Grufesa, a Moguer-based producer and marketer of berries, and the company AMC Chemical are behind the project “Development of a new integral technology based on different bioefectors to extend the shelf life of strawberries” (IDI-20160667), funded by the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI); a body under the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness. Madrid’s San Pablo CEU University is also collaborating. The goal is to create a new integral technology capable of improving and extending the post-harvest shelf life of strawberries beyond 10 days while reducing the use of agrochemicals, thus contributing to improving food security within a sustainable agriculture.
For the consortium formed by Grufesa and AMC, devoted to the manufacture and marketing of innovative and waste-free biotechnological products, the project, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Plurirregional Operative Program of Smart Growth 2014-2020, is the answer to a strategic business need. The goal is to develop a strawberry with a unique quality and a longer shelf life in order to reach countries that were still inaccessible without these improvements.
From a production and marketing standpoint, strawberries have a very short shelf life due to how easily the fruit deteriorates because of the impact of pathogenic microorganisms. With this project, the quality of the fruit and its post-harvest shelf life are improved, giving the product an added value of great economic interest.
The use of the aforementioned bioefectors, integrated in the productive management, would make it possible to stimulate the metabolic systems which are involved in the plant’s defence against pathogens, thus contributing to improving production and minimising the impact of pests on the crop, helping also reduce the use of chemical phytosanitary products.
The final result will be the production of a fruit with 40% longer shelf life, subject to the impact of environmental conditions, thus improving its organoleptic characteristics and enabling its sale in markets that remained inaccessible. Furthermore, the fruit’s nutritional qualities would also go beyond the traditional standards, reinforcing its condition as a healthy food.
Due to the high scientific-technological level of the proposal, it will be necessary to collaborate with the San Pablo CEU University, specifically with the Biotechnology group of the Rizosfera CEU, with the participation of reputable international scientists, such as Professor Javier Gutiérrez Mañero and his team of experts.
This project opens a new path towards a waste-free technology that will lead to significant improvements for the strawberry industry. It is a move that fits within Grufesa’s work philosophy, which is based on sustainability and respect for the environment, with a commitment to obtaining a quality, safe and sustainable production.