The Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) is partner of the BiotecA project – Food Biotechnology for innovation and competitiveness of the main regional production chains: extension of shelf-life and functional aspects
Food products such as bread, fresh pasta, wine, table olives, “pasta filata” type cheese and fish products represent the excellence of the agro-food sector in the Apulia region. Consistently with its institutional objectives of promoting research, innovation and technology transfer, ISPA is partner of the BiotecA project aimed at performing the transfer of biotechnological solutions for the improvement of production processes in six typical agro-food sectors in Apulia. The activities of research and experimental development involve the ISPA staff as well as companies engaged in the technological process of innovation to obtain the improvement of the sensory quality, functionality and shelf-life of products by selection and application of microbial starters.
University of Bari and University of Foggia together with ISPA are partners of the project which involves companies with previously well established relationships: Valle Fiorita Srl (leader); GRAM Group Milo Srl; Cantine due Palme; Cannone Industrie Alimentari Spa; Ignalat Srl; Minaba Srl. The sharing of the biotechnological knowledge has the aim to support the regional agro-food sector particularly in order to develop new solutions, new processes and new products which fit the new market dynamics. A centre of excellence for the biotechnology applied to foods will be created including a permanent Collection for the storage of microbial strains suitable as starters for different biotechnological processes. In particular, ISPA collaborates in the project with the companies Valle Fiorita Srl, Cantine due Palme, Cannone Industrie Alimentari Spa, Minaba Srl for the improvement of the following food product categories, respectively.
The activities related to the leavened baked products have as objective the development of biotechnological protocols for the use of selected bacterial starters having specific metabolic and leavening properties. These microorganisms will allow the making of products with low content of salt and/or without yeast, types of products which are receiving particular attention from consumers interested in nutritional and functional aspects of foods.
Bread-making experiments in a pilot plant for the production of bread with a reduced salt content: Control bread (A); breads produced with the addition of a fermentation product of a selected lactic acid bacterial strain and salt content reduced by 20% (B) and 50% (C).
“Puccia” produced in the plant of the company Valle Fiorita with yeast (A) and without added yeast by using a selected lactic acid bacterial strain (B).
In the wine industry there is a strong business interest to get products ready for the market in less time, limiting or even avoiding the presence of sulphur dioxide. The project activities intend to improve the sensory quality and the safety of Apulia wine by the application of mixed inocula including native wine yeasts and malolactic bacteria. This will allow to “mimic” a natural fermentation which will be controlled thus limiting the use of metabisulfite and significantly reducing the presence of sulphur dioxide in the finished product.
Winemaking trials carried out in a plant of the company Due Palme by using microbial starters
In addition to olive oil production, processing of table olives constitutes a relevant sector of economic activities in Apulia. The demand for environmentally sustainable processes and for high-service content products as well as the expansion of markets require the modification of the production processes. Therefore, the activities of research and technology transfer of this project aim to the use of bio-protective starters combined with innovative packaging methods, to obtain products with improved quality and shelf-life using a more efficient and sustainable production process.
Production and packaging of table olives in a plant of the company Cannone using a bio-protective lactic acid bacterial strain.
The sector of processed fish is strongly oriented towards storage conditions which have less impact on organoleptic and nutritional characteristics of the products compared to conventional treatments. The project is expected to improve the sensory and nutritional quality of fresh processed products by the use of protective microbial cultures capable of promoting and extending the shelf-life (bio-preservation) of the processed fish.
Production in a pilot plant of fish burgers containing a selected pro-technological lactic acid bacterial strain.
Gel-like image of REP-PCR profiles obtained with the software Agilent 2100 Expert for the monitoring of microbial strains used to improve the shelf-life of tuna burgers.
More information about the project, the partnership and the achieved results will be soon available on the project website.
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