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Active packaging for extended shelf life of peeled and cut fruit (EASYFRUIT)
Start date: Jan 1, 2013, End date: Dec 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Even though the variety of fruits in the supermarket is increasing, their consumption is decreasing daily in Europe. Low fruit intake is responsible for many diseases, obesity among others, and 2.7 million (4.9%) deaths worldwide (85% from cardiovascular diseases, 15% from cancers). Statistics indicate that recommended daily fruit consumption is not meet; it is especially critical for children (57% affected) and elderly people. Lack of convenience is the major factor influencing this reduced purchase; difficulties and time consumed in peeling and cutting fruits, such as oranges and pineapples, are not welcome in today’s life style. Fresh-cut fruits have the convenience that consumers need, as shown by their world market size growth (22% from 2006) and foreseen increase of 4% per year. However, their too short shelf life makes immediate consumption mandatory, limiting their market and exportation. This situation along with the strong threat from other non-European fruit markets, such as China, Morocco and Egypt, creates a need for innovation in EU SMEs. The technological and innovative solution proposed here will fully meets end user requirements, strengthen the competitiveness of SMEs participants and protect the EU fruit market from lower cost competitors. The main objective of EASYFRUIT project is to extend 5 days the shelf life of fresh-cut orange and pineapple by means of the combination of a new active packaging and an optimized minimal processing. Expected results are:Social and political: Increasing the consumption of fresh fruits among the population.Health: Decreasing cardiovascular diseases and obesity.Commercial: fresh fruit lost reduction and capitalization of new export markets.Environmental: waste reduction.The EASYFRUIT consortium is made up of 4 European SMEs: 2 fresh-cut fruit companies from very different areas of Europe and 2 packaging companies. The main objective is to come up with a solution that provides a market opportunity for everyone

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