Workpackage number 4: Efects on fruit safety Start date or start event: 0
Activity Type: RTD/Innovation
Participant ID

CSIC

UPCT

UTH

UNIFG 

LRA

SAPIAMA

Person-month per participant

18 

12 

12

24

12

12


Objectives

  1. Knowledge of the natural microflora and the possibility of pathogen growth in fruits picked from trees subjected to different RDI scheduling and water irrigation quality coming from different water sources.
  2. Evaluation of the post-harvest shelf-life and the susceptibility to fungal development of fruits picked from trees subjected to different RDI scheduling and water irrigation quality coming from different water sources.
  3. Determination of nitrates and nitrites content in fruit picked from trees submitted to different RDI scheduling and water irrigation sources.

Description of work

The main objective of WP4 is to determine the effects of different RDI scheduling and quality of the irrigation water on crop safety. This workpackage is composed of the following tasks:

(Task 4.1) Determination of the microbials on fruits picked from trees exposed to different irrigation scheduling and water irrigation sources (months: 1-36).

The goal of the first task is to characterize and quantify the relations between the microbial loads on fruits and the irrigation methods, at different stages of the harvest season. To determine the microbial quality of the fruits, standard enumeration methods will be used. The teams in charge of this task will use a rapid detection method to evaluate the presence of some pathogenic micro-organisms. The interest will be mainly focused on faecal contamination, such as E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella, on fruits obtained from orchards irrigated with low quality water.

(Task 4.2) Evaluation of the different susceptibility to fungal development during post harvest storage of fruits picked from crops irrigated with different RDI and water sources (months: 1-36).

In the second task, the susceptibility of fungal development during post harvest storage of fruits picked from crops irrigated with different RDI and water sources will be evaluated. This study will mainly deal with the control of Penicillium expansum, Botrytis cinerea and Monilinia fructicola growth during post harvest storage of fruits. The fruit susceptibility to post harvest diseases caused by fungal development, such as Penicillium expansum, Botrytis cinerea and Monilinia fructicola, will be evaluated in shelf-life experiments under different storage conditions.

(Task 4.3) Determination of the nitrite and nitrate content in fruits picked from trees subjected to different RDI and water sources (months: 1-36).

In the third task, the nitrite and nitrate content in harvested fruits, which may depend on the quality of irrigation water, will be determined in order to check if the nitrates and nitrites content match the maximum limit established by the EU standard (2000 mg Kg-1).

 In each regional site, one research group will characterise and evaluate the abovementioned fruit safety parameters for each species, under different RDI practices and water quality. The analytic determinations will be carried out by CSIC (olive, citrus, peach) and UPCT (almond) in Spain, UTH (peach, olive) in Greece, SAPIAMA (citrus) in Morocco, and LRA (citrus, peach) in Lebanon. Some parameters, requiring specific and complex techniques, will be determined at the Food Technology Department of CEBAS (peach, citrus) and at the University of Foggia- UNIFG(almond, olive).

 The results obtained in WP4 (“Effects of different orchard water management on fruit safety”, included in periodic reports at month 12, 24 and 36 respectively) will be essential for determining and selecting the optimal production practices in each region. The results will also serve to evaluate and elaborate the best irrigation management practices for each region. The results obtained in WP4 will be compiled in the orchards database (See WP1), which will be used to perform a meta-analysis in order to test fruit safety under different scenarios.


Deliverables:

D8, D20: Identification of different irrigation practices effects on crop safety (First year). First Report “Effects oforchard irrigation management on fruit safety” (month 12)

D26, D40: Identification of different irrigation practices effects on crop safety (Second year). Second Report “Effects of orchard irrigation management on fruit safety” (month 24)

D48, D62: Identification of different irrigation practices effects on crop safety (Third year). Third Report “Effects of orchard irrigation management on fruit safety”. Synthesis of the results of WP4 (month 36).


Milestones and expected result:

Milestones: M4.1 Months 12, 24 and 36: The reports obtained in WP4 will be essential for selecting good agricultural practices and control crop points (CCP) in the WP10, related with the food safety issues.

Results: The report on the post-harvest shelf-life of the fruit subject to different RDI and irrigation with different water sources should give an estimation of the storage life of fruit and important information about the best RDI schedule based on the post-harvest quality. The evaluation of the nitrate and nitrite content of the fruit will determine if the established limit is overcome when different irrigation procedures are applied. The results obtained in WP4 will be compiled in a database. The latter will be used to perfom a meta-analysis in order to test the fruit safety response under different scenarios.