The project has as overall objective the development of scientific and technical instruments for the improvement and rationality of production, commercialization and transformation (post-harvest and industrial) of cork. The project will develop a reliable method for the sampling of cork in the field and to define the parameters, and the methods for their measurement, to be used for the assessment of production and of quality. Tree sampling at b. h. will be used and the samples evaluated in relation to growth and quality. Improvement will be made of the currently used imaging tools for cork quality assessment with a higher specification of pores and defects, using adaptative morphological analysis and rank order functions. A definition of class qualities of cork planks will be made for this purpose.
An extensive sampling in all the European cork producing countries will allow to develop growth curves for cork for the different cork production regions and for different situations of environment, management and stand characteristics as well as to model tree and stand cork production based on field assessment. Further objectives include the development of a user's friendly estimation model that will make for a given production unit an estimate of production classified by calipers and class qualities based on the field assessment. A correlation between the quality of cork planks and the quality of stoppers will be studied experimentally in an industrial unit and the results will be used to develop simulation models for the industrial outputs of a given cork production. The same will be made at the postharvest preparation phase, allowing also to validate field assessment with the commercial cork planks output.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts