Drying, Juices and Jams of Organic Fruit and Vegetables: what happens to Desired and Non- Desired compounds 

Supported by ERA-Net Core Organic Plus. http://coreorganicplus.org/research-projects/favor-denonde/
Project leader: Ulvi Moor, PhD.

 Akronym: FaVOR-DeNonDE


Project summary The cultivation of organic fruits and vegetables has recently stood out the aspect related to the quality of the products deriving from the processing chain. A special attention has to be devoted to the local varieties that represent gene pools in plant well adapted to a determined territory, and to simple and small processing plants. Both aspects are characterized by a strong potential in term of positive quality traits expression, especially in organic production. The Project will involve 7 Partners from 5 countries, Italy (Coordinator), Denmark, Germany, Norway and Estonia. The questions that the proposal attempt to resolve regard the presence of positive compounds (desired) and negative ones (non-desired) in the products that are subjected to processing in chains that are small and, consequently, adapted for local productions. The main question arisen from the FaVOR-DeNonDe proposal regards the benefits of more modern and "mild" processing technologies versus the traditional home-made processing techniques, often still in use in processing of organic products from local and small enterprises. The selected products for the evaluations of the organic crops are fruits (apple, plum, cherry and strawberry) and vegetables (tomato and sweet pepper) largely consumed and often processed. The selected processing techniques are: i) the drying (tomato, sweet pepper, plums and strawberry), made by conventional oven and a special solar small plant, ii) the production of jams (strawberry) and iii) the production of juice (apple), the latters being obtained with plants for small productions. The organization of the call has been structured into four WPs: WP1 is dedicated to the analysis of sensory traits and how these traits could be related to the chemical composition of the products in terms of presence and activity of antioxidant and new tastants, such as “umami” and “kokumi” compounds in differently dried vegetable products; WP2 is dedicated to the study of allergen presence in strawberry, both raw and processed, in raw and dried plums, in raw tomatoes and sweet pepper and in apple juice; WP3 activity regards the impact of genotype (local and commercial cultivars), postharvest handling and processing techniques on the quality of apple juice, especially in terms of presence of health-beneficial phytochemicals and of mycotoxins, pointing out the attention on the presence of single phenols and patulin; WP4 is dedicated to the dissemination activities, and how the scientific knowledge can be transferred from the experimental fields or the research laboratories to the farmers, the stakeholders, and, finally, also to the common people..