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Italy-Parma: Microbiological Hazards Associated with the Use of Water in the Post-Harvest Handling and Processing Operations of Fresh and Frozen Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs (ffFVHs)
Prior information notice
This notice is for prior information only
Section I: Contracting authority
Section II: Object
Microbiological Hazards Associated with the Use of Water in the Post-Harvest Handling and Processing Operations of Fresh and Frozen Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs (ffFVHs)
The main objective of this procurement procedure is to gain insights on the characteristics of the water and practices followed by the industry to maintain water quality used during the post-harvest handling and processing operations for fresh and frozen fruit, vegetables and herbs (ffFVHs).
In the packinghouses and processing facilities, large volumes of water are used and in many cases, the same water is used in the same unit operation (e.g. washing or cooling) for many kilograms of product. Under these conditions, it is difficult to maintain properly the microbiological quality of the process water because of the accumulation of organic matter and the lack of operational limits and test methods to monitor the processing operation. Water disinfection treatment is one of the most critical processing steps in the production of fresh and frozen fruits, vegetable and herbs aimed at preventing cross-contamination. The information obtained via this tender should allow to have an overview of different water quality scenarios in industry settings.
The specific objectives of the contract resulting from the procurement procedure will focus on:
— the characterisation of water used in different post-harvest handling and processing operations of fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables and herbs (FVHs) with the aim to evaluate the microbiological and physico-chemical quality of the processing water during the working day in industry settings where processing water is not subject to any water disinfection treatment;
— the development of specific case-studies in industry settings for the post-harvest handling and processing operations of ffFVHs to provide evidence of the efficacy of different intervention strategies used in the post-harvest handling and processing operations of ffFVHs to maintain the microbiological quality of processing water in industry settings;
— the available quantitative data and mathematical models for the microbial contamination of water used in different post-harvest handling and processing operations of ffFVHs and between batches of ffFVHs including whole, fresh-cut and frozen FVHs;
— the available quantitative data and mathematical models on microbiological and non-microbiological parameters which can be used to validate/verify and/or monitor the microbiological quality of the water used for different post-harvest handling and processing operations of ffFVHs.
Section IV: Procedure
Section VI: Complementary information