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Safe and healthy fruits and vegetables from farm to table in Spain


About 200 people took part in the webinar: “La inocuidad en el año internacional de las frutas y verduras” (Safety in the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables), on 7 June for World Food Safety Day.

Dr Rui Costa, Secretary General of the ISEKI Food Association and Dr Carmen de Vega, President of FEDALCYTA (the Federation of Food Science and Technologies Associations) opened the event, presenting the two organizations that co-convened the live seminar.

The first presentation under the title "Fruits and vegetables: healthy is not the same as safe", by Dr Susana Lorán, from the University of Zaragoza, gave a broad overview of the notifications that had been declared in recent years regarding fruits and vegetable products, highlighting as potential dangers, residues of pesticides, mycotoxins and pathogenic microorganisms. After reviewing and analyzing the origin of these hazards, she concluded that customs controls as well as good agricultural practices and good hygiene practices essentially contribute to a reduction in risk and can mean greater availability of healthy raw materials and foods of plant origin.

Oihane Hernández, the quality manager of PATURPAT, a potato processing company, gave a presentation entitled, "Safety from the treatment of V Range potato products." She shared the trajectory of the development of potato processed formats. For this company, organoleptic and microbiological analyses have been the ideal means of achieving a ready-to-eat product with a shelf life of 2 months. This involves the production staff, who contribute to the supervision of daily tasks.

Dr José Juan Rodríguez, Professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, ​​began the presentation "Disinfection of vegetables: an essential operation in ecological and non-ecological products" addressing the dangers that can be present in plant products (microbiological, physical and chemical). He pointed out that washing these products, at home and with running water, can help to eliminate foreign bodies such as sand, solid waste and part of the residues of pesticides or salts that are on surfaces. In the case of organic vegetables, special care should be taken care particularly if the fertilizer was made with manure, due to the possible presence of pathogens.

Dr Luis Mayor, representative of ISEKI Food Association in Spain, a food research, learning and training network, presented the European project EQVEGAN, which offers European qualifications and competences for the vegan food industry. It seeks to update the skills and competencies of professionals in the plant-based processed sector through the development of academic training, learning in the work environment and certification of professional profiles. He took advantage of the occasion to invite entities that belong to the sector of conventional vegetable processing (fruit and vegetable companies, cereals, legumes, etc ...) to participate in the project as well as those that seek vegetable alternatives to products of animal origin such as dairy and meat.


Watch the recording (in Spanish):