The MEDISMART approach is strongly based on a multi-actor approach. The consortium is established as an interdisciplinary working group with SMEs in Food Business, Research Institutions, Technological Centres and Universities. The MEDISMART partners categorize their consortium member countries into EU countries (Portugal, Spain and Italy) and Non EU countries (Egypt and Turkey) also, can categorize the consortium countries into four geographical regions surrounding the Mediterranean, Northern Mediterranean (Italy), Western Mediterranean (Spain and Portugal), Easter Mediterranean (Turkey) and South Mediterranean (Egypt). The four regions involved in the MEDISMART project, in spite of their structural differences, are all characterized by a huge citrus production with a huge citrus waste, which can be addressed through the MEDISMART project. MEDISMART consortium brings together members from different cultures and backgrounds, these different backgrounds and areas of expertise in the fields of sustainability and socio-economic developments and technology transfer allow for synergic cooperation.
National Research Centre (NRC)
Coordinate and manage the work packages and tasks of the project with highly professional behavior; NRC has enough possibilities to lead the consortium and achieve fruitful results. The valuable bioactive ingredients extracted from Egyptian citrus fruits will be applied in novel formulated functional beverages and subjected to sensory and volatile evaluation as well as safety and microbial ones. All developed products will be subjected to analytical quality tests for the determination of residual, compositional activity and consumer acceptability. New technologies and valorization of food wastes need more specialization and knowledge due to a complex composition of these wastes, different extraction techniques and sectors of application. The extraction of polysaccharides and preparation of hydrogel and its use in number of agriculture fields and pots experiments will be carried out in the NRC experimental agricultural station. Mobility, workshops and training actions will be designed to improve the skills of workers/technicians providing them with requested knowledge and competences in the area of postharvest, technologies and valorization allowing the products a higher shelf life and fewer wastes for a circular economy.
Stazione Sperimentale per l’Industria delle Conserve Alimentari (SSICA)
has developed a method for the extraction of the functional biomolecules from the processing waste conducted exclusively by the use of eco-compatible solvents, as well as in an economically sustainable way. The functional biomolecules extracted will be micro-encapsulated in alginate, in pectic substances or in maltodextrins to increase their bioavailability. Thanks to the pilot plants present at the SSICA technology laboratories citrus mild processing conditions will be implemented. SSICA will be also in charge for all sensory and consumer test. Study of the citrus product market to respond the consumer needs and expectations and to investigate new market segments identifying attributes that "drive" the consumer choice and with view to product development; new product development by means of an early phase market analysis (conjoint analysis) approach particularly useful on measuring specific value that consumers place on features of new product, the perceptible shelf life of new products by means of survival analysis which studies the function, The period during the product maintain its qualitative unchanged characteristics are defined as “Duration of High Quality” (DHQ). Statistical survival analysis-based models exist by which it is possible to calculate the PSF that is a function of storage time.
-the market response to the introduction of new segment of improved products related to the substitution of E- additives with microencapsulated natural citrus extracts;
-the optimization through consumer and sensory tests, of the most suitable citrus varieties for industrial processing using HPP and US. Pilot-scale tests will be carried out at different process conditions (P, T, ν), protective atmosphere, packing materials and the products obtained will be subjected to sensory and consumer evaluation as well as nutritional, microbiological, chemical and physical tests.
AMC Innova Juice and Drinks (AMC)
has positively tested innovative processes for treating wastes coming from the citrus juice and essential oil industries, particularly lemon and orange discarded parts from which a natural gelling ingredient is used in food industry. This method also works using other citrus fruit scraps, even with the rejected stuff from fresh citrus fruits packing or the citrus discarded rinds. The proposed process is based on physical operations only since no solvents or chemical agents are needed. This optimizes the production of a valuable citrus puree, with minimum water consumption and high-performance rate, recovering hesperidin, essential oils, pectins etc. If the effectiveness of this process and its commercial and economic feasibility were proved, worldwide citrus wastes would be decisively reduced. AMC has also proven experience in thermal and non-thermal processing technologies as well as in containers. AMC has subcontracted some of their activities in the MEDISMART project with the National Technological Centre for the Food and Canning Industry CTNC, Spain.