The overall objective of the project is to increase the efficiency, sustainability and competitiveness of the post-farming processing chain of organic citrus fruit, by intervening in points of weakness and the unresolved problems of this supply chain.
Consistently with the scope, specific objectives include:
i) Reduction of losses caused by post-harvest rots during storage and transportation, by treating the fruits with non-toxic, eco-friendly substances and bio-products
ii) raising of the quality standards of fresh fruits and juice by using molecular diagnostics for the detection of pathogenic quarantine fungi and mycotoxins and excluding fruits that do not comply with EU and EPPO phytopathological and toxicological standards;
iii) extension of the shelf-life of fresh fruit using biodegradable active biocoating and smart packaging;
iv) application of smart technologies (ICT-based technologies and machine learning techniques) to reduce shipping times and optimize the delivery of fruits to the targeted markets (20% increase in shipment efficiency and exclusion of complaints or cuts by GDO;
v) minimizing the waste of the industrial fruit transformation by recycling and exploiting the most of citrus pulp, the major by-product of juice and essence industry, by utilizing it as a raw material to produce a biodegradable and natural biocoating of fruit packaging, in accordance with the principles of circular economy and the standards of organic food