Fruit and vegetable companies are interested in the mobile fruit and vegetable processing unit

AINIA has presented a mobile unit that allows farmers to process IV range fruits and vegetables on the field where they're grown and obtain ready-to-eat products with greater added value.

The mobile unit selects, processes, and packages fresh fruits and vegetables using more sustainable packaging systems. To do this, it uses innovative soft processing technologies (washing, cutting, packaging) for different types of vegetables. In addition, thanks to its mobility, it can be used by different farmers within the same region.

This mobile unit has been developed within the framework of the European FOX project (Food processing in a box) that brings innovative technologies to small agricultural producers so that they can develop products of greater added value, such as smoothies, from the fruits and vegetables they grow. This project is part of the European Commission's Horizon 2020 program, which has a total of 25 partners from nine countries.

The demonstration day has served to showcase these innovative and sustainable technologies to fruit and vegetable companies interested in processing IV range fruits and vegetables. The demonstration was attended by Terra i Xufa, Agrícola Villena, Biotecnología Agrícola Fruitec, Agrícola La Veguilla, Florette, and Cebollas Javaloyes, among others.

There were five presentations that day. The head of projects in quality and conservation of products of AINIA, M.ª Paz Villalba, spoke about how IV range processing increased the added value of fruits and vegetables. Laura Verdu, project manager of AINIA's Microbiology, Quality, and Food Safety Laboratory, explained the role of microbiology in minimally processed fruits and vegetables. Then, the head of projects in Packaging Technologies of AINIA, Leonor Pascual, spoke about the European FOX project.

Following these presentations, there was a demonstration of the mobile fruit and vegetable processing unit at work. Next, Ms. Carmen Chinillach, of the Food Risk Management Service of the General Directorate of Public Health of the Ministry of Health of the Generalitat Valenciana, spoke in detail about some good work practices in mobile processing units. Finally, Enric Navarro, manager of Terra i Xufa, spoke about how to make the fruit and vegetable sector profitable through innovation.

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