Authors & affiliations:
Amadeo R. Fernández-Alba (Almería University, UAL); Aji Mathew (Stockholm University, SU); Clara Silvestre (Institute of chemistry and technology of polymers, CNR); María Dolores Hernando (National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology, INIA); Mika Mänttäri (Lappeenranta University of Technology, LUT); Roberto Rosal (Alcalá University, UAH); Süleyman Yüce (RWTH Aachen University); Peter Muranyi (Fraunhofer-Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung IVV)
The relevance of fruit and vegetables extends as they play a pivotal role in promoting consumers’ health, thus reducing costs associated to obesity, cardio-vascular and other social diseases. Nevertheless, the introduction of new and safe ready-to-eat fresh products, particularly fruit and vegetable, requires significant improvements in produce cleaning. Proper disinfection technology is required to ensure microbial safety avoiding at the same time the formation of disinfection by-products such as chlorinated chemicals. Furthermore, the quality of fresh-cut products also depends critically on packaging technology, which has to preserve good appearance and flavour, as well as meet safety requirements.
In view to increase the capacity of the EU industry to provide safer and more durable produces the project goals were:
- The reduction of the inputs used in the processing of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.
- The increase of the shelf life of the packed fresh cut products.
- The accomplishment of a higher level of chemical and microbiological safety of processed produces.
These goals are to be achieved by the combination of the following nanotechnology-driven innovative solutions:
- The introduction of new membranes with biocidal functionality to allow operating in closed loop and the reduction or elimination of chemical disinfectants.
- The development of a hybrid technology in which the use of ozone combined with ultrafiltration using ceramic membranes with (eventually) active surface.
- The production of new active packaging components for fresh produces, which are expected to increase shelf life and to reduce wastes.