Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB) is a European research centre for agricultural engineering with an interdisciplinary field of activity at the nexus of biological and technical systems. ATB has multi-disciplinary research teams with currently around 250 staff members, 75 of them scientists and PhD students. In 2017/2018/2019 the ATB invested 19 Mio € in a Centre for knowledge and technology transfer with a special lab complex for microbiological analyses. The institute is partner in high level European and international networks and is involved in numerous European research projects (Horizon2020, COST, LIFE+ etc.) and CORNET projects related to food packaging (Actipoly and RemOPack). The Institute’s research work addresses topical scientific questions and contributes to the call for practical guidance and support in the domains of politics, industry, agriculture and horticulture. Research within the strategic programme “Quality and safety of food and feed” spans the spectrum from primary production, processing, packaging and consumption of food and feed using innovative and interdisciplinary approaches. ATB carries out basic and applied research horizontally along the supply chains of fresh or gently processed produce as well as vertically, from the “molecular level” to pilot scale.
ATB will have a strong role in WP1 for the optimization of mild sanitation processes based on cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAPP) for various fruit and vegetable products (e.g. cherry, appples, tomatoes, citrus fruits and leavy salads. In addition, ATB will optimise extraction of antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds from byproducts & coproducts based on ultrasound (US) and pulsed electric field (PEF) combination processes in WP2. In WP4 ATB will guide the demonstration of plasma-assisted processes at lab/pilot-scale and will lead the pilot-scale testing unit in Germany focused on the entire postharvest processing of fresh fruits and vegetables from raw material to consumers. In WP5 ATB will participate in the evaluation of shelf life extension of prototype foods. ATB will also contribute in terms of dissemination, knowledge transfer and training activities in WP7.