A consortium of leading Mediterranean researchers has been created with the sole aim of stopping food waste. Each recognizable academic/professional figure collaborating in the project will bring a complete background in postharvest in a myriad of expertise field and crops.
Stop Mediterranean Food Waste is a public group of researchers and specialized companies which is working hand by hand to improve and bring innovative sustainable technologies to extend shelf-life of perishable Mediterranean fresh fruit, vegetables and aromatic plants to reduce waste.
According to FAO measurements, 45% of total fruits and vegetables is never consumed. This tremendous reality varies per crop, country and stage of the value chain… but still is a quantity of fruits and resources wasted that we cannot allow. In the Mediterranean area, water is a locally resource deficit, imagine the amount of water employed to grow all this never used fruit and vegetable resources.
The Stop Mediterranean Food Waste project is formed by:
|Gianfranco Romanazzi||UNIVPM, Italy||Experience on control of postharvest diseases of fruit, with his studies including in-vitro and in-vivo activities of a series of natural fungicides, among which chitosan has been the most investigated.|
|Nikolaos Tzortzakis||CUT, Cyprus||Experience on the issues of plant nutrition, hydroponics and substrate determination, climate change and abiotic stress, exploitation of plant wastes in greenhouse and field crops, as well as postharvest sanitation means and fresh produce quality.|
|Antonio Ippolito||UNIBA, Italy||Experience on alternative means of control against postharvest decay of fresh fruit and vegetables, on diagnosis, quantification of phytopathogenic microorganisms, and gene expression by molecular techniques.|
|Mohamed Bechir Allagui||INRAT, Tunisia||Experience on field studies and postharvest evaluation of diseases of table grapes, with isolation and molcular characterization of involved pathogens and mycotoxigenic fungi.|
|Davide Spadaro||UNITO, Italy||Experience spans from plant diseases to sustainable crop protection, including biological control, and from food safety (e.g., mycotoxins, human pathogens on plants) to food security (e.g., postharvest losses), and to plant pathogen diagnostics and plant-pathogen interactions|
|Pervin Kinay Teksur||UE, Turkey||Experience on postharvest diseases of citrus fruit and pomegranate and their management, biological control of postharvest diseases with yeast isolates, and the mass production and bioformulations of these yeast.|
|María Bernardita Pérez-Gago||IVIA, Spain||Experience on technologies to extend the shelf life of fresh fruit and vegetable. Edible coatings and coating composition effects on postharvest quality and shelf life of citrus, stone fruits, and fresh-cut fruits.|
|Mahmut Kilic||ICACHEM, Turkey||ICACHEM Agro İlac San. Tic.Ltd.Sti. aims to improve protection of the postharvest fresh fruit from decay and to develop high quality, world-class systems.|
|Clara Montesinos||DECCO, Spain||Worldwide postharvest company, supplies waxes, edible coatings, alternative antifungal products, disinfectants, equipment to apply treatments, and storage control to packinghouses.|
Innovation planned within the StopMedWaste project includes the use of:
- Use of physical means, natural compounds and biocontrol agents to extend shelf-life of fruit, vegetables and aromatic plants and reduce waste
- Effects of postharvest treatments on foodborne pathogens
- Use of ICT sensors and smart packaging to monitor parameters and fruit quality during storage, transportation and shelf-life, life- cycle assessment of applied strategies together with monitoring of fresh produce quality, safety and decay during shelf-life
- Scaling up manufacture of the products developed during the Project and testing them under semi-commercial conditions
Crops which are going to be studied within the project are typically grown in the Mediterranean area, such as:
- Stone fruit
- Table Grape
This promising project of ours was granted public funding from the PRIMA project in 2020. We will jointly work to better know and understand the postharvest spoilage process to match the crop needs, market needs and sustainable technologies available.