StopMedWaste is a project of 3-years duration, aiming for the preservation of perishable fresh fruit, vegetables and aromatic plants with innovative strategies that ensure consumer’s safety, reduction of agricultural products waste, as well as reduction of synthetic pesticides application. These strategies will be tested under semi-commercial or commercial conditions (in packing houses), monitoring the quality of the fresh produce during transportation, after they have been first assessed under laboratory conditions. StopMedWaste focuses on the reduction of food waste from 30% to 15% (in Agreement with the United Nations Priorities, the ZeroHunger Challenge), the reduction of discarded fruit by 20%, as well as the reduction of pesticides applied postharvest by 20%.
The goal of StopMedWaste is to preserve perishable Mediterranean fresh fruit, vegetables and aromatic plants through innovative strategies that are safe for consumers, to reduce waste of agricultural products, and at the same time to minimise or reduce the application of synthetic pesticides. This goal will be accomplished by using innovative strategies to control postharvest decay of fresh produce based on the application of physical means (gaseous ozone, ozonated water, electrolysed water), natural compounds (chitosan, essential oils, antifungal edible coatings [AECs]) and biocontrol agents.
The main objectives of the StopMedWaste project include: 1) the preservation of perishable Mediterrane-an fresh fruit, vegetables and aromatic plants using in-novative strategies such as the application of physical means (gaseous ozone, ozonated water, electrolysed water), natural compounds (chitosan, essential oils, antifungal edible coatings) and biocontrol agents, 2) the application of protocols and conditions (performed at a laboratory scale), in semi-commercial or commercial conditions (in packing houses), with monitoring of the quality of the fresh produce during transportation by information and communication technology (ICT) devices with remote control, 3) the development of smart pack-aging for monitoring fruit quality during transportation, 4) the quantification of efficacy and efficiency as well as waste production of applied treatments on shelf-life of perishable fresh fruit (e.g., table grapes, citrus fruit, stone fruit, strawberries, raspberries, pomegranates), vegetables (e.g., tomatoes, cucumbers) and aromatic plants, 5) the monitoring of the applied treatments effects on foodborne pathogens, 6) the evaluation of the environmental sustainability of the applied technologies (by means of life-cycle assessment), and 7) the transfer of knowledge (gained from laboratories and packing houses) to the sector and food-chain operators through training activities.
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