The 9th edition of the European short-course on “Quality and Safety of Fresh-cut Produce” was held in Porto (Portugal), on October 10-12, thanks to the collaboration between the School of Biotechnology of Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP) and the Università di Foggia (Italy). As for the other editions (in Italy, Spain, Germany, UK, and Turkey), the goal of the event was to bring together some of world major experts of the field in order to give to European industry representatives a thorough overview of the scientific progress so far available.
“This edition was strongly participated with experts from all over the world,” said Manuela Pintado, faculty and researcher from UCP and one of the organizers of the course. “The event gave to the Portuguese industry an important chance to meet other experiences and to share innovative ideas,” said Manuela Pintado.
Instructors from six different countries shared their knowledges and their experimental results with professionals, students, researchers that participated in the event. During the event, the participants discussed the following topics: technology and unit operations, packaging design and choice of plastic films, spoilage and human pathogens associated to fresh produce, detailed safety procedures and sanitization of washing water, pre-harvest effects on post-harvest quality, equipment for fresh-cut fruits and salads, handling considerations for a range of different fresh cut produce. In addition, very innovative and topical issues were discussed in relation to vertical farming, shelf-life prediction, use of biomaterials, recover and re-use of wastes, reduction of process water, non-destructive approach to quality evaluation. Between lectures and discussion sessions, there was also space for a strong interaction among the participants.
“It was a very lively edition with participants challenging instructors with interesting questions”, said Prof. Giancarlo Colelli from the University of Foggia, co-coordinator of all editions of the Short Course, so that discussion sessions resulted very stimulating and rich of valuable information”.
The 9th edition of the European short-course on “Quality and Safety of Fresh-cut Produce” gathered participants from Portugal, Italy, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, Israel, and Spain. The course was also supported by nine national and international sponsors, which, as in other editions, contributed to the sustainability of the event allowing to maintain low participation costs which made participation possible also small enterprises and students.