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Project: Omega RABbit:food for health BenefIT (ORABBIT)  

PRIMA project (Partnership for research and innovation in the mediterranean area)

Project title: Omega RABbit: food for health BenefIT (ORABBIT)

Short description of the project
 “Omega RABbit: food for health BenefIT” is a PRIMA project financed by EU for 1.739.636,99 €. In line with the purpose to elaborate a new agro-food business model and promote Mediterranean local food products, the ΩRABBIT project aims to establish new knowledge and to explore the feasibility to obtain an innovative product that can contribute to improve human health and to face some of the challenges of the Mediterranean area. In this optic, the project aims to create a new market and supply food chain (ΩRABBIT Consortium) that includes under its disciplinary and logo, farmers, breeders and research centres that produce Ωrabbit meat as a guarantee of a high-quality product and under the principle “from the farm to the fork”. Specifically, dietary supplementation with flax and algae will be the tool to obtain an increase in the quantity of n-3 fatty acid in the meat, producing a new functional food, the Ωrabbit meat. The project started on October 2021 and will last 3 years.

Project website:http://omega-rabbit.com/

Coordinator institution: University of Milan (UNIMI)

Coordinator of the project: Prof. Gabriele Brecchia

Project partners:

  • University of Milan, UNIMI (Italy) (Coordinator).
  • University of Perugia, UNIPG (Italy).
  • Council for Agricultural Research and Agricultural Economy Analysis, CREA-ZA (Italy).
  • Animal Production Research, APRI (Egypt).
  • National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, INRAE (France).
  • VALOREX (France).
  • COPRI (France).
  • Higher School of Agriculture of Mateur Chartage University, ESA-MATEUR (Tunisia).
  • National School of Veterinary Medicine Sidi Thabet, ENMV (Tunisia).

Project Objectives
* To develop a new quality food product – “Ωrabbit meat” administering flax derived products and/or algae (Padina pavonica and Chlorella vulgaris) supplemented-diet to the rabbit. This could improve both the animal health and welfare, and have a positive Impact on human health reducing the incidence of chronic pathologies especially those linked to an unbalanced n-6/n-3 ratio in the diet and/or blood lipid concentration alterations.
* To optimise the production model of rabbit meat so as to reinforce the whole value chain both for local and foreign markets, by creating a new product and by improving its shelf life with innovative technics.
* To increase the competitiveness of small-scale farmers, manufacturers, local distributors and other intermediate actors, by setting up the ΩRABBIT Consortium.

Target audience / impact
The ΩRABBIT project expects to make an impact with reference to applied agronomic research, rabbit meat production and distribution systems, and at socio-economic level in local communities where the project activities will take place. Moreover, the project will raise awareness of actual and potential consumers about rabbit meat and its characteristics as functional food, and about the existence and advantages of the ΩRABBIT Consortium. Finally, the model proposed by the project (research and set up of the ΩRABBIT Consortium) will be transfer to other agro-food value chains in the Mediterranean area.

Study area: Veterinary Medicine

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