Extending the shelf life of fresh produce has been achieved
This milestone has been made possible through filters that eliminate ethylene, which is the outcome of the research carried out by the UCAM and the company Keepcool. This was done within the framework of the University's Industrial Doctorate Programme, with the collaboration of the UCAM-Santander Chair of 'Entrepreneurship in the Agri-Food Sector'.
Thu, 09/09/2021 - 09:37
Tomatoes from the “Bajo y Alto Guadalentín”, peaches from Cieza and apricots from the area of Caravaca were the first fresh products used to demonstrate the effectiveness of these ethylene eliminating filters, which allow the organoleptic properties of fruit and vegetables to remain intact for a longer period of time. This research is being carried out by UCAM Industrial PhD student Ramiro Alonso Salinas, together with the Murcian company Keepcool, within the framework of the Industrial Doctorate Programme of the Catholic University of Murcia, with the collaboration of its Santander Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Agri-Food Sector.
The results were announced during a meeting held at the Los Jerónimos Campus between José Luis Mendoza, president of the Catholic University of Murcia; Estrella Núñez, vice-rector of Research; Juan José Caravaca, CEO of KeepCool; Mariano Ortín, regional commercial director of Banco Santander in Murcia; Antonio Cerdá, director of the Chair; and the Industrial Doctorate student Ramiro Alonso.
Preserving colour, smell and taste
Through the ethylene eliminating filters, patented by the Murcia-based company Keepcool, fresh food not only maintains its shelf life for a longer period of time, but it also retains its organoleptic characteristics (colour, smell and taste) as well as its health properties. Throughout the research, the produce was preserved in groups: with and without Keepcool filters, both at room temperature and in refrigerated chambers. During the preservation period, sensory analyses were carried out in the UCAM's in-house laboratories, in which the Miguel Hernández University also collaborated, showing conclusive results.
For the CEO of Keepcool, the results obtained "thanks to the UCAM Industrial Doctorate programme" are very satisfactory. "All the research that we had previously been developing is being verified, and it has been verified that vitamin C - present in these foods - is preserved much better in fresh produce that is stored and preserved with KeepCool".
Meanwhile, Mariano Ortín, Regional Commercial Director of Banco Santander in Murcia, highlights the importance of research like this, especially in a region where "everything related to the agri-food sector is essential".
The researcher Ramiro Alonso highlights the important role of the Industrial Doctorate Programme in generating joint knowledge between university and businesses, and stresses how gratifying it is "to see the application of your research on a daily basis". The doctoral thesis is supervised by doctors Santiago López-Miranda and José Ramón Acosta.