Now that the FoodSmartphone project has officially reached its end, I wanted to reflect on those two years of my participation in the project, and share a few last words in this my last FoodSmartphone blog. Those blogs started as an obligation, and I struggled to find the right way to express my thoughts. But as the weeks passed, I found it exciting and intriguing to communicate with a broader public and communicate with you reading right now.
FoodSmartphone started a bit suddenly for me, the last trimester of 2018. It was already more than a year of its lifetime, and I came to fill in the “Mass spectrometric coupling” position. And as with every project, it seemed like a challenge on paper, but it turned out to be even more of a challenge in practice. Nonetheless, after two years of many hours of lab work and data analysis, two publications were yielded (*,**). They describe the combination of two methods, incompatible at a first glance, that lead to the detection of mycotoxins for improved food safety testing.
Apart from the scientific part, FoodSmartphone made me seek my inner artist, as evidenced by the video created for the FoodSmartphone’s last conference organized by CSIC (Nanobiotechnology for Diagnostics (Nb4D) Group). I was lucky enough for others to like it and win a prize for it.
Apart from all the work, being ESR 12 of the FoodSmartphone project was a great experience. MSCA offers a lot of opportunities and significant funding. I was able to present my work in many conferences, use instrumentation I could not before, and publish the results of my work open-access (!) for everyone who is interested to read.
In this final blog, I want to thank all the consortium and partners, QUB, Barilla, CSIC, UCT, LIU, Aquamarijn, CSEM, and Zeulab, for their collaboration in FoodSmartphone, for the organization of conferences and course, and for making this project a reality. Of course, special thanks go to my host organization, Wageningen Food Safety Research/ WUR, and my supervisor for this challenging position, but also we shouldn’t forget the people behind the spotlight, our secretaries, for their organization, and countless email reminders of our obligations to fill the reports and submit them on time! I was happy to meet and discuss with each one of the ESRs and supervisors, share great moments and laugh in every possible networking moment; and all of those made me feel welcome when I was firstly introduced into the FoodSmartphone world.
The project might have ended, but for me, it’s not the end. I will continue to work on different approaches to combine bioassays and mass spectrometry to provide innovative food safety analysis methods.
Best of luck to everyone; it was my absolute pleasure. I hope we will soon be COVID-free and we will enjoy life even more than before.
Goodbye, Peace and love