The unavailability of adequate analysis and prediction techniques causes growing concern among the national and international communities and, above all, among food sector operators who are unprepared for these recent complexities. Agro-food markets are and will become increasingly complex, moving value added further and further away from the producers of raw material, thereby eroding the whole ecosystem of agricultural firms and undermining the national and international food model. For this reason, it has become indispensable to create new expertise and instruments capable of accounting for these new dynamics, and to shed light on possible effective solutions for planning and managing food resources both locally and globally. That is the mission of FoodCAST.
FRIDa is an image database for research on food–related behaviour and decisions created by the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste. It is an open-access tool, published in the journal Human Frontiers in Neuroscience, which will be of use to the international community of scientists who study food.
More in detail:
"Why are a red apple and a plate of pasta with tomato sauce more attractive than a green apple and a plate of pasta with pesto sauce?”: this is the kind of question that a neuroscientist attempts to answer when investigating how our brain processes food-related visual information. In this type of research, it is important to have access to appropriate images, which is why FRIDa, the FoodCAST research image database, was created. In public research, in fact, the available databases of experimental stimuli are few, outdated, partial and poorly flexible (whereas many have been produced by food companies but these are not freely accessible). Given the growing importance of research into food, and in particular research into the cognitive processes underlying our food-related choices and behaviours, archives like FRIDa are an important tool. The archive was devised to meet the needs of the international scientific community by Raffaella Rumiati at SISSA in Trieste and her team - Francesco Foroni, Giulio Pergola and Georgette Argiris - who performed a series of tests on 76 young healthy individuals. The database contains images of different categories of food: natural food (e.g., a strawberry), transformed food (e.g., French fries), rotten food (e.g., moldy banana), and so on. These images will be used in studies carried out within the FoodCAST project but may also be used by anyone who needs them such as neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists, as are freely available on the FoodCAST website.