Ainia is working on the development of a mobile container, within the framework of the European FOX project, so that local farmers can select, process, and pack fresh fruits and vegetables using more sustainable packaging systems.
The container has the necessary equipment so that producers can gently process (wash, cut, package) fruits and vegetables close to the farm. It can be used by different farmers within the same region who can use it to process different types of fruits and vegetables. The prototype of the mobile unit is aimed at the processing and packaging of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.
Different eco-design strategies are being considered for the design of the containers, such as using recycled materials, the recyclability of the containers, and the development of reusable secondary packaging.
According to Leonor Pascual, from Ainia's packaging technologies department, “producers can guarantee the shelf life and superior physical and nutritional quality of their fruits and vegetables by analyzing their quality, selecting them, and packaging them properly, thus contributing to a healthier diet.” These food transformation containers incorporate innovative gentle processing technologies such as pulsed electric fields (PEF) and ultrasound, among others.
The project brings innovative gentle processing technologies for fruits and vegetables to small agricultural producers so that they can develop products with greater added value or take advantage of by-products such as juices or snacks. Ainia is designing four types of containers based on different technologies and oriented to different typical products of each region.
The FOX project is part of the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission, which has a total of 25 partners including universities, research centers, SMEs, industries, and associations from nine European countries.