Scientific coordinator:

Key People:

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IT)
Università di Foggia – Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Alimenti, Risorse Naturali e Ingegneria (IT)

Type: PRIN 2017

End date: 2023

Start date: 2019

Duration: 42

Overall budget: € 523.652

Funding: € 423.652

CNR cost: € 264.400

CNR funding: € 218.400

STIIMA budget: € 57.142,86

STIIMA funding: € 47.428,57

Sustaining low-impact practices in horticulture through non-destructive approach to provide more information on fresh produce history & quality

The aim of the project is to increase the amount of sustainably-produced fresh produce by testing and implementing low-input agricultural practices (LIP) with positive impact on product quality with the support of non-destructive (ND) tools for real-time quality assessment and product discrimination, which may inspire new marketing strategies to better support the added value of the products and increase incomes of potential users.

The objectives are: (i) to increase the efficiency of water and fertilizers in soilless (with open and closed-cycles with recirculation of nutrients) and soil cultivation in unheated greenhouses in order to reduce the impact on the environment and on the society, (ii) to assess the quality of products with conventional and innovative non-destructive approaches, providing innovative tools for discrimination of those obtained by LIP, and for quality prediction of products while in their package, and (iii) to test the hypothesis of the influence of quality certification of LIP practices resulting from ND methods on consumer choices and their willingness to pay, in order to produce adequate and realistic marketing strategies.

New tools to provide information on produce quality and history, with particular focus on discriminating produce obtained with LIP on the basis of spectral information, will be investigated. Non-destructive methods, including NIR, hyperspectral imaging and digital imaging will be studied for food authentication, for assessing maturity index, sensorial and nutritional quality also trough the packaging.