Maintaining quality of seeds, nuts and their derived products – optimizing transport conditions
The goal of this project is to develop and implement new sustainability strategies for the postharvest storage / transportation / import of nuts and cocoa beans. These strategies shall reduce waste resulting from a range of causative agents which currently lead to either material loss or to a significant reduction in commodity quality and hence, loss of market value, reduced health benefits and a failure of consumer acceptance. The project aims to develop dedicated strategies which will not only reduce overall loss of commodities during transport and storage but also will result in a better quality stored product. To achieve this aim we shall perform both small scale laboratory experiments as well as larger scale industry-level analyses both for comparison and to deliver commercially-relevant information and protocols. The ultimate aim of the project is to develop these new approaches and make these available to the broader community to contribute to an overall more sustainable food storage and transportation system for nuts, cocoa beans and similar commodities.
This project shall develop and implement new sustainability strategies for the postharvest storage / transportation / import of nuts, cocoa beans and similar products. These strategies shall reduce waste resulting from a range of causative agents which currently lead to either material loss or to a significant reduction in commodity quality and hence, loss of market value, reduced health benefits and a failure of consumer acceptance. Hence – this project will deliver a more sustainable food chain entailing less waste and the maintenance of higher quality products.
Quality loss during the storage of nuts and cocoa beans during bulk transportation regularly results in depreciation even to the extent that whole shipments are no longer suitable for human consumption and must either be put to second grade use or may even need to be destroyed. Shipments may suffer from moisture problems resulting in mold growth which can also be linked to food safety issues. There is therefore a great demand within the logistics companies and the end users to develop more sustainable strategies which incur less waste and maintain high quality.
The key results of this project shall be :
• To gain better insights into the causes of quality loss during storage and how these can be reduced or avoided
• To gain a deeper understanding of the biochemical / molecular nature of quality loss associated for example by the loss of key chemical ingredients, the appearance of off – flavour molecules through e.g. lipid breakdown or oxidation etc
• These improved insights shall lead to a better understanding on how to reduce quality loss during storage and transportation and how to develop new strategies in the decision-making process for the transportation of sensitive biological materials
• A number of scientific publications and protocols will be made public in order to contribute knowledge to the broader community and to help develop a more sustainable industry
• A strongly – interactive partnership of both scientists and companies involved both in transportation as well as end – users in consumer commodities.