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Advanced and innovative techniques for the citrus fruits industry


The main objectives of the project are, taking into account the increasing demands of high quality products from consumers, improvements for the citrus fruit industry.
The main objectives of the project were:
development of critical fluids extraction processes for the production of essential oils from citrus;
study and development of new products such as fruit segments (other than mandarin), juice vesicles and concentrated clouding agents;
development of a process for depigmentation, debittering and concentration by adaptation or combination of membrane, adsorption and enzyme technologies;
study and selection of efficient and economic systems for waste water treatment and recycling;
study and development of methods of analysis for the citrus products and by-products.
The following approaches will be used:

Production of high quality citrus juice by integrated new procedures using, in particular, membrane and absorption technologies. This approach could increase the value of citrus juices produced in Southern Europe, which contain bitter compounds and red pigments, and prevent the formation of off tastes generated by thermal treatments.

Enzymatic solubilization of fruit membranes and albedo residues. Development and optimization of a procedure for citrus fruit enzymatic peeling using industrial preparations. Adaptation of existing equipment for mandarin segment peeling and design of other specific equipment for the production of peeled sections of lemon, orange, grapefruit and mandarin, commercialized as appetizers, frozen or cooled.

Isolation and production of juice cell sacs from citrus fruits by enzymatic and mechanical treatment of peeled segments and application of chemical or aseptic preservation.

Improvement of the manufacturing process for concentrated clouding agents by applying tangential filtration in two ceramic cartridges arranged in serial for selecting particles comprised between 0.2 and 3.0 um in size, in order to achieve a natural cloudy agent with greater stability and concentration than conventional methods attain and with the advantage of being fully pulp free.

Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of essential oils from some components (flowers, blossoms, leaves and twigs) of citrus trees and from the residues of enzymatic solubilization of fruits membranes and albedo; purification and fractional separation of cold pressed essential oils by means of supercritical carbon dioxide extraction.

Depolluting and recycling of waste waters. Traditional and new processes have to be evaluated for their suitability for plants operating only in short seasons and for great quantities of diluted effluents.

Methods of analysis. Analytic control of technological processes through tests on raw materials, intermediate products and final products (juices, essential oils, segments, etc).

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Ente per le Nuove Tecnologie l'Energia e l'Ambiente (ENEA)
Via Anguillarese 301
00060 Santa Maria Di Galeria Roma

Participants (5)

S/n,avenida De La Fama 1, S/n Apartado De Correos 195
30080 Murcia
Citrag Ricerche Srl
Via Xxvii Luglio 60
98031 Messina
Fdt Depuratori d' Acqua
Viale Lombardia 299-301
20047 Brugherio
Ministry of Agriculture
1,S Venizelou
14123 Athens
Stazione Sperimentale per l'Industria delle Essenze e dei Derivati dagli Agrumi
Generale Tommasini 2
89127 Reggio Calabria