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Plant, Food & Climate - Projects

Plant, Food & Climate


Below please find a selection of ongoing research projects. Project descriptions for several of them are publicly available on websites which can be linked to from this page:

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  1. Sprayless - Reduced fruit waste by non-chemical approaches to control strawberry grey mould

    Antonios Petridis, Marianne G. Bertelsen, Karen Koefoed Petersen, Roland W.S. Weber & Merete Brødsgaard Henriksen

    Grey mould caused by Botrytis cinerea and related Botrytis spp., is the most common and destructive disease among Danish strawberry producers. This leads to rotten berries both during cultivation in the field, on the shelfs in the supermarkets and at home with the consumers. Many berries must be discarded, and thus a bad business for the producers. Botrytis spp. are high-risk pathogens with respect to the development of resistance against fungicides.
    The overall purpose of the project is to provide the Danish consumers with high-quality strawberries produced with reduced fungicide input. In order to achieve this, a holistic approach is required in which fungicide sprays are supplemented and partly replaced by a quality control of nursery plants to avoid the introduction of fungicide-resistant strains of Botrytis into Danish strawberry fields and partly by hygiene measures effectuated by picking and removal of infected fruit in order to retard the spread of these strains in the production fields. The strawberry growers will gain more knowledge and tools to determine the Botrytis infection level in their planting material and the degree of pesticide resistance before they are delivered and planted in the field. Growers will also obtain knowledge that will help them prevent establishment and spreading of fungicide resistant Botrytis strains in the field. It is the aim that also the retail market will benefit by less waste due to Botrytis infections.
    Funding: Grønt Udviklings- og Demonstrationsprogram (GUDP) under Miljø- og Fødevareministeriet
    Collaborator: GartneriRådgivningen, I/S Lykkesholm (strawberry producer), Per Nielsen (strawberry producer), Lindflora ApS, SW Horto A/SDescription


  2. Better quality management of root crops with innovative washing techniques before retail supply (KvaliRod)

    Merete Edelenbos, Justyna Wieczynska & Ulla Kidmose

    The aim of this project is to prolong shelf life of root crops in the supply chain by use of innovative washing and decontamination techniques before packaging for retail supply.
    There are increasing challenges with the shelf life of packaged, organic and conventional root crops because of rotting following washing and brushing of the roots before packaging. Carrots may get slightly superficial black spots and become slimy due to growth and proliferation of microorganisms. This restricts export to far-distance countries such as China, where there is a high demand for organic products. Root crops in itself have a long shelf life but washing and polishing after harvest and storage at room temperature in plastic materials in retail stores limits the shelf life. The primary output of this project is to reduce tissue wounding during washing and brushing, to develop and test the hot water treatment method as an environmentally friendly and gentle decontamination technique and to explore the possibilities of using naturally antimicrobial compounds e.g. thyme oil for the washing of root crops. We expect that new innovative techniques will reduce food waste by 5% in retail and 30% by consumers. From a societal point of view, it will reduce climate change and improve resource utilization. Improved quality and longer shelf life will increase customer satisfaction and improve the market power of the Danish root crop sector through increased production, higher efficiency and more export.
    Funding: Green Development and Demonstration Program (GUDP) under the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark.
    Collaborators: Limfjords Danske Rodfrugter, Gl. Estrup Gartneri A/S, Cabinplant A/S, SOBEC EMEA ApS, Airvention ApS, GASA Odense Frugt-Grønt a.m.b.a., ISI Food Protection ApSDescription


  3. SmartGreen

    Carl-Otto Ottosen

    SMARTGREEN aims to accele¬rate sustainable green econo¬mic growth in NSR greenhouse industries whilst generating sig¬nificant environmental benefits: less pollution, lower emissions of CO2 (15%) and less use of re¬sources and potentially also in¬crease in the local production due to shorter production times (5%). Knowledge transfer in NSR is needed to obtain the political goal of increasing the produc¬tivity and reduce resource use.
    Finansiering: ERDF Interreg NorthSea
    Samarbejdspartnere: SDU, LWK Hannover, IMBIO, Osnabürck Technical University, TNO, PCG, PCS and Lincoln UniversityDescription


  4. GreenResilient – Organic and biodynamic vegetable production in low-energy GREENhouses – sustainable, RESILIENT and innovative food production systems

    Karen Koefoed Petersen

    GREENRESILENT demonstrates the potential and feasibility of an agroecological approach to organic greenhouse production. It allows the build-up of robust agroecosystems adapted to local climatic conditions in different European areas, with regard to both productivity and sustainability from an agronomic and environmental point of view. The consortium consists of scientists with multidisciplinary competences (agronomy, agroecology, soil chemistry, entomology, plant pathology, weed science, ecology) from eight countries with relatively large areas of protected organic production. The main expected result of GREENRESILIENT is the definition of innovative and resilient cropping systems for Mediterranean, Central and Northern European protected organic production. In five experimental sites (two in Mediterranean countries and three in Central and Northern countries), the cropping system will be redesigned to solve the main technical constraints of organic production in greenhouse in the area, improving its agronomic and environmental sustainability. The new strategies will be developed using a system approach and combining knowledge of different disciplines.
    Funding: Innovation Fund and Core Organic Co Fund (H2020)
    Collaborator: CREA-AA and La Colombaia (Italy), SLU (Sweden), PCG and ILVO (Belgium), FiBL and Agroscope (Switzerland), GRAB (France), UvA and WUR (Netherlands) and HBLFA (Austria)Description