Institute of Agricultural and Food Biotechnology – State Research Institute (IBPRS-PIB)
is the leading agriculture and food research academic unit in Poland and the national body responsible for research, training and consulting to the Polish government, the European Parliament as well as different regulatory bodies and the agri-food industry stakeholders.
The main scope of activity of the Institute is conducting basic and applied research in the field of agri-food biotechnology, safe production and storage of food, food and feed safety and quality to support the agri-food industry, including food distributors, and conducting activities aimed at improving the quality of people’s lives.
IBPRS-PIB is supervised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Education and Science of Poland.
IBPRS-PIB cooperates with industrial partners from various sectors of the agri-food and related sectors, including environmental protection, renewable energy and refrigeration. The mission of the Institute is to create modern, energy-saving technologies in the field of fermentation industries, fruit and vegetable industry, food concentrates, cereal and milling, baking and confectionery, sugar, meat and fat, as well as technical solutions and projects to improve food quality, including the development of analytical methods.
The Institute consists of 12 Scientific Departments equipped with modern laboratories using over 600 accredited research methods (ISO 17025: 2018-02; food testing and certification by Polish Centre for Accreditation; https://www.pca.gov.pl/en/). The Institute’s research laboratories with Accreditation Certificates provide a wide range of analytical services related to the quality assessment of agri-food industry products for the Polish and international customers and governmental regulatory authorities.
The strategic R&D areas of the Institute is shaping science-based favorable technological and regulatory conditions to provide safe and high-quality food for humans and for animal production.
The Institute has a long-documented tradition and experience of research in food safety and analysis. Until 1990, part of its tasks included supervision of the national feed and food industry including storage and distribution and creating the obligatory industry standards. Nowadays, the Institute frequently serves as a voluntary quality control for the interested privately-owned food processing plants and distributors (HACCP, analysis of raw material, final products, control of technological processes, sampling and analyzing food products for wholesalers, retailers – both Polish and international, and consumers). The Institute has collaborated with many international organizations, including FAO, WHO, IARC (Intl. Agency for Research on Cancer) in relation, for example, to chemical food contaminants (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrosamines, etc.). The Institute, for years, has been responsible for monitoring, as a service to the Ministry of Agriculture, of the quality and the presence of chemical contaminant, including persistent organic pollutants, covered by provisions of the Stockholm Convention. Department of Chemical Food Analysis of IBPRS-PIB is specifically concerned with food safety and collecting samples to determine mycotoxins, pesticides – plant health products and others contaminants. The Institute monitors the annual grain crop for the whole country determining contamination with heavy metals, mycotoxins and pesticides. In addition, it monitors contaminants in grain resulting from the EU intervention buying. Similar safety analyses have been performed for meat products, fats and oils, vegetables, imported raw materials and foods, supplements, and so on.
The Institute is one of the few scientific and research institutions in the country supplying pure, very often patented, microbial cultures for fermentation industries. IBPRS-PIB provides strains of microorganisms with high utility value for the distillery, brewing, wine, bakery, fermented feeds (silage) and foods, industries. The activities include mainly searching, selection, characterization in terms of identification, evaluation of specific biochemical properties of technological importance, and application of microorganisms for biological preservation of food (vegetable, fruits, and harvested cereals), feed, and biological control of pathogens and toxic fungi.
The Institute has a Collection of Industrial Microbial Cultures, which has the status of an International Depository Authority. The collection accepts and stores strains – deposits – subject to patent proceedings. Information on the number of stored strains is systematically sent to the World Intellectual Property Organization. The collection stores yeast (bakery, distillery, wine, brewing, fodder), filamentous fungi (producing enzymes, organic acids), and bacteria (lactic fermentation, acetic acid, dextran-forming). These strains are used by industry and other scientific and research institutions in Poland and abroad, as well as in the studies carried out by the Institute’s scientific staff. The collection is registered in the World Federation for Culture Collections (IBPRS 212). Since 1992, IBPRS-PIB has been a member of the European Culture Collections Organization (ECCO). The IBPRS-PIB collection adapts and implements the standards proposed by the WFCC, and sends the updated data to the World Data Collection of Microorganisms.
Institute of Agricultural and Food Biotechnology is a member of EFSA (based on Article 36, Regulation 178/2002, i.e. it meets the requirements set out in Article 1 of Commission Regulation 2230/2004). It has been officially nominated by EFSA Management Board on 18th December 2019, (LEF number Legal Entity File 6000348077) in the fields within EFSA’s mission, appointed by the Member States and approved by EFSA Management Board, which may assist the Authority in carrying out its mission (under Art. 36 Reg. 178/2002).
A competent team of more than 200 employees, including 3 titular professors, 11 associate professors, and 33 Ph.D. researchers utilize their know-how, expertise, and experience in microbiology including such areas as metagenomics of the food chain, animal and human health, biotechnologies, and environmental bio-refineries, cell and process engineering, biochemistry, food technology, human nutrition and dietetics, and feed and food law.
The Institute, based on its scientific output, is ranked Category A of the academic institutions in Poland and is authorised to confer Ph.D. degrees in food technology and nutrition.
The Institute also supervises a doctoral school AgroBioTech PhD.
Institute’s scientific and research staff have published over 2440 full scientific articles, book chapters and conference proceedings plus numerous articles in Polish for the farmers and food industry practitioners.
The Institute has received 181 patents (including 60 international) and registered 118 inventions and utility models (designs).
The Institute has been leaders as well partners in a large number of projects financed by the Polish or European finding agencies. Most of the grants were related to basic or applied scientific aspects of safe production of quality feeds and human foods.
Eight international projects have been supported by the Framework Programmes (Horizon 2020, etc.), 67 projects carried out in cooperation with the industrial partners were supported by the EU Structural Funds, 58 highly competitive basic or applied science grants were awarded by the National Science Center (NCN) or the National Center for Research and Development (NCBiR). One of the grants funded by the NCBiR was concerned with developing the safety standards and methodology for the National Stock Exchange for Agricultural Products that was successfully launched in 2020. 17 grants were obtained to support the development of eco-friendly agriculture and food production and 70 grants to develop the Institute’s research infrastructure and support young researchers.