmental Sciences Italy
Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome Italy
University of Bari Aldo Moro Italy
University of Bologna, Department of Physics and Astronomy Italy
Riga Stradins University- Dpt of Internal Diseases / Nutritionist division Latvia
Nodibinajums Baltic Studies Centre Latvia
Institute of Marine Research Norway
Centre of Marine Sciences Portugal
Rede de Química e Tecnologia - Laboratório Associado para a Química Verde Portugal
University of Porto, Faculty of Pharmacy Portugal
Institute of Mediterranean Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - University of Evora Portugal
Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Escola Superior de Biotecnologia Portugal
University of Vigo Spain
University of Valencia Spain



Key Features of SYSTEMIC:

  • Assess current technologies on their feasibility to address the food challenges
  • Develop methods to assess trade-offs in support of decision and policymaking
  • Identify knowledge gaps and research needs to funding agencies and governments
  • Disseminate knowledge to industry, society, and policy, and develop and collate education and training tools


Title: An Italian Case Study for Assessing Nutrient Intake through Nutrition-Related Mobile Apps
Author: Lorenza Mistura,* Francisco Javier Comendador Azcarraga, Laura D’Addezio* , Deborah Martone, Aida Turrini
Title: Occurrence of pesticides and environmental contaminants in vineyards: Case study of Portuguese grapevine canes
Author: Dorosh, O., Fernandes, V. C., Moreira, M. M., & Delerue-Matos*, C.
Title: Screening of Bioactive Properties in Brown Algae from the Northwest Iberian Peninsula
Author: Silva, A., Rodrigues, C., Garcia-Oliveira, P., Lourenço-Lopes, C., Silva, S. A., Garcia-Perez, P., Carvalho, A. P., Domingues, V. F., Barroso, M. F., Delerue-Matos*, C., Simal-Gandara, J., & Prieto, M. A.
Title: Salicornia ramosissima Bioactive Composition and Safety: Eco-Friendly Extractions Approach (Microwave-Assisted Extraction vs. Conventional Maceration)
Author: Silva, A. M., Lago, J. P., Pinto, D., Moreira, M. M., Grosso, C., Cruz Fernandes, V., Delerue-Matos*, C., & Rodrigues*, F.
Title: Bioactive Lipids of Seaweeds from the Portuguese North Coast: Health Benefits versus Potential Contamination
Author: Soares, C., Sousa, S., Machado, S., Vieira*, E., Carvalho, A. P., Ramalhosa, M. J., Morais, S., Correia, M., Oliva-Teles, T., Domingues, V. F., & Delerue-Matos*, C.
Title: Vitamin d-fortified bread: Systematic review of fortification approaches and clinical studies.
Author: Souza, S. V. S., Borges, N., & Vieira*, E. F.
Title: New insights of phytochemical profile and in vitro antioxidant and neuroprotective activities from optimized extract of Horned Melon fruit
Author: Vieira*, E. F., Podlasiak, M., Moreira, M. M., Grosso, C., Rodrigues*, F., Fernandes, V. C., & Delerue-Matos*, C.
Title: Effects of biochar on berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum, L.) growth and heavy metal (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) accumulation
Author: Antonio Pescatore, Chiara Grassi, Andrea Maria Rizzo, Simone Orlandini*, Marco Napoli*
Title: Making a Sustainable Diet Acceptable: An Emerging Programming Model With Applications to Schools and Nursing Homes Menus
