Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Development of bio-active nanostructured fibrous membranes for an extension of fresh fruits postharvest shelf life

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.14.02  Engineering sciences and technologies  Textile and leather  Textile chemistry 
4.03.07  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production  Technology of vegetal origin food 

Code Science Field
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
natural biopolymers, biocatalysis, emulsion electrospinning, bio-active nanofibrous membranes
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on March 25, 2023; A3 for period 2017-2021
Data for ARRS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  748  14,730  12,586  16.83 
Scopus  784  16,533  14,160  18.06 
Researchers (25)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  51167  Doris Bračič  Textile and leather  Researcher  2022 - 2023  21 
2.  37632  PhD Matej Bračič  Chemistry  Researcher  2020 - 2023  131 
3.  50638  Ana Bratuša Štern  Textile and leather  Researcher  2022 - 2023  18 
4.  32136  PhD Selestina Gorgieva  Materials science and technology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  175 
5.  52407  Špela Gruden  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2022 - 2023 
6.  27558  PhD Silvo Hribernik  Textile and leather  Researcher  2020 - 2023  287 
7.  56270  Jernej Imperl  Chemistry  Researcher  2022 - 2023  11 
8.  50281  Urška Jančič  Textile and leather  Junior researcher  2020 - 2023  29 
9.  36303  PhD Rupert Kargl  Textile and leather  Researcher  2020 - 2023  276 
10.  23386  PhD Drago Kočar  Chemistry  Researcher  2020 - 2023  231 
11.  16429  PhD Mitja Kolar  Chemistry  Researcher  2020 - 2023  555 
12.  28976  Tanja Kos    Technician  2020 - 2021  42 
13.  24332  PhD Manja Kurečič  Materials science and technology  Principal Researcher  2020 - 2023  215 
14.  35335  PhD Jernej Markelj  Chemistry  Researcher  2020 - 2021  52 
15.  33768  PhD Tamilselvan Mohan  Textile and leather  Researcher  2020 - 2023  199 
16.  22407  PhD Alenka Ojstršek  Textile and leather  Researcher  2020 - 2023  204 
17.  52595  Azra Osmić  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2020 - 2023  12 
18.  29336  PhD Ilja Gasan Osojnik Črnivec  Chemistry  Researcher  2020 - 2023  217 
19.  15650  PhD Lea Pogačnik  Chemistry  Researcher  2020 - 2023  275 
20.  10873  PhD Nataša Poklar Ulrih  Chemistry  Researcher  2020 - 2023  792 
21.  15466  PhD Mihaela Skrt  Biotechnology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  149 
22.  07814  PhD Karin Stana Kleinschek  Textile and leather  Researcher  2020 - 2023  1,110 
23.  51227  Luka Šturm  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  35 
24.  05733  PhD Rajko Vidrih  Plant production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  729 
25.  19640  PhD Emil Zlatić  Plant production  Researcher  2020 - 2023  152 
Organisations (4)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0103  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology  Ljubljana  1626990  21,902 
2.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  64,524 
3.  0795  University ob Maribor, Faculty of mechanical engineering  Maribor  5089638010  23,975 
4.  0796  University of Maribor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science  Maribor  5089638003  27,065 
Horticultural products such as fresh fruits and vegetables are very perishable by nature and susceptible to spoilage due to fungi and bacteria infection. Many are also susceptible to mechanical injuries during post-harvest handling and distribution due to their soft tissues and perishable nature. The fruit storage involves physical and chemical changes that negatively modify fruit quality. The ability of fruit industry to provide a “fresh” product for the consumer throughout the year, is highly dependent on the storage environment conditions and various post-harvest chemical treatments. Poor storage facilities and lack of infrastructure cause high post-harvest food losses. It has been estimated that from 20 to 25 % of fruit and vegetables leaving the farm gate is never consumed, but has to be thrown away. This leads not only to substantial fruit and vegetable losses representing financial losses for the farmers, packers, and distributors, but also to increased solid waste that can have a negative environmental impact. From a food safety standpoint, perished fruits and vegetables can also impact consumers' health. The current potential solutions are based on biological control and physical methods such as irradiation with high-energy electrons, heat treatment, storage in a controlled and modified atmosphere or gaseous treatments, the application of supplementary chemical treatments as fungicides, bactericides etc. However, specific treatments may only be applicable to certain types of product and spoilage conditions and the effectiveness of existing treatments on emerging quality issues need to be assessed. Also the safety issues are not properly addressed for the mentioned treatments. Lately, there has been an increase in the recognition of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), synthesized by plants including aldehydes such as acetaldehyde, hexanal and benzaldehyde, alcohols such as ethanol and acetic acid that have been shown to suppress the growth of plant pathogenic microorganisms indicating that these compounds could be one of the important mechanisms for biological control of plant diseases. The key objective of proposed project is to develop a biodegradable and bioactive membranes for the protection of fresh fruits, priority apples, using emulsion electrospun nanofibers providing (i) protection from mold and bacteria attack and (ii) optimal microenvironment for preserving nutritional quality during the define storage shelf life. The final product will be electrospun fiber mats on the paper based tray templates i.e. biodegradable fiber tray. By appropriate design of electrospun membrane we will be able, not only to prevent the uncontrolled release of bioactive compounds, but also allow the development of a triggering mechanism that activates their release (e.g., exploiting the desirable interactions between the membrane fiber and their surrounding matrices). For these purpose, we will encapsulate a vegetal enzymatic system (lipase, lipoxygenase and hydroperoxyde lyase) by formation of stable emulsions of the essentials oils - lipids (sunflower containing 60% of linoleic acid as source of hexanal and other bioactive volatiles compounds with antifungal/antibacterial and antifouling activity) that will be mixed with biopolymer solutions – polysaccharides, and then formed into nano fibers to manufacture antimicrobial active nano-structured membranes with sufficient mechanical properties (i.e. multilayered fibers mats) for the use to preserve fruits and vegetable. The efficacy of newly developed nano-structured membranes against mold and/or bacteria attack, and fruit protective ability will be tested under the real storage conditions, where the fruit response will be monitored indirectly through the formation of anaerobic metabolites and content of the most important aromatic compound through define period of time.
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