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Innovative down-scaled FOod processing in a boX

Project description

Advanced technology applications in fruit and vegetable processing

The fruit and vegetable sector in Europe needs innovative and flexible technologies for processing. The EU-funded FOX project focuses on mobile and flexible processing units of small and medium-size companies and farmers that offer advanced technology applications. The project concentrates on mild processing technologies: from preservation to packaging and quick quality control for healthier food production. It will be deployed in six EU regions with considerable fruit and vegetable production and will evaluate new business opportunities. In addition, it will estimate its environmental, social, business and health impacts. The promotion of the project’s method, as well as the debate concerning policy recommendations, will be promoted by a European Interest Group of small-scale food processors.


The unique FOX approach will research and develop innovative, small scale technologies in mobile or flexible processing units for different applications for small and medium enterprises and farmers in the fruit and vegetable sector in Europe. This will stimulate the transition from a centralised industry to regional hubs that employ innovative, flexible and sustainable technologies based on seasonality and demand. By this, FOX meets expectation of small food businesses for innovative processing solutions, technically and economically feasible, that also consider needs of the food chain and consumers. Consumers expect food they can trust, natural as possible. FOX will focus on mild processing technologies: low temperature drying, mild extraction, mild preservation with pulsed electric field or high pressure, innovative conditioning and packaging and rapid quality testing. By this a variety of fruit/vegetable products can be produced with superior physical and nutritional quality and so contributing to a healthier food diet. FOX processes will be researched (aim TRL 5-6) and demonstrated in six European model regions and seven associated partner regions (only demonstration) with significant fruit and vegetable growing (conventional and organic production). Per Food Circle (=application of a FOX processing unit in specific region) the potential for new business options will be exploited and strategies will be designed to engage consumers in product development processes. Impact of the FOX approach on the environment, business, people and their health will be assessed and serve as input for these developments. To promote the FOX approach of small scale technologies for regional food systems a Europe-wide Interest Group of Small Scale food Processors will be set up that will also foster the dialogue to deliver policy recommendations. Guidelines and targeted communication for each processing technology will be developed to reach potential users (ca. 2,000 companies).

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 804 652,31
49610 Quakenbruck

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Niedersachsen Weser-Ems Osnabrück, Landkreis
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 092 839,81

Participants (26)