"Development of a new sustainable, long term solut.. (RE-PEAR)
"Development of a new sustainable, long term solution, complying with IPM standards and the future EU Directive of sustainable use of pesticides, for the pear postharvest sector"
Start date: Jul 1, 2014,
End date: Jun 30, 2017
"Pears rank third among the most important tree fruits grown in the world and fourth among all fruits for which statistics are available. Pears are a highly perishable, seasonal product, they need to be picked up before maturation and should undergo through a postharvest treatment to be commercialised in optimal conditions along the year. During this process pear production can be significantly reduced due to decay, bacterial or fungi diseases. In developed countries, it is estimated that up to 25% of fruit production (516 Million tonnes in the case of pears) can be lost during the postharvest treatments. In order to fight this decay, postharvest sector has in the past counted with fitosanitary remedies like ethoxyquin and thiabendazole. However, public concerns about food safety, and conservation of the environment, have triggered a change in EU legislation leading to the proposal of a new Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides due to be implemented by 2014 (Directive 2009/128/EC). Thus, the pear postharvest sector is in urgent need of new sustainable and natural antioxidants, bactericides and fungicides as many of the most popular chemical treatments are about to be banned. RE-PEAR is anIntegrated Pest Management approach aiming to provide new, chemicals free, solutions for pear conservation by 1) developing and redaction of standardised Postharvest Management and Control Practices Guidelines unifying criteria to avoid possible unevenness within EU domestic market 2) by producing a natural compound formula to act as an edible, degradable coating with natural antioxidant/ preservative and antibiotic properties in direct contact with pears and 3) by designing a novel industrial filter with optimised performance able to minimise the presence of fungi spores and bacteria within the pear pallets"
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