University of California

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A Quafety approach to quality monitoring and prediction for fresh-cut produce

Giancarlo Colelli(Department of Science of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Foggia , Italy )

Quafety is a neologism which entails to a global approach in considering quality and safety of a food product as a composite strategy leading to a sole, all-inclusive objective, consisting of full satisfaction of consumer in terms of sensorial and nutritional expectations, with no harmful effect associated with the consumption. QUAFETY is the short name for a collaborative 3-year R&D project co-funded by the European Commission (Comprehensive Approach to Enhance Quality & Safety of Ready-to-eat Fresh Products), aimed to improve safety and quality of ready-to-eat fresh produce throughout the whole chain, and participated by 14 partners among public research Institutions and small and medium enterprises, from 7 Countries (including Italy, UK, Portugal, Poland, Netherlands, Greece, and Israel), assorted in terms of scientific and technological expertise. Objectives of the project were reached by developing diagnostic kits to predict quality and safety of raw material and final product, process control aids based on non-destructive and rapid evaluation methods, decision support tools in very critical points of processing chain, and by investigating innovative processes. Monitoring and prediction is part of the “quafety approach” both in terms of early detection and of estimation of fate for main quality attributes. Among others, results will be described on using antibody arrays for the identification of molecular markers to predict quality and microbial contaminants, on non-destructively monitoring quality through SPME volatile organic compounds collection and analysis, and on predicting nutritional quality based on external attributes degradation kinetics. Project QUAFETY has officially ended on March 31, 2015.

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