The Project has been selected for funding in call PRIMA SECTION 2 - 2019

The overall objective of the project is to increase the efficiency, sustainability and competitiveness of the post-farming processing chain of organic citrus fruit, by intervening in points of weakness and the unresolved problems of this supply chain. Consistently with the scope, specific objectives include:

  • i) Reduction of losses caused by post-harvest rots during storage and transportation, by treating the fruits with non-toxic, eco-friendly substances and bio-products
  • ii) raising of the quality standards of fresh fruits and juice by using molecular diagnostics for the detection of pathogenic quarantine fungi and mycotoxins and excluding fruits that do not comply with EU and EPPO phytopathological and toxicological standards;
  • iii) extension of the shelf-life of fresh fruit using biodegradable active biocoating and smart packaging;
  • iv) application of smart technologies (ICT-based technologies and machine learning techniques) to reduce shipping times and optimize the delivery of fruits to the targeted markets (20% increase in shipment efficiency and exclusion of complaints or cuts by GDO;
  • v) minimizing the waste of the industrial fruit transformation by recycling and exploiting the most of citrus pulp, the major by-product of juice and essence industry, by utilizing it as a raw material to produce a biodegradable and natural biocoating of fruit packaging, in accordance with the principles of circular economy and the standards of organic food


Biocide substances and innovative diagnostics

• To develop new practical molecular diagnostics for rapid and specific detection of major post-harvest and quarantine fungal pathogens in citrus fruit stocks and a LCMS/MS method to detect mycotoxins in citrus fresh fruit and juice.
• To develop a practical and sensitive method to confirm the presence of both mycotoxins and masked related metabolites in the samples (citrus fresh fruit and juice) using the technique of liquid chromatography coupled to the time of flight (TOF) mass spectrometry.
• To perform a risk assessment method based on the intake of samples contaminated with mycotoxins through the deterministic and probabilistic approach.
• To test the antifungal activity of ecological substances that are compatible with organic agriculture and can be applied to prevent post-harvest rot of citrus fruit.
• To select antagonistic fungi, yeasts and

Green-smart Packaging

• Development of an innovative low permeability polymeric films coated with biocide substances (from WP1) to reduce post-harvest rots.
• Development of an active bio-coating based on cellulose and micellar containers capable of releasing natural antimicrobial substances (from WP1) to be used in the orange packaging to reduce rot.
• Deposition of active bio-coating using common printing technologies like flexography or gravure into cellulosic substrates or by spray in sustainable plastic containers.
• Ensure food safety by verifying new packaging compliance with the existing regulation EC 10/2011 on plastic intended to come into contact with food and regulation EC 450/2009 on active and intelligent material and articles intended to come into contact with food.

ICT-based logistic

• Implementation of a multisensory system called "Citrus e-nose", constituted by an array of sensors placed in single envelop that convey the data to a central processor for the detection of fruit deterioration during transport
• IA prototype navigation platform called "Citrus navigator", which aims to minimize the loss of goods due to the deterioration of the fruits by optimizing times, routes and delivery methods.
• FA new type of shipping packaging called "Citrus pack", made with materials developed during WP2 will be tested.

Dissemination and Communication. Exploitation and IPR

• Validation of the model designed to allow a progressive future mid-term exploitation process supported by the key actors involved in the project: agro-pharmaceutical companies, citrus farmers, citrus juice sellers, citrus traders, shippers, public customs operators and health inspectors of imported fresh fruit;
• Validation of the business model designed to allow a progressive future short/mid-term commercialization process supported by the industrial companies involved in the project.
• Updating Business Plans including new segments and market niches beyond the initial identified markets, as well as producing a market expansion roadmap to guide the exploitation of results beyond the PRIMA project.
• Greater efficiency disseminating the scientific and industrial results, including Open Access when possible, to foster collaboration and spread project results. Reinforcement of strategic alliances.
• IPR strategy definition at EUand global levels and risk assessment for the wider introduction of the BiOrangePack results creating the best conditions to ensure maximum exploitation and technology transfer.
• Improve internal and external communication providing information on project findings, potential and broad visibility.

BiOrangePack Stats


Months to go


€ Total Project Budget


Consortium Partners


Euro-Mediterranean countries


Università degli Studi di Catania


Consorzio Interuniversitario per lo Sviluppo dei Sistemi a Grande Interfase


Centro Siciliano di Fisica Nucleare e di Struttura della Materia


University of Tunis El Manar


University of Valencia


INRAT, University of Carthage


Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique


University of Ankara


DECCO Italia s.r.l.




O.P. Cosentino




Centre Techniques des Agrumes


Institut national de la recherche agronomique


Get In Touch

Prof. Olga Cacciola, email: olga.cacciola@unict.it