The 1st May 2019 began SHEALTHY, an new Horizon 2020 under the Grant Agreement 817936.
The SHEALTHY project aims to assess and develop an optimal combination of non-thermal sanitization, preservation and stabilization methods to improve the safety (inactivation of pathogens and spoilage microorganisms), while preserving the nutritional and organoleptic quality and prolonging the shelf-life of fresh and minimally processed F&V products.
By combining and modulating non-thermal technologies with minimally processing operation, we have been responding to consumers’ demand for fresh, healthy, convenient, sustainable and locally produced and additive-free food which is safe and nutritious. The combined and optimised mild technologies have been demonstrating and validating in the following specific applications:
- Business case 1: Minimally processed fruit and vegetables;
- Business case 2: Fruit and vegetable-based juices & smoothies.
The project is significantly advance the knowledge towards minimal processing technologies, demonstrating in an industry-relevant environment (11 pilot trials) combining 10 different mild technologies: 1) Ultrasounds (US), 2) Electrolysed water (EW), 3) Plasma activated water (PAW), 4) Light technologies (High Intensity Pulsed Light (HIPL) and Blue Light (BL), 5) Bioactive Coating (AC), 6) Active Packaging (AP), 7) Intelligent Packaging (IP), 8) High Pressure Processing (HPP), 9) Pulsed Electric Fields (PEF) and 10) Membrane Filtration (MF).
In SHEALTHY, sustainable and flexible processing methods have been transferring and adapting to the need of local F&V micro and SMEs, interconnecting primary producers through novel cooperative business models and new logistics systems, to enhance the traceability and authenticity of raw materials along the F&V value chain.
Innovative SME-led collaborative business models have been designing and implementing in pilot trials SMEs resulting in new local/regional food system where farmers, food processing micro & SME, logistics and consumers are engaged and interconnected.
Commercial feasibility has been assessing, including consumer acceptance and legal, regulatory, safety and environmental aspects. The success of SHEALTHY is resulting in validated consumer-accepted non-thermal technologies combined to enhance food safety and nutritional quality, prevent foodborne illness outbreaks and reduce food waste caused by early spoilage. The SHEALTHY pioneering system is having high replicability potential, reproducible beyond the project boundaries, improving the competitiveness of micro & SMEs in the European agri-food sector as a whole.
For more information on SHEALTHY check out the project’s website here.