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This project (DiTec) will respond to a requirement identified by the industry to coordinate and reinforce European research in sustainable cleaning and disinfection technologies of fresh produce. DiTec will result in a series of key innovations on disinfection technologies, which will address the impact of these new technologies on safety and shelf-life improvement of bean sprouts and fresh-(cut) lettuces. The overall objective of this project is to develop the new environmental friendly disinfection technologies of assisted ultrasound and the in-package cold atmospheric plasma for the fresh produce industry. The proposed disinfection technologies will be assessed for their potential to reduce pathogens (i.e., E. coli O157:H7, E. coli O104:H4, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp), retain quality properties and increase the shelf life of fresh produce. The effectiveness of these technologies will be optimised based on sound mathematical modelling approaches. Potential future commercialisation of products processed by novel technologies requires a toxicological risk assessment which will be implemented using non-carcinogenic functional cell models.

The applied disinfection technologies are expected to stand as replacements for chlorine therefore the outputs of this project will be communicated to SMEs and scaling-up approaches for industrial applications will be discussed during dissemination activities. This project will undertake an active role in coordinating the demonstration of the research findings which will contribute to set-up necessary infrastructure for application of disinfection technologies on an industrial scale. This will be achieved through collaboration with the Maltese and European SMEs.

Last Updated: 23 September 2015

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