The immense decrease in fruit consumption in recent years is partly explained by the lack of quality reaching consumers. Generally, fruit is harvested following minimum standards of calibre, colour, sugar and firmness which guarantee normal distribution and sale processes yet ignore flavour and the organoleptic quality with which it reaches the market.
Therefore, it is technically necessary to have ripeness indices which indicate the ideal harvest time with which fruit maintains its physical/chemical and sensorial properties throughout the value chain.
The parameters used traditionally as harvest indices for fruit are not only destructive measures but generally non-reproducible as they vary based on the crop, production area, climate conditions and crop load.
This action proposes alternative techniques to those that already exist which are non-destructive and independent of external factors.
Prior work carried out by the partners participating in this action have made clear the interest of visible spectroscopy and near infrared (NIR) technologies in establishing harvest and fruit quality indices (plums, peaches, nectarines, cherries, pears, prickly pears, oranges, table grapes, strawberries).
Our goal now is to make it so these technologies can be used by various fruit and vegetable producers and centres in the region EUROACE.
The substitution of traditional destructive techniques with these technologies will lead to savings in raw materials and analysis time as well as the production of more homogeneous batches of fruit. On the other hand, it will help stimulate competitiveness in the fruit production sector, especially nowadays when profit margins are very narrow.
This project aims to assist fruit production companies in the EUROACE region with support and mentoring in visible spectroscopy and NIR technologies in order to enhance their production and commercialisation processes.
Coordinated by: CICYTEX
Participating partners: CICYTEX, CATAA and FEVAL.
Collaboration from: University of Extremadura (UEX), Asociación de Fruticultores de Extremadura (AFRUEX), UNICAEX, S.C., “GardunhaAgro” and “Cerfundão”.
The results desired with this action are:
Activity Coordinator: Belén Velardo Micharet (CICYTEX) | firstname.lastname@example.org