Republic of Croatia (RC) has a long tradition of fruit cultivation due to its geographic position, climatic conditions and high quality of fruit crops. Autochthonous fruit varieties are characterized by good morphological/pomological characteristics, but their nutritional and biological potential have been underestimated, as well as their ability to be processed into juices that are in high demand on the market. Increased lactose intolerance in population that is complemented with inability to consume functional dairy products led to the opportunity for processing of autochthonous fruit varieties into functional fruit juices. During the processing into juice, a significant number of by-products is produced. This represents a high-value raw material for the isolation of biologically active compounds (BACs). Therefore, this project will examine the use of selected autochthonous fruit species in sustainable production of functional juices with addition of selected probiotic cultures and/or BACs isolated from the by-products. Classical heat treatment (pasteurization) disrupts the stability of the thermolabile BAS molecules, so the application of nonthermal "hurdle technology", i.e. the combination of high intensity ultrasound (HPU) and pulse electric field (PEF) technology will be investigated. In order to combine tradition and innovation, additive technology e.g. 3D-printing (3DP) will be applied to design products of unique composition, geometry and extended shelf-life. 3DP functional fruit juices produced from autochthonous fruit varieties will represent unique Croatian fruit souvenirs, in line with the core principles of the Croatian circular economy and tourism. That way the aim is to develop sustainable ways of processing that will provide the consumers with a unique, healthy, attractive, and high quality food product in an economically acceptable way.
2020 - underway
Croatian Science Foundation