Non-Thermal physical technologies to preserve fresh and minimally processed fruit and vegetables

SHEALTHY aims to assess and develop an optimal combination of non-thermal sanitization, preservation and stabilization methods to improve the safety (inactivation of pathogens and spoilage microorganisms), while preserving the nutritional quality (up to 30%) and prolonging the shelf-life (up to 50%) of minimally processed F&V products. By combining and modulating non-thermal technologies with minimally processing operation, we will respond to consumers’ demand for fresh, healthy, convenient, sustainable and locally produced and additive-free food.

The combined and optimised mild technologies will be demonstrated and validated in 2 business cases:

  • Minimally processed fruits and vegetables: Sanitization during washing will be optimized by applying in combination ultrasound (US), electrolysed water, plasma activated water, High Intensity Pulsed Light and Blue Light. Bioactive coating, active and intelligent packaging will be applied for quality preservation and shelf life extension of minimally processed F&V.
  • F&V-based juices & smoothies: Stabilization by US and high pressure processing. For F&V by-product valorisation, US, pulsed electric field and membrane filtration will be used to extract bioactive compounds.

Sustainable and flexible processing methods will be transferred and adapted to the need of local F&V micro and SMEs, interconnecting primary producers through novel cooperative business models and new logistics systems, to enhance the traceability and authenticity of raw materials along the F&V value chain.
Commercial feasibility will be assessed, including consumer acceptance and regulatory, safety and environmental aspects.
SHEALTHY will combine the technology trends and consumer needs to afford the business models, technology transfer and market orientation that will facilitate the transition towards a new collaborative agrifood ecosystem for traditional, local and rural SMEs around EU.

ACTIVITIES of Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant

  • Scale-up of the extraction of bioactive compounds from co-products and post-harvest rejects. Optimisation and validation of the extraction process in an industry relevant environment.
  • Host the partners’ pilot equipment to perform pilot scale trials, including state-of-the-art technologies as UAE (Ultrasound Assisted Extraction), PEF (Pulsed Electric Fields) and membrane filtrations.
  • The PEF and UAE technologies will be complemented with an upstream biomass preparation process and a downstream purification process. Screening of up and downstream unit operations at bench and pilot scale to establish most favourable process scheme.
  • The developed processes will be assessed by QA/HACCP-team of BBEPP to validate the fit for food grade production.
  • Enough product will be produced during the pilot scale runs to enable application testing and market entry testing.
  • Collect data (mass balances, use of utilities and chemicals, throughput) to enable first calculations of operational expensesrequired capital expenditure and life cycle analysis.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research innovation programme under Grant Agreement number: 817936.