“This might be the start of a revolutionary method of monitoring quality”
The QCAP researchers are developing a new system to monitor the quality of fruits and vegetables during storage. There is a constant feedback loop with the sector via the Associate Partners. One of those partners is the Fresh Produce Centre, the trade association representing Dutch companies selling fruits and vegetables. Peter Verbaas, project manager of Food Safety and Supply Chain Quality Control, explains their role in the project and why QCAP is necessary for their members.
What are the Fresh Produce Centre’s most important tasks?
“Our area of work is where the government meets the industry. On the one hand, we use our members’ practical knowledge to formulate policy advice, and on the other we assess whether new legislation is feasible and effective. We also help in shaping the Collective Bargaining Agreement applicable to fruit and vegetable wholesalers and develop tools to help our members better communicate the products’ health benefits.”
Why are you a QCAP Associated Partner?
“One of our areas of expertise is Logistics and ICT. We encourage developments that help the Netherlands maintain its unique logistics position within the supply chain for fruit and vegetables. The QCAP monitoring system is a great example of such developments. Instead of improving an existing product, QCAP develops a new system from scratch, based on scientific research. This might be the start of a revolutionary method of monitoring quality.”
What do you contribute to the project?
“We bring QCAP and real-life cases together: we evaluate whether the system meets the needs of our members and how we can implement it in existing systems. As we represent the entire sector, we investigate whether the technology can be implemented on a wider scale. We assess whether the technology can be used for monitoring the quality of other kinds of vegetables and fruit or whether we can use this technology to measure other chemical processes. Finally, we look into other potential applications of the technology in other parts of the supply chain, such as in shipping containers.”
What would make QCAP a success in your eyes?
“We would deem QCAP a success if we end up with a product that can easily and cheaply detect both chemical and microbial processes in large shipments of fruit or vegetables. That would guarantee our clients increased efficiency, as well as the ability to select the right products for specific markets. Alongside having an economic benefit, it would also be a significant step in reducing food waste.”