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Subprojects II

Task 1.- Postharvest technology and fresh-cut sector: Adding value to fruits and vegetables of regional interest

Coordinating Entity

Instituto Tecnológico Agroalimentario (INTAEX).


Lead Researcher 

Belén Velardo Micharet



Participating entities

  • Centro de Investigación Agraria Finca La Orden-Valdesequera.
  • Universidad de Évora; Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre.
  • Instituto Politécnico de Beja.
  • Centro Operativo e de Tecnologia de Regadio (COTR).
  • Centro de Biotecnología Agrícola e Agro-Alimentar do Baixo Alentejo e Litoral (CEBAL).
  • Associação Centro de Apoio Tecnológico Agro-Alimentar (CATAA)


  Other participating entities 

Universidad de Extremadura, Universidad do Algarve



This project aims to promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables of regional interest. One of the tools to achieve this goal is to determine the best time to harvest the fruit and its postharvest storage suitability, as the main reason for the decrease in consumption of fresh fruit is the deterioration in its sensory properties by the time it reaches the end consumer.

Currently, the production processes for peeled, chopped fruit produce a product with significant damage to the cellular tissue, resulting in low quality and a very short shelf life, which does not meet the modern consumer’s needs. It is therefore necessary to increase scientific knowledge in the fresh-cut fruit sector, which will lead to a high quality product at reasonable prices.

The fruit sector is of particular economic importance in the areas of Extremadura, Centro and Alentejo. Therefore, collaboration with the main fruit companies in the region has been fostered in order to increase the competitiveness of the business community by sharing the results obtained in this project. By the end of it, it is hoped to produce a postharvest and suitability guide for the fresh-cut fruit studied.

Task 2.- Healthy eating in schools in the Portalegre District

Coordinating Entity:

Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre


Lead Researcher:

Margarida Malcata

+351 919214505


Participating entities: 

  • Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre.
  • Instituto Tecnológico Agroalimentario de Extremadura (INTAEX). 


Other participating entities: 

  • Câmara Municipal de Portalegre.
  • Unidade Local de Saúde do Norte Alentejano.
  • Agrupamento de Escolas do Concelho de Portalegre
  • Escola de Hotelaria e Turismo
  • Plataforma contra a obesidade




This project is led by the Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre and arose from a challenge issued by Portalegre Council to the Institute. Its main objective is to help change the attitudes and behaviours toward eating habits of the children and young people in the district’s schools and, at the same time, raise awareness in their families to maximize the sustainability of the proposed changes.

The project aims to increase the consumption of fruit, vegetables and milk among children and young people and reduce that of high calorie foods. Introducing these kinds of dietary changes will lead to a reduction of excess weight.

Task 3.- Optimization of the Olive Oil Extraction process

Coordinating Entity:

Instituto Tecnológico Agroalimentario de Extremadura. Consejería de Empleo, Empresa e Innovación del Gobierno de Extremadura. (INTAEX).


Lead Researcher: 

Jacinto Sánchez Casas, (INTAEX)

+34 924012667 


Participating entities: 

  • Centro de Investigación La Orden-Valdesequera.
  • Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária (INIAV-Elvas)



 This project aims to establish the technical criteria in the virgin olive oil production system to achieve higher yields and quality of the oil produced; criteria aimed at the processing of the main varieties produced in the regions of Extremadura and Portuguese Alentejo. The results obtained in this project aim to optimize, at pilot plant level, the response of the yield factor by changing variables such as maturation and degree of crushing of the olives as well as the time and temperature used in the pressing stage of the oil extraction process. Furthermore, the project aims to optimize, at pilot plant level, the response of the Quality Index factor by changing the aforementioned variables in the extraction process.  

Task 4.- Study into the application of high hydrostatic pressure on Iberian cheeses (Torta del Casar and Évora cheese): effect on physicochemical and sensory characteristics during ripening and shelf life

Coordinating Entity:

Instituto Tecnológico Agroalimentario de Extremadura. Consejería de Empleo, Empresa e Innovación del Gobierno de Extremadura


Lead Researcher: 

Mª del Rosario Ramírez Bernabé, (INTAEX)

+34 9249012660


Participating entities:

  • D.G. de Modernización e Innovación Tecnológica.
  • Universidade de Évora - Instituto de Ciências Agrárias Mediterrânicas (ICAAM).



Of all the so-called "emerging technologies" high hydrostatic pressure has the greatest commercial application. This project evaluates the effect of this treatment on two raw sheep’s milk cheeses: Torta del Casar (Spain) and Queso de Évora (Portugal). High pressure treatment of artisan cheeses can provide benefits both to consumers, through improved quality and food safety, and to producers, who are able to prolong shelf life by slowing certain cheese ripening processes or even accelerate ripening. Both effects would be of great interest to aid cheese marketing.

Task 5 - Effect of the application of high pressure in vacuum packaging of sliced Iberian ham.

Coordinating Entity:

Instituto Tecnológico Agroalimentario de Extremadura. Consejería de Empleo, Empresa e Innovación del Gobierno de Extremadura


Lead Researcher:

Carmela Sanabria Tienza. (INTAEX)

+34 924012666 


Participating entities: 

  • D.G. de Modernización e Innovación Tecnológica
  • Universidade de Évora / Departamento de Medicina Veterinária y Departamento de Fitotecnia


Other participating entities: 

  • Universidad de Extremadura. Departamento de Producción Animal y Ciencia de los Alimentos, Área de Tecnología de los Alimentos, Montesano Extremadura S.A. , Señorío de Montanera S.L.


Due to the internationalization of companies in the Iberian ham sector and the demand for new regulations new sanitization methods are needed, with the use of high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) being a good candidate. 

Therefore, this project considers various conditions (pressures and HHP administration times) and storage time (0, 3 and 6 months). A study of the microbiology (by inoculation with Listeria innocua) and sensory and physico-chemical parameters analysis are also performed.

The objective is to determine which of the treatments used ensures the microbiological safety of the product, preserves its sensory characteristics and meets the standards required in the new markets.

Task 6.- Development of the sensory profile of single varietal wines produced in the regions of Extremadura, Centro and Alentejo

Coordinating Entity:

Instituto Tecnológico Agroalimentario de Extremadura. Consejería de Empleo, Empresa e Innovación del  obierno de Extremadura. 


Lead Researcher:

Esperanza Valdés Sánchez (INTAEX)

+34 924012671


Participating entities: 

  • D.G. de Modernización e Innovación Tecnológica (INTAEX).
  • Instituto Politécnico de Portalegre.
  • Universidade de Évora.


Other participating entities:

  • Centro Universitario Santa Ana
  • Museo de las Ciencias del Vino de Almendralejo y D.O. Ribera del Guadiana.




The objective of this work is to discover the visual, aromatic and taste descriptors so that the sensory profile of single varietal wines made from white and red grape varieties grown in Extremadura and Alentejo can be established, using quantitative descriptive sensorial analysis techniques. The study will also assess whether it is possible to differentiate between them according to their cultivar and the area in which have been produced. It will be applicated multivariate statistical analysis tecniques.

It is aimed to gain a greater and deeper knowledge of the wines of the regions involved through the knowledge of their sensory characteristics. Sensory descriptions are an essential tool in characterizing wines. Observing how different soil and climate factors, production techniques, etc. affect their sensory characteristics is of great interest in order to be able to objectively position products on the market. In this way sensory profiles are obtained that are clearly defined, rigorous and can be extrapolated to the commercial sector with a view to international marketing.