In order to optimize the post-harvest and distribution chain for fresh fruits and reduce losses and associated costs, the TICS4FRUITS operating group will launch a pilot project to test the performance of a freshness indicator and sensors measuring different environmental and logistics variables. The project will be implemented by the companies Baró e Hijos, based in Lleida, and Frutaria, based in Zaragoza, both devoted to the production and marketing of fruit.
Specifically, this project, coordinated by the Technological Institute of Packaging, Transport and Logistics (ITENE), will test a colorimetric indicator linked to an app intended for the detection of metabolites generated by the products. This will provide information on whether the ventilation during transport and storage conditions have been adequate or if, on the contrary, they haven't been and the fruit's ripening has been accelerated by it.
Two other devices will also be tested. One of them measures the temperature, humidity and ethylene concentration in real time, as well as the location of the products during transport and storage, while the second records any vibrations and shocks to which the loads may have been subjected. All these variables will be registered in a platform so that measures can be taken to reduce product losses and improve its quality.
In addition to this, new transport operations intended to reduce operating costs and product losses, as well as new warehouse management models, will also be tested.
The TICS4FRUIT project (2019-2021), funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), is being promoted by an operational group that includes the Technological Institute of Packaging, Transport and Logistics (ITENE), the Aula Dei Foundation Technological Science Park, the University of Zaragoza, the company GEEZAR, the Spanish Federation of Fruit and Vegetable Exporting Producers Associations (FEPEX) and Mercasa.