Biological control and natural biomolecules

Cold treatment and post-harvest trials for organic table grapes


Over the last years, the cultivation of organic table grapes has evolved thanks to an increase in the surface areas and in the quantities destined to the markets. The development of the sector is supported by exports towards European and non-European countries which show an increasing interest in organic produce. Organic agriculture shows problems linked to the pest control, and to the post-harvest management. One more crucial aspect relates to the compliance with quarantine measures to be applied for the Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata  Wied. which is a quarantine pest on table grapes in several non-EU countries. It is notorious that the characteristics of table grapes and their response to cold-storage are impacted by the vineyard management with special reference to the soil, canopy management, water and mineral nutrition. This project intends to optimize irrigations. Therefore, the producers of organic table grapes shall apply suitable agricultural techniques for the vineyard management, valid techniques of phytosanitary control, sound irrigation strategies for the full respect of the vineyard agroecosysetm, with a view to optimizing yields, berry ripening, taste and performance of bunches during transport and cold storage. 

Starting: 1.06.2009
Scheduled ending: 1.06.2012
Real ending: 23.09.2019


The project will enable to rationalise the techniques for phytosanitary control, water management and improvement of organic table grapes storage. The main goal is the elaboration of a technical protocol of the whole production process. This may extend the possibility of exporting the organic table grapes also to non-European countries which do not import the Italian table grapes for the presence of the fruit fly.  Management techniques for both production and storage will have a positive rebound with a reduced use of resources.

The project is designed to identify simple criteria for the management of organic vineyards which help pursuing the following advantages: lower impact on the environment, water and energy saving, equilibrium between canopy vegetation and yield, reduced labour force for the canopy management, high product quality, protection of the consumers’ health. 



The results of innovative cold storage techniques will help marketing organic table grapes with a longer shelf life and increasing competitiveness of our producers on the market.  



The dissemination and transfer of innovations will spur new business or stimulate the integration of innovative techniques in the already existing holdings with the increase in the income and creation of new jobs.




  • Strengths

The results of research both in the vineyard and in the post-harvest phase will encourage conventional vine growers to turn to organic farming methods with a lower impact on the environment. The demand for organic grapes is rising both in Italyand abroad. An increase in the producers’ income is thus foreseeable linked as it is to a higher price and a lower management cost. Cold treatment techniques will help exporting our table grapes to countries where specific quarantine measures are applied against Ceratitis capitata.

  • Weaknesses

Criticalities linked to climatic and/or parasitic factors which may impact the vineyard management.

During the cold treatment phase, some losses can occur due to technical problems with the equipment (cold chamber or containers).

Reference person/s: Simeone Vito /
Collaborators: Baser Nuray / Lamaj Flutura / Tucci Michele /
Institutions involved:
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