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Citrosol and KRONEN to develop Citrocide® system for the Fresh Cut & Minimally Processed Sector

The aqUAFRESH Project, financed by Eurostars – a joint program between EUREKA and the European Commission and co-financed by the Member States of the Union through Horizon 2020, is coming allow well.

Citrosol are responsible for imparting our experience with Citrocide® systems (Citrocide® PC P for peppers, Citrocide® PLUS T for tomato, Citrocide® Palta for avocado and Citrocide® online for citrus fruit) to the burgeoning minimally processed food industry. Experience derived from radically improving food safety in processed fruit and vegetables, through the drastic reduction in microbiological contamination achieved by employing Citrocide® systems in the washing water and in the washing machine itself, turning that machine into a Critical Control Point (CCP).

Food safety is the greatest hurdle for European processors of Fresh Cut and Minimally processed produce, as corroborated by Raúl Domínguez and Martín Mottura, the Citrosol team members who travelled to Germany a few days back to help advance the project in the hands of the KRONEN experts, headed by Eric Lefebvre, Managing and Technical Director.

They spent some days undertaking collaborative work in which tests and technical improvements were carried out, including the set-up and fine tuning of the Citrocide® system in the KRONEN washers in preparation for the industrial pilot tests that will be run in June this year. Correct operation was validated by washing produce such as cut lettuce, baby leaf and endive. Meetings were held with various processors at the KRONEN facilities and site visits to processing plants were also made to learn, first-hand, about their principal on-site requirements, food safety being the highest need amongst operators across the continent.

Higher food safety

To these ends, the added value of Citrocide® systems is palpable in response to the real and growing interest of Fresh Cut and Minimal Processing factories to search for alternatives to chlorine as it generates disinfection by-products (DBPs) that can be harmful to humans. Citrocide® offers a harmless alternative to disinfect produce and the associated washing machine, eliminating the risks of cross contamination and guaranteeing food safety without generating the dreaded trihalomethanes, chlorates or chlorites (DBPs).

Objectives

The purpose of the aqUAFRESH project is to develop a new technologically viable and economically competitive system for washing and disinfecting minimally processed fruit and vegetables based on the integration of three components:

One, the disinfecting agent, formulated Citrocide®; Two, the specifications of the same for its industrial application in the washing and disinfection process (dose, ranges, consumption, contact time, DBPs, etc.) controlled via the Citrocide® System developed by Citrosol to automate the complete management of the water sanitation process as well as data recording.

And finally, three, the washing line with a prototype that will be the start of a new generation of more efficient and sustainable washers for the Fresh Cut industry. More efficient from the point of view of product use and food hygiene; and more sustainable in terms of recirculation and reduced water consumption, improving the environmental impact and the water footprint of the industry.

Our objective is to design the “perfect” washing machine.

Objectives

The purpose of the aqUAFRESH project is to develop a new technologically viable and economically competitive system for washing and disinfecting minimally processed fruit and vegetables based on the integration of three components:

One, the disinfecting agent, formulated Citrocide®; Two, the specifications of the same for its industrial application in the washing and disinfection process (dose, ranges, consumption, contact time, DBPs, etc.) controlled via the Citrocide® System developed by Citrosol to automate the complete management of the water sanitation process as well as data recording.

And finally, three, the washing line with a prototype that will be the start of a new generation of more efficient and sustainable washers for the Fresh Cut industry. More efficient from the point of view of product use and food hygiene; and more sustainable in terms of recirculation and reduced water consumption, improving the environmental impact and the water footprint of the industry.

Citrosol management visited Germany recently to tailor the Citrocide® system to the new Fresh Cut washing machine developed by KRONEN, Citrosol’s partner in the international aqUAFRESH consortium, together with the National Center for Food Safety and Technology, CNTA from Navarra, Spain. Our objective is to design the “perfect” washing machine for the minimally processed fruit and vegetable sector in terms of food safety and post-harvest shelf life.


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