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Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA) 2020

Nano4Fresh : Nanomaterials for an environmentally friendly and sustainable handling of perishable products

Portugal ; Spain ; Italy ; Morocco

Long-term Europe-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership for Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture

Titre : Nano4Fresh : Nanomaterials for an environmentally friendly and sustainable handling of perishable products

Pays/Région : Portugal ; Spain ; Italy ; Morocco

Date : Start date 2020-06-01 // End date 2023-05-31

Identifiant : 264-NANO4FRESH
Type de projet : Applied research project

The large part of fresh products in the UE are produced in Mediterranean countries due to their favourable climatology. Thus, the economic, environmental and social impact of agriculture and the derived agri-food sectors have a strong importance in many areas of these countries that depend on the export of agri-food products to different EU countries, North Africa and America. The problem is that many of these products are perishable. Basically, products classified as climacteric (e.g., tomatoes, avocados, pears and apples) present a continuous postharvest ripening, that occurs evolving respiration gases and the production of Volatile Organic Compounds - VOCs like ethylene that works as a natural ripening hormone. This leads to undesirable and progressive ripening and senescence during the storage / transportation steps. The biochemical changes associated to ripening also causes physiological alterations (changes of colour, softening, decay, loss of firmness and crunch, rind breakdown, internal disorders and finally putrefaction) not allowing its commercialization and leading to significant economic loss and waste generation. Therefore, one of the main challenges in the agri-food chain is the optimization of perishable products handling for maximizing their freshness, organoleptic characteristics, quality, and shelf life allowing extension of post-harvest life and transportation to new markets.

Nano4fresh aims to extend the shelf-life of perishable products, reducing post-harvest chemical treatments, food losses and wastes. This will be achieved by developing nanomaterials (carbons, zeolites, MOFs and PCPs) with innovative and versatile characteristics, in terms of adsorption, catalytic photoactivity and antibacterial/fungi performances, to surpass the current stateof-the-art approaches for prevention of the ripening processes of food products. In practical terms, novel filters and photoreactors will be developed and optimised for the storage (atmosphere control) during the ripening process. This approach comprises the ethylene removal, both during long storage, transportation and at the retail stores, leading to eradicate the use of chemicals as a post-harvest strategy to prevent the ripening process. The developed technology will be tested, and the performances validated in a laboratory-controlled and real-life environment to supply fruit quality parameters (colour, compactness, sugar content, enzymatic activity) in the presence and absence of developed devices.

Coordinateur : University of Lisbon
Partenaires : Frutus - Estação Fruteira do Montejunto, CRL University of Granada University of Camerino Cadi Ayyad University

Financement principal : Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) (H2020)
Budget : 666 332 EUR

FNSSA project database

Page publiée le 30 août 2023