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EUREKA/Eurostars: agriculture company that provides post-harvest services or post-harvest treatments

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International Ref.





A Spanish SME working in the agro sector wants to extend the applications of its newly developed whey based sanitizing formula to other fruits and vegetables. Previous results in tomato, lettuce and spinach have been very positive. This natural formula prevents the use of chlorine-based solutions that have restriction by EU regulations. The plan is to apply to the Eurostars call in 2018 (next call March 2018).


The disinfectant product industry must face new and more restricted European regulation and the necessity of more healthy and sustainable sanitizers for washing of whole and fresh-cut F&V.

Chlorine-based chemicals are the most widely used disinfectants in fresh-cut industry. These sanitizers pose health and environmental risks. They can react with organic matter in water and form trihalomethanes as by-products, which are carcinogenic compounds. Besides Chlorine is included in the indicative list of the Directive on industrial emissions as a major water pollutant. The application of chorine in ready-to-use F&V is already banned in some European countries, including The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium because of their potential toxicity.

On the other hand, whey is the liquid fraction that is obtained during the production of cheese. The content raised in lactose is the main reason why whey is considered to be a highly polluting product. For each kilogram of cheese, about 9 kilograms of whey are generated. Current whey processing systems are not economically viable for most SME. There is a need to reduce reuse the amount of waste coming in the production of cheese.

A Spanish company working on the agro sector is developing a product that face the both problems. The product developed aims to exploit the results of previous efforts carried out in research and development of a whey-based solution for the sanitizing of whole and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables (F&V). The formula is based on whey from the cheese industry and has been developed in previous R&D projects.

At this point, the company wants to present project proposal to the EUREKA/Eurostars call in 2018. The project aims to the optimization of the production and replication activities. The company is looking for a partners working in the post-harvest treatment of fruits and vegetables.

The call deadline is March 2018. EOI deadline is first of January 2018.

Innovative Aspects and Main offer advantages

The proposed project will used a waste product, and use it as disinfectant for Fruits and vegetables with an environmental friendly product in accordance with the EU regulations.

Development phase

Available for demonstration

Development phase comments

The formula has been optimized for certain applications and its production is currently at pilot plant scale. The product is available for demonstration, and the project proposal is under development.

Type of partner sought

They are looking for a company that offers services of post-harvest treatment in fruits and vegetables to producers. Preferably it works with endive, mushroom, potato, pear and apple.

Specific area of activity of the partner

The company is looking for an agriculture company that provides post-harvest services to agriculture producers or a producer/association that carries out the post-harvest treatment themselves.

The role will be to apply the formula developed by means of drenching technology or alike.

Task to be performed

SME 11-50,SME <10,251-500,SME 51-250,>500

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