Author: Benvenuti Luca* and Alberto De Santis*
Start- and endpage:
Title: Climate change impacts on the Alpine, Continental and Mediterranean grassland systems of Italy: A review
Author: Camilla Dibari*, Antonio Pulina*, Giovanni Argenti, Chiara Aglietti, Marco Bindi*, Marco Moriondo*, Laura Mula*, Massimiliano Pasqui*, Giovanna Seddaiu*, Pier Paolo Roggero*
Title: A Metafrontier Analysis on the Performance of Grain-Producing Regions in Norway
Author: Alem, Habtamu*
Link: economies9010010
Title: The Promotions of Sustainable Lunch Meals in School Feeding Programs: The Case of Italy
Author: Rossi Laura; Ferrari Marika*; Martone Deborah; Benvenuti Luca*; De Santis Alberto*
Title: Measuring technology and performance differentials among the Norwegian dairy farms
Author: Alem, Habtamu*
Title: Multi-indicator design and assessment of sustainable diet plans
Author: Benvenuti, L.*, De Santis, A.*, Cacchione, P.
Title: Effect of Sowing Date on Bioactive Compounds and Grain Morphology of Three Pigmented Cereal Species
Author: Beleggia, R., Ficco, D.*, Nigro, F.M., Giovanniello, V., Colecchia, S.A., Pecorella, I. and De Vita, P*
Title: Machine learning models based on remote and proximal sensing as potential methods for in-season biomass yields prediction in commercial sorghum fields
Author: Habyarimana, E*. and Baloch, F.S.
Title: The Global Durum wheat Panel (GDP): an international platform to identify and exchange beneficial alleles
Author: Mazzucotelli, E.*, Sciara, G., Mastrangelo, A.M., Desiderio, F., Xu, S.S., Faris, J., Hayden, M.J., Tricker, P.J., Ozkan, H., Echenique, V., Steffenson, B.J.....Cattivelli, L.*, Bassi,F.M.
Title: Control of postharvest diseases caused by Penicillium spp. with myrtle leaf phenolic extracts: in vitro and in vivo study on mandarin fruit during storage
Author: Fadda A.*, Sarais G., Lai C., Sale L., Mulas M.*
Title: Quantification of Total Phenols, Tannins, Anthocyanins Content in Myrtus communis L. and Antioxidant Activity Evaluation in Function of Plant Development Stages and Altitude of Origin Site
Author: Medda S., Fadda A*., Dessena L., Mulas M*
Title: Fruit Quality Characters of Myrtle (Myrtus communis L.) Selections: Review of a Domestication Process
Author: Medda, S.; Mulas, M*
Title: Antimicrobial multi-component lipid-based nanoemulsion of Eucalyptus globulus and Mentha piperita as natural preservative
Author: Fathi, F.; Ebrahimi, S. N.; Salehi, P.; Safari, A.; Shahsavari, Z.; Hadian, J.; Carlos Matos, L. C.; Alves, R. C.; Oliveira*, M. B. P. P
Title: Exploring Gunnera tinctoria: From Nutritional and Anti-Tumoral Properties to Phytosome Development Following Structural Arrangement Based on Molecular Docking.
Author: Fathi, F.; Samad N. Ebrahimi, S. N.; Valadão, A. I. G.; Andrade, N.; Costa, A. S. G.; Silva, C.; Fathi, A.; Salehi, P.; Fátima Martel, F.; Alves, R. C.; Oliveira*, M. B. P. P.
Title: Formulation of Nano/Micro-Carriers Loaded with an Enriched Extract of Coffee Silverskin: Physicochemical Properties, in vitro Release Mechanism and In Silico Molecular Modeling.
Author: Fathi, F.; Samad N. Ebrahimi, S. N.; João A. V. Prior, J. A. V.; Machado, S. M. L.; Kouchaksaraee, R. M.; Oliveira*, M. B. P. P.; Alves, R. C.,

