Non-thermal physical technologies to preserve healthiness of fresh and minimally processed fruit and vegetables

Project: Research

Description

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), eating plenty of F&V (fruit and vegetables) is one of the 5-key to a healthy diet. However, regional and local products are still characterized by a very short shelf life due to the intrinsic natural properties of the F&V. Moreover, current available chemical sanitisers, besides being perceived negatively by consumers, are not considered as a solution since they are not efficient for microbial reduction and are harmful to human health and the environment. The need for a more effective and sustainable post-harvesting and processing techniques to improve safety and retain nutritional and sensory properties of F&V with prolonged shelf life is urgent especially for both SME’s (small and medium enterprises) and consumers.Therefore, SHEALTHY proposal aims to assess and develop an optimal combination of non-thermal sanitization, preservation and stabilization methods to improve the safety while preserving the nutritional and organoleptic quality and prolonging the shelf-life of fresh and minimally processed F&V products.By combining and modulating non-thermal technologies with minimally processing operations, we will respond to consumers’ demand for fresh, healthy, convenient, sustainable and locally produced and additive-free food which is safe and nutritious.In SHEALTHY, the combined and optimised mild technologies will be demonstrated and validated in two business cases: 1)  Minimally processed fruit and vegetables, and 2) Fruit and vegetable-based juices & smoothies.In SHEALTHY, sustainable and flexible processing methods will be transferred and adapted to the need of local F&V micro and SMEs, interconnecting primary producers through novel cooperative business models and new logistics systems, to enhance the traceability and authenticity of raw materials along the F&V value chain. Innovative SME-led collaborative business models will be designed and implemented in pilot trials SMEs resulting in new local/regional food system where farmers, food processing micro & SME, logistics and consumers are engaged and interconnected.

Coordinator: ENCO srl

Partners:
Adiconsum, Azienda agricola Bruno Sodano (IT), Università degli Studi
di Napoli – Dipartimento di Agraria (IT), Wageningen University (NL),
Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Bio-economy e.V. (DE),
University Court of the University of Abertay Dundee (UK), University
of Southern Denmark (DK), University of Granada (SP), IRIS (SP), Centro
Tecnológico Empresarial Alimentario (SP), Asociación Cluster Food +I
(SP), Instituto Tecnológico del Embalaje, Transporte y Logística (SP),
CETMA (IT), Bio Base Europe (BE), Dodaco (IT), Commerciale Export srl
(IT), BioSense Institute (SB), Coldpressok (SB), Good Food Concepts B.V.
(NL), Kobenhavns Universitet (DK)

AcronymSHEALTHY
StatusActive
Effective start/end date01/05/201930/04/2023