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Implementation of integrated and innovative Precision Agriculture management strategies to reduce the occurrence of ochratoxins along the vine value chain products: grapes, raisins/currants and wine

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - OchraVine Control (Implementation of integrated and innovative Precision Agriculture management strategies to reduce the occurrence of ochratoxins along the vine value chain products: grapes, raisins/currants and wine)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-12-31

The risk of mycotoxins is a global issue that represents a serious risk for human and animal health. Οchratoxin A (OTA) is a very toxic mycotoxin that constitutes a severe problem for viticulture and taking into account the extreme climatic events that are frequently faced in recent years, the OTA problem is arising in wine and raisins/currants. OchraVine Control project will offer an inexistent innovative, sustainable and integrated smart ICT solution (OchraVine Control DSS) considering fungal, host and environmental indicators that affect OTA contamination along the vine grape-wine value chain. The main objectives of OchraVine Control are to:
1. Identify pre-harvest indicators for the development of the OTA predictive model
2. Develop a rapid OTA detection system and sustainable pre-and post-harvest OTA management strategies
3. Develop an integral solution for the OTA risk contamination control along the vine chain
4. Increase consumer confidence and reduce the risk for human health and economic OTA impact associated with human health within all sectors of vine production
The OchraVine Control DSS will allow prediction and monitoring at pre- and post-harvest level to control Aspergillus infection and OTA contamination in vine cultivation by combining epidemiological data, biological and chemical management strategies, post-havrest technologies and precision agriculture tools. OchraVine Control DSS solution will pursue a field-to-fork approach and will link and translate the information derived from the OchraRisk and OchraDetect predictive map tools and real data obtained during the monitoring controls by the OchraSensor. OchraVine Control DSS tool will be placed in an open access web platform and in combination with data from the OchraRed Integrated Management Strategy will provide risk prediction information (i.e. geographic OTA vine alerts), practical recommended solutions for OTA management and will verify the compliance with legislation requirements in a rapid and cost-effective way.
OchraVine Control project has collected data to identify fungal, pest, host as well as crucial environmental indicators and agricultural practices that are involved in OTA outbreaks during pre-harvest of grapes especially under a climate change scenario. The first goal of the project was to identify the population levels and possible new species of Aspergillus spp. in vineyards of different varieties and raisins/currants in Greece and France and to correlate them with the levels of OTA in vineyards. These results will contribute to the elucidation of the epidemiology of these fungi in relation to the management of ochratoxin A risk in grapes. Next, various commercial vine varieties were evaluated for their susceptibility/resistance in Aspergillus and biosynthesis of OTA in France, Italy and Greece with the main goal of defining “susceptibility indicators”, based on genetic, morphological or physiological aspects of grape varieties. Weather indicators such as air and soil humidity and temperature have been found to influence the occurrence of OTA producing fungi and mycotoxin contamination in the field. Several environmental data (air and soil temperature, air and soil humidity, precipitation) have been collected and are being used in correlation studies with the disease epidemiology and OTA biosynthesis.
OchraVine Control is developing an innovative, precise, rapid and easy to use sensor system for OTA detection in vine products (OchraSensor) to be used by farmers and industrials. Compact portable membrane inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS) systems have been employed for the first time to detect and monitor, both qualitatively and quantitatively, volatile emissions of grapes infected by the fungus A. carbonarius. On-line monitoring of such compounds (for their early detection) in field conditions is of importance due to their potential negative impact on the crop production, the public health and the environment.
OchraVine Control has also developed an IPM strategy (OchraRed) based on a combination of biological and chemical plant protection products that are able to reduce significantly the OTA contamination in vineyards.
The pre-harvest detection system will consist of two pillars: (1) Mapping of emergence risk of fungi based on dynamic modelling approaches and (2) Monitoring of fungi/mycotoxin occurrence in high risk regions using innovative crowd sourcing tools. Data (indicators) will be used to develop a conceptual prediction model for the dynamic simulation of A. carbonarius life cycle in grapes along the growing season including OTA production in berries, must and raisins/currants. Additionally, critical post-harvest indicators and methods for the prevention of OTA production are tested in vine value chain and will be crucial inputs for a Post-harvest model (OchraDetect).
Effective post-harvest management requires clear monitoring criteria and effective implementation, hygiene and monitoring to ensure that mycotoxin contamination is minimized along the food and feed chain. In the project, an axisymmetric 2-D Finite Element Model (FEM) of coupled heat and mass transfer model to describe the temporal and spatial temperature and moisture content variation of raisins and currants under direct solar drying, is developed and implemented to predict temperature and moisture content during the drying process.
OchraVine Control Decision Support System (DSS) will be a toolkit to effectively monitor and reduce the incidence of OTA in the grape-wine chain. It will be able to prognose the disease in real time and will provide appropriate warnings for preventive and direct sprays. The goal of this task is the translation of the vision of OchraVine-DSS into sustainable business models and the development of environmentally friendly and economically feasible pre- and post-harvest practices for the examination of OTA contamination through the grape to wine chain.
OchraVine Control will effectively predict, monitor and reduce the incidence of OTA in grapes-wine-raisins. OchraVine Control will contribute to: a) reduction of diseases associated to OTA for the human consumption of grapes, wine, raisins/currants, b) reduction of OTA occurrence in grape value chain improving European farmers, industrials and retailers productivity and competiveness, c) reduction of the medical costs resulted from OTA entering to the human food/feed chains of grape products and wine, d) reduction of consumer complaints regarding the grape/raisin-wine safety. OchraVine Control project results will be disseminated by a web platform with open access to information about OTA control and will be communicated with articles on newspapers, TV channels, social networks, technical and consumer conferences, webinars.
The project targets to support all the operators in the vine chain, including farmers, policy makers and risk managers in their strategic and tactic decisions. For the end-users the main focus was on the profits of farm/industry as the reduction of OTA occurrence in grape value chain improving productivity and competiveness. Academia and policy makers are interested on the scientific research and new technologies that can have direct impact in the quality of life, and the profitability of agriculture. Finally for the general public the main focus was on the fact that OchraVine Control project will contribute at the reduction of OTA and its’ negative impact in human health.
Aspergillus sour rot
Aspergillus section Nigri in grapes
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