QREN- Sistemas de Incentivos de I&DT- Projectos em Co-Promoção
Chestnuts are a seasonal product, consumed as a fresh product or processed, either in national (15%) or international (85%) market. After harvest and storage, several problems may occur such as the presence of infestations and development of microorganisms, namely rooting and mycotoxins producers fungi. These facts diminish the quality and safety of the product, decreasing the yield along the production chain. Chemical fumigation with methyl bromide was one of the most common practices to preserve this fruit. However, it is a toxic product for human health and environment whose utilization is now forbidden. It is essential to find a viable solution for chestnut conservation that follow the food safety rules, maintain the product quality, and allow its storage and commercialization during a longer period. Accordingly, this project aims to test the irradiation technique, used by several food industries worldwide, as a promising and environment friendly solution in chestnuts preservation. Simultaneously, it is also intended to evaluate the effects on physico-chemical properties of chestnuts.