The QualiRedFruits project
deals with the competitiveness on the raspberry production’s market. It is in constant evolution due to consumer interest in health benefits of antioxidant molecules (AOM) in raspberry fruits and public requirement for new fruit production technology safer for the environment. The aims of the project are therefore to identify raspberry varieties with higher quality in terms of AOM content and conceive innovative cultural practices more respectful of the environment. It brings together 7 SMEs and 5 RTD performers with high expertise level in this area to reach the project objectives. Research activities will include screening raspberry varieties for their AOM content and development of new cultural practices involving use of beneficial micro-organisms (biotisation) and of natural elicitors of plant defence reactions in order to increase AOM synthesis in raspberry and to drastically reduce chemical inputs. This will be associated with the development of a quality insurance scheme for raspberry plant production. Molecular markers will be designed for the specific identification of varieties together with a cryo-preservation protocol for germplasm long-term conservation.
Molecular methods will also be developed for the identification of beneficial and pathogenic micro-organisms in order to assess plant sanitary status. All these approaches will be tested in real production trials, from in vitro culture to the field for their validation. Finally, recommendations for quality production of raspberry to SMEs will be drawn. The new technologies developed in this project will have an important impact on the raspberry fresh fruits production market as well as on the frozen and processed fruit market. The results from QualiRedFruits will therefore be the driving force to obtain competitive advantages for these companies on the European and International market.