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Portuguese scientists establish an ‘EXPERT SYSTEM’ for a faster prediction of fruit depreciationThis week, the QUAFETY scientists from Universidade Catolica Portuguesa of Porto have concluded the work of establishment of an ‘Expert System’ that will allow a faster prediction of fruit depreciation (deliverable n. 2.10).
The objectives of the work are the integration of all the nutritional data acquired during Project QUAFETY and the establishment of an “Expert System” that will allow a faster prediction of processed fruit and vegetable depreciation. The specific objective of the developed “Expert System” program is to gather, transfer and give worldwide access to the knowledge obtained throughout Project QUAFETY, and provide the industry with useful information for developing processes aimed at the modulation of nutritional quality and shelf-life extension.
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An Expert system (ES) is an intelligent computer program that contains expert knowledge about a particular problem domain. The ES developed by Portuguese scientists allows a faster prediction of processed fruit and vegetable depreciation by the industry planning level. It was selected carefully to ensure that the benefits of such development efforts are greater than the costs of producing and maintaining such systems and is easily updated with coming results from QUAFETY partners and literature surveys.
The ES developed consists in a simple way to make our QUAFETY knowledge available to the world and allows the dissemination of conclusions and recommendations that derived from all the work developed throughout the project. The software was developed using Microsoft C# (.NET Framework 4.5) and the application allows the selection of sets of combinations that result in the presentation of PDF documents with Project QUAFETY results, conclusions and recommendations to the industry.
The requirements for correct use of the application are Windows.NET framework 4.5 and PDF Reading software program's. The software program developed for this deliverable is available at project QUAFETY website (http://www.quafety.eu/index.asp?partner=1&news=171) and will be continuously updated with knowledge gathering.
Scientists conclude that the knowledge based ES have been used in different fields of life like medicine, process controlling etc. Similarly, these systems are also being used in the agricultural field in which different tasks from harvesting to consumption can be included. The ES developed assists people in making management decisions. It gathers knowledge on nutritional quality of processed rocket leaves, melons and strawberries as affected by processing (production process; cutting degree) and storage conditions (package type, modified atmosphere and storage temperature) and allows assistance with business decision on how to apply the technologies in their production lines and storage conditions, in order to apply the knowledge resultant from QUAFETY project and maximize the value of the final products considering nutritional quality.
Main recommendations resulting from the development of QUAFETY work and the establishment of this ES are that processing steps, during the production process, do not, in general, affect nutritional composition of processed rocket leaves, melon and strawberries; also attention must be given when selecting the cutting size, package type, modified atmosphere and storage temperature for each product, once the different injury degrees and storage conditions differently affect the nutritional quality of processed products throughout storage.
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