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Innovative activities for the development of the cross-border edible flower supply chain


Innovative activities for the development of the cross-border edible flower supply chain

FINANCING BODY: Interreg ALCOTRA Italy-France Maritime Programme 2014-2020 (European Regional Development Fund - ERDF)

 

DURATION: 24th April - 1st July 2017 - 30th June 2020

 

IRF ROLE: CREA-FSO implementing party

 

DESCRIPTION

 

Scope and objectives

 

The crisis in the floriculture sector, over recent years, has led many small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises to focus more on species suitable for alternative markets. These include aromatic plants and edible species positioned on the food market for use in both traditional and innovative cuisine. Edible flowers, in addition to their intrinsic decorative value, have important alimurgical and nutritional qualities that need to be better defined and promoted.

The main objective of the project is to optimize the emerging edible flower supply chain through the older cross-border ornamental flower production chain, with the application of technological innovations that enhance all production related aspects, including quality, food use safety, transport, storage and the transfer to market.

 

ANTEA also has the following specific objectives:

 

To develop promotional and training actions for local small and medium enterprises through the proposal of business development models;

To expand production offerings by identifying new edible species;

To define a gastronomic and cultural pathway;

To define a thematic or designation of origin branding;

To capitalize on the experience of the project via a “living lab”, a virtual, technological showcase made available on the internet, three “open labs”, technological showcases throughout the territory, and a “market place” for meeting customers and measuring the supply and demand in rural and mountainous areas;

To study the feasibility of creating a legal entity for the consolidation of the edible flower supply chain and related services.

The objectives are aimed at addressing the crisis in the floriculture sector over the last few years that has led many small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises to focus more on species suitable for alternative markets, while maintaining the same production category. The main species included in this process have been aromatic plants and ever more edible species positioned on the food market for use in both traditional and innovative cuisine.

 

Methodological approach

 

The technical and experimental activities consist of:

 

The analysis of the organic composition and organoleptic qualities of plants, allergy and microbiological testing, the evaluation of potentially toxic activities, and the development of multiplication and cultivation protocols, of energy saving and crop protection measures, via sustainable cultivation techniques, and of technologies for storing, packaging and preparing food products.

The analysis of guidelines for the implementation of a production, marketing and consumption system for innovative products, the study of a brand to designates the origin and/or quality of products, and the creation of a “living lab” for showcasing the developed methodologies and technologies.

Results and impacts

 

The project envisages an important communications activity, accompanied by thematic installations and permanent “open labs”, and participation in national and international trade fairs and training activities for agricultural producers and students. The envisaged products, results and opportunities that this chain can offer the production sector and consumers, include the following:

Data sheets with information on the cultivation of edible flowers;

A recipe book on the use of edible flowers and the production of flower-based food products, such as sauces, yoghurts, ice cream, desserts, liqueurs, candies, syrups, and so on, supported by the development of specialist catering and processing workshops;

The creation of demonstration areas and permanent gardens for the presentation of edible flower species;

Thematic events such as workshops, professional meetings and show cooking;

An international congress;

Courses and meetings for farmers, processors and restaurateurs;

The creation of a document illustrating the development of technical activities, for example, production specifications and propagation, conservation, transfer, diagnosis and defence protocols;

The development of a use label, conveying information on the safe use of edible products, their expiry dates, list of allergens and storage indications;

The creation of an organoleptic panel and data sheet, indicating the colour, shape, taste and fragrance characteristics of the various edible species;

The creation of a museum room dedicated to edible flowers;

The collection of guidelines for a better economic exploitation of edible flower supply chain products for the benefit of consolidated and newly established agricultural companies, restaurants and processing facilities.

PARTNERS

 

CREA - Council for Agricultural Research and Agricultural Economy Analysis, Horticulture and Floriculture Centre - Lead Partner

Regional Agricultural Experimentation and Support Centre (CeRSAA), Italy

University of Turin, Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences (UNITO - DISAFA), Italy

University of Genoa (UNIGE), Italy

Department of Pharmaceutics (DIFAR)

Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering (DICCA)

Department of Surgical and Integrated Diagnostic Sciences (DISC)

Department of Physics (DIFI)

Department of Computer Science, Bioengineering, Robotics and Systems Engineering (DIBRIS)

Department of Mechanical, Energy, Management and Transport Engineering (DIME)

STAFF INVOLVED

 

Margherita Beruto (IRF Coordinator and Manager, beruto@regflor.it)

Federico Di Battista (Field Test Technician, debate@regflor.it)

Serena Viglione (In Vitro Test Technician, viglione@regflor.it)

Elena Delfini (Technical-administrative Staff, delfini@regflor.it)

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