GARCED

Project name:

GRACED – New generation sensors for a holistic solution for food quality control

Project description:

As consumer demand for fresh fruit and vegetables continues to grow, so does the risk of microbiological and chemical contamination. Currently, fruit and vegetable production is controlled at the place of production or at the food processing unit, based on regulatory requirements. In most cases, random samples are checked using laboratory methods, which can take up to two or more days between measurement and receipt of results. The cost and time involved in analysis means that fewer checks are carried out, with higher risks, even in countries where very effective control mechanisms are in place.

In addition, testing cannot be done at every step of the value chain (due to the time and costs involved), including at critical points such as supermarkets and restaurants where consumers purchase the product. GRACED (an EU-funded project with the full title „Ultra-compact, low-cost plasmo-photonic bimodal multiplexed sensor platforms as part of a holistic solution for food quality control”) proposes a new technology for contaminant detection at all stages of the fruit and vegetable value chain, based on the above need and taking into account the limitations of current solutions.

The key to the proposed solution is a new plasmo-photonic sensor capable of simultaneously, cost-effectively and rapidly (within 30 minutes) measuring (at least seven types of) contaminants of interest to the food industry, in particular the fruit and vegetable sector. The sensor is part of a holistic, modular solution that builds on custom engineering designs, the Internet of Things (IoT) concept and advanced data analytics to help early detection of contaminants in the value chain. The development will also be available as a portable device, allowing the sensor to be used at any point in the value chain (from farm to table). The ability to perform fast and accurate monitoring at any stage of the value chain from farm to table is directly linked to the strategic objectives of the European Union (https://ec.europa.eu/food/farm2fork_en).

The partners will test the whole development in different farming systems:

  1. a) a traditional agricultural system (in Italy) with arable production and subsequent stages of food processing for the production of cooked dishes and frozen vegetable products,
  2. b) a novel urban farming ecosystem (in France) that produces fruit and vegetables locally and processes them in local restaurants,
  3. c) a short agro-ecological value chain (in France) where producers sell directly to consumers and restaurants,
  4. d) a semi-automatic mushroom production plant selling to supermarkets and wholesalers (in Hungary).

The multidisciplinary team developing the GRACED technology is led by CyRIC, the Cyprus Research and Innovation Centre Ltd, under the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

The project was launched on 1 January 2021 and will run for three and a half years to allow sufficient time to develop the technology and validate it in real-world conditions.

The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme; project identifier: No 101007448.

The project is an initiative of the Photonics Public Private Partnership.

Partners of the project:

CyRIC – Cyprus Research and Innovation Centre (Cyprus),
National Research Council (Italy),

Tecnoalimenti S.C.P.A (Italy),
Easy Global Market SAS (France),
Bialoom Ltd (Cyprus),
Mutitel (Belgium),
Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique CNRS (France),
Sous Les Fraises (France),

Aristotle University of Thessalonini (Greece),
Pour Une Agriculture Du Vivant (France),
AMO GMBH (Germany),
Pilze-Nagy Kereskedelmi és Szolgáltató Kft (Hungary),
ISS BioSense S.r.l. (Italy),

Lumensia Sensors S.L. (Spain)

Date of implementation:

2021.01.01-2024.06.03

Further information:

Website: https://graced.tech/wp-graced/#objectives

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GRACEDproject

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/company/gracedproject/



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