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

The scientific debate on organic cultivation of fruits and vegetables has recently focused on the quality of the derived, processed products. The aspects regarding intrinsic quality indexes, interacting with the agro-ecosystem conditions given by the organic crop management and can be also strongly influenced both by genetic aspects of the different assayed varieties. A special attention has to be devoted to the local varieties, that represent gene pools in plant well adapted to a determined territory, with a strong elevated potential in term of positive quality traits expression. At this point, three main questions arise: 1) are the organic products of high quality in terms of sensory impact before and after processing? The reply to this question will be performed by sensory analysis on the products (apple, plum, tomato and sweet pepper), coupled with advanced biochemical assays, mainly regarding the presence of antioxidants, the monitoring of their potential activity, and the evaluation of the umami and kokumi potential, new tastants derived from protein and nucleic acid catabolism and not yet completely identified in natural plant derived food products. 2) are the organic products safe for the presence of toxic compounds for the human health, both produced by parasitic organisms (mycotoxins) and by the plant itself (allergens)? How do these compounds change during processing? To attempt a reply to this question, the apple system, with juice production as a model, will be examined for the presence of patulin and the strawberry system, with jam production as a model of processed products, will be considered for the presence of allergens. Moreover, the presence of allergen will be monitored in other raw fruits and vegetables making a comparison between conventional and organic products (strawberry, plums, cherry, apple, and tomato), in order to evaluate a possible genotype influence on the expression of this trait. 3) which are the benefits of more modern and "mild" processing technologies versus the conventional, home-made processing techniques, often still in use in SMEs processing organic products?

Acronym FaVOR-DeNonDe (Reference Number: 849)
Duration 30/03/2015 - 30/03/2018
Project Topic 4. Ensuring quality and safety of organic food along the processing chain
Website visit project website
Network CORE Organic Plus
Call Transnational Research in Organic Food and Farming Systems (2014)

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Estonian University of Life Sciences Partner Estonia
2 University of Milan Partner Italy
3 Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura Partner Italy
4 Technische Universität München Partner Germany
5 Aahus University, Department of Food Science Partner Denmark
6 Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura Coordinator Italy
7 Bioforsk Partner Norway