Communication & Dissemination Activities

Target groupAuthorsMeans of communicationHyperlink
Researchers, policy makers, enterpricesMarco Bindi*, Applying an integrated approach to the challenge of sustainable food systems: insights from the SYSTEMIC project,MINDS Foods Hub-Milano, 21st September, 2021Prof. Marco Bindi has presented the project Systemic during the conferences "Mind foods Hub" Ricerca AgroalimentareLink
Scientists, researchersL.F.P. Rodríguez, G.Secci, F. Gai, G. Maricchiolo, G. Parisi*, Effect of dietary Hermetia illucens larvae meal on triglyceride composition of sea bream fillets, 24th Congress of the animal Science and production association, Animal science and Society concerns, September 21-24, Padova (Italy)Analyze the fatty acid profiles of total lipids, triglycerides and of the fatty acid in the sn 2 position in fillets from gilthead sea bream Sparus aurata L.) fed Hermetia illucens larvae meal.Link
Scientists, policy makersAlem, Habtamu (2021). Applying an integrated approach to the challenge of sustainable food systems: insights from the SYSTEMIC project. 6th JPI HDHL International Conference. April 20- 21, 2021To present the project SystemicLink
 Alem, Habtamu (2020). Structuration and activities of the Knowledge Platform lessons from the SYSTEMIC project. 2020 Virtual meeting with FOSC funders. 21. September 2020To present the project Systemic to FOSC membersLink
 L. Bassolino*, G. Bianchi*, M. Buccheri*, L. D’Addezio*, P. De Vita*, D. B. M. Ficco*, E. Habyarimana*, L. Mistura*, D. Pacifico,* K. Petroni*, R. Paris* and G. Mandolino* (2021) CLIMAQUALITEC – Agricultural biotechnology for nutrition quality of food crops in different agro-climate scenario. Challenges and perspectives in Potato and Cereal crops LXIV Congress of the Italian Society of Agricultural Genetics (SIGA) 14-16 September, 2021Presentation of the CLIMAQUALIITEC realized under SYSTEMIC project (Poster)Link
 Leonardo Ricciardi*. BEYOND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT PRACTICES: Integration trends of Blockchain Technology for research management in Food Science, 17th June 2021, LisbonaWebinar on the application of Blockchain technology for food productionLink
 A.B. Peixoto, N. Andrade, S. Machado*, A.S.G. Costa, M.B.P.P. Oliveira*, F. Martel, R.C. Alves, Influence of a coffee silver skin extract on glucose intestinal transports: an apparent synergism between caffeine and 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid (oral communication). ISEKI E-conference. Food texture, quality, safety, and biosecurity in the global bioeconomy, November 12th 2021oral communication about the positive effect of coffee silverskin in preventig metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes.Link
Scientists, researchersM. Sousa, M.A. Nunes, J.C. Lobo, J.D. Palmeira, S. Machado*, D. Melo, A.S.G. Costa, R.C. Alves, H. Ferreira, M.B.P.P. Oliveira*. Heat-treated olive pomace paste: a safe edible ingredient for the food industry (oral communication). ISEKI E-conference. Food texture, quality, safety, and biosecurity in the global bioeconomy, November 12th, 2021Oral communication about olive pomace paste heat-treated chemical composition and it's microbiological safetyLink
ScientistsO. Jorge, A.S.G. Costa, M.B.P.P. Oliveira*. Prickly pear: nutritional differences between an irrigated and a not irrigated culture (oral communication). ISEKI E-conference. Food texture, quality, safety, and biosecurity in the global bioeconomy, November 12th, 2021posterLink
ScientistsEspírito Santo, L. Kocanová, A.O. Jorge, A.S.G. Costa, A. Almeida, M.B.P.P. Oliveira*. Mineral profile of four varieties of Opuntia ficus-indica cladodes. ISEKI E-conference. Food texture, quality, safety and biosecurity in the global bioeconomy, November 12th, 2021posterLink
ScientistsEspírito Santo, A. La Rocca, M. Sousa, A.S.G. Costa, M.A. Nunes, R.C. Alves, A. Almeida, M.B.P.P. Oliveira*. Mineral profile of olive pomace from different crops in Portugal. ISEKI E-conference. Food texture, quality, safety and biosecurity in the global bioeconomy, November 12th, 2021posterLink
ScientistsAndrade, L. Espírito Santo, J.A.B. Peixoto, C. Silva, R.C. Alves, M.B.P.P. Oliveira*, F. Martel. Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller cladodes: effect on different types of cancer cell lines. ISEKI E-conference. Food texture, quality, safety, and biosecurity in the global bioeconomy, November 12th, 2021posterLink


Project number:
Duration: 100%
Duration: 100 %
Project lead and secretary:
Dr. Habtamu Alem, Prof. Dr. Marco Bindi, Dr. Duarte Torres
Responsible organisation:
The Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research / University of Florence / University of Porto, Norway / Italy / Portugal