WASTE REDUCTION AND QUALITY IMPROVEMENT OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES VIA AN INNOVATIVE AND ENERGY-EFFICIENT HUMIDIFICATION & DISINFECTION TECHNOLOGY
Millions of tons of vegetables and fruits are harvested and then distributed throughout Europe every year. However, fruits and vegetables can be regarded as highly perishable foods. Indeed, they are especially susceptible to changing climatic conditions (temperature, humidity) after harvest. The long distribution pathways in combination with insufficient technologies for appropriate transport and storage lead to a high amount of food wasted as well as to products with inferior quality arriving at the consumer.
Close to 50% of all fruits and vegetables get wasted in the EU, about a third of which can be attributed to the step between harvest and consumption. Food waste is currently a priority topic in the EU with a reduction target of 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.
FRESH-DEMO proposed innovative humidification technology to substantially contribute to this goal while improving the shelf life and hygiene of fruits and vegetables. Thanks to ultrasonic humidification, the optimal temperature and humidity conditions are established with which the quality and freshness of fruits and vegetables are preserved throughout the entire supply chain, increasing shelf life and maintaining better properties for longer. sensory of fruits and vegetables.
Thanks to full-scale case studies along the entire supply chain that were carried out during the project, together with an exhaustive analysis of the results obtained in terms of ecological, technological and economic benefits, the market potential of FRESH-DEMO technology.