Start website main content

  • Istituto di Produzioni Vegetali

Fruit and vegetables: how to reduce fertilizer consumption without compromising vegetable quality during storage. Study by Antonio Ferrante, full professor at Sant'Anna School, being presented at the 5th conference on “Fresh-cut Produce”

Research on hydroponic production of "fourth-range sector", or ready-to-eat, vegetables among the papers at the event organized in Foggia under the auspices of the International Society for Horticultural Science, the world's leading independent organization of horticultural scientists
Publication date: 06.06.2024
Back to Sant'Anna Magazine

The Sant'Anna School is participating in the Fifth International Conference on Fresh-Cut produce: mantaining quality and safety, organized by the University of Foggia from Monday, June 3 to Thursday, June 6 under the auspices of the International Society for Horticultural Science, the world's leading independent organization of horticultural scientists, with the contribution of Antonio Ferrante, full professor of horticulture and floriculture at the Institute of Crop Science. Antonio Ferrrante will speak, presenting a study on vegetable production in hydroponics (a type of cultivation that takes place in aqueous solutions containing mineral salts or otherwise on growing media, such as peat, coconut fiber, with which they are soaked), with less concentrated nutrient solutions that can help reduce fertilizer consumption, without compromising the quality of vegetables during storage.

“The study,” explains Antonio Ferrante, “aimed to reduce the use of fertilizers in lettuce cultivation. Decreasing fertilization by 50 percent reduced costs and pollution of the environment, because at the end of cultivation, the residual aqueous solution has a low fertilizer content and, even if it is not recovered, does not pollute waterways or groundwater supplies. The results showed that even if fertilization is decreased, it is possible to obtain a high yield, of quality and rich in bioactive compounds beneficial to human health. Hydroponic systems,” he concludes, ”are becoming increasingly popular in the agri-food industry and specifically in the 'fourth-range sector', in order to obtain products without pesticide residues

This conference is an ideal meeting place between research and industry, bringing together the scientific community and representatives from the world of production and distribution to share the latest findings on “Fresh-Cut Produce,” or the so-called “fourth range” fruits and vegetables: fruits, vegetables, and, in general, fresh packaged and ready-to-eat vegetables. The conference gives special focus on advanced methods to prevent their browning, molecular tools to understand the physiological response to damage and post-cut behavior, and innovative technologies to extend the shelf life of cut produce.

Cover photo: Antonio Ferrante during the conference in Foggia.