Mercadona Spain and Portugal Science Committee

Mercadona's Spanish and Portuguese Science Committees meet in Valencia

10 april 2024
  • Independent scientists of renowned prestige are providing technical support to the company with a view to guaranteeing the maximum quality in food safety in all its products at all times, thus responding to the new needs of its customers.
  • Today’s meeting addressed current issues, including the application of the latest technological advances in the production of quality food, the effect of food on health and how to achieve new improvements in the agrifood sector in the face of challenges such as climate change.
  • Guaranteeing quality is inherent to the company’s Model, oriented at offering the highest level of quality and safety in all its products and processes.

Mercadona, a physical and online sales supermarket company, today saw its two science committees, from Spain and Portugal, meet for the first time. The meeting took place at the headquarters of the AINIA Technological Centre in Valencia, where issues were addressed that allowed the company to continue always guaranteeing the maximum quality in all its products and processes in the face of new need which are arising. “Quality is an essential condition at Mercadona, and we must always lead the way and improve; with this in mind, having independent external scientific consultancy of renowned international prestige is a great support,” highlights Angels Millan, Director of the Mercadona Science Committee in Spain. 

In fact, today’s meeting addressed very current issues such as the application of the latest technological advances in the production of food, how to reduce food waste without reducing quality, and how to achieve new improvements in the agrifood sector in the face of challenges such as climate change, among other relevant topics. Notable attendees included, from the Ministry of Health of the Valencian Community, Mar Canós, General Subdirector of Food Safety and Public Health Laboratories; and Carlos Antón, Head of the Food Risk Management Service. Also in attendance were Ignacio García Magarzo and María Martínez, Director General and Director of Sustainability, respectively, of Asedas (Spanish Association of Distributors, Self-Service Stores and Supermarkets); Xavi Pera, Head of Food Safety and Quality of AECOC (Spanish Commercial Coding Association); and Cristina del Campo, Director General of the AINIA Technological Centre, among other experts and food safety managers. 

For many years, Mercadona has received advice from this Science Committee in Spain and this experience has led to a committee made up of Portuguese scientists after the company touched down in this country. To mark World Science Day, today, for the first time, the 17 scientists from both Committees have come together as part of a workshop at which several of its members spoke. Participants included: Daniel Ramón, Doctor of Biological Science (University of Valencia) and currently Vice President of R&D in Nutrition and Health of the North American company ADM (Archer Daniels Midland Co); José Juan Rodríguez, Doctor of Veterinary Sciences and microbiological expert (Autonomous University of Barcelona); José Miguel Mulet, Doctor of Biochemistry and expert on Molecular Biology (Polytechnic University of Valencia); and Duarte Torres, Doctor of Science and Chemical and Biological Engineering (University of Porto).

Completing the Spanish panel of researchers were scientists Arturo Anadón, Doctor of Veterinary Science (Complutense University of Madrid); Juan José Badiola, Doctor of Veterinary Science (University of Zaragoza) and currently President of the Committee; Andrés Otero, Doctor of Veterinary Science (University of León); Andreu Palou, Doctor of Biochemistry (University of the Balearic Islands); Pilar Vinardell, Doctor of Pharmacy (University of Barcelona); Santiago Pascual, Doctor of Biology (University of Vigo) and researcher at the Higher Centre of Scientific Research (CSIC); and Ana Troncoso, Doctor of Pharmacy (University of Seville). 

The Committee in Portugal is made up of scientists Alexandra Nogueira da Silva, expert in Pharmaceutical Science (Faculty of Pharmacy of Lisbon); Paula Teixeira, expert in Food Engineering and doctor of biotechnology (Catholic University of Portugal); Fernanda Vilarinho, Doctor of Materials Engineering (Higher Technical Institute of the University of Lisbon); Sandra Chaves, Doctor of Biology (University of Lisbon); Inês Pádua, Doctor of Nutrition Science (University of Porto); and Isabel Castanheira, Doctor of Pharmacy (University of Lisbon).

Scientific support for facing new challenges

Mercadona advocates for a proactive attitude to new habits and consumption trends. “Consumers are increasingly demanding, which involves anticipating their needs to satisfy them at all times,” notes Angels Millan. The company is therefore committed to scientific consultancy in situations which require assistance in the specialist fields of each member of the committee.

For example, this Science Committee has advised the company as part of the roll out of its “Ready-to-Eat” section: “It required consultancy in the design of the department and in the validation of both products and production processes. The Committee has ensured that all methods and good practices implemented guarantee quality and food safety,” notes Mercadona Quality Director, Luis Pla.

The range of projects on which this science committee works is very broad. Thus, for example, it advises on improving the sales model for sliced fruit and the validation of meat suppliers, offers continuous support in the evaluation and analysis of food risks, training on matters of scientific interest and advice on food legislation, to mention only some of the issues addressed.

Members of the Mercadona Spain and Portugal Science CommitteesMercadona Spain and Portugal Science Committees.

Mercadona Science Committee in SpainMembers of the Mercadona Science Committee in Spain.

Mercadona Science Committees meet in ValenciaMeeting held at the headquarters of the AINIA Technological Centre in Valencia.