“Scientific research helps us to innovate the typical products of our land. In this way we will succeed in making them known and appreciated in every corner of the world “. This is what Pietro Minisci, managing director of Valle Fiorita Catering, claims loudly. A fortiori after starting the BiotecA project, which sees the company as the head of a grouping of six companies and three public research bodies. BiotecA is a research and development program launched under the call for proposals ‘Aid to support the regional technological clusters’ FSC 2007-2013 issued by the Puglia region. The common objective is the use of food biotechnologies for innovation and competitiveness of the main regional libraries, with a particular focus on the extension of shelf life and functional aspects.
Each participating company represents a specific food supply chain. Valle Fiorita Catering that of baking leavened products, with the aim of improving the sensorial and functional qualities of the products through the application of biotechnological protocols combined with the use of starter of lactic bacteria, selected for metabolic and leavening properties, for the realization of bread with reduced salt content and without yeast. Gruppo Alimentare Mediterraneo Milo for the pasta and bakery products line, with the aim of producing a bruschetta-type pasta and bread balanced in nutritional indices and with a prolonged shelf life. Cantine due Palme soc. coop. agriculture for the wine industry, in order to improve the sensorial and hygienic-sanitary quality of Apulian wines through biotechnology in the cellar, limiting the addition of sulfur dioxide. Cannone Industrie Alimentari ‘The starters’ for the table olives chain, with the aim of applying biotechnological solutions for the prolongation of the shelf life of the Apulian table olives. Ignalat, for the dairy production chain, has developed fresh pasta cheeses with reduced fat content, enriched with protective microorganisms and with prolonged shelf life. in the end, for the fish supply chain, Minaba, with the intent of identifying strains of lactic bacteria for the biopreservation of fish products. To these companies are added three research organizations: University of Bari, University of Foggia and Ispa-Cnr (Institute of Sciences of food production).
The project, with a total duration of 27 months, led to the creation of a biotechnological hub, intended as a physical place for the collection of selected starter (ceppoteche), of all the technological indications functional to their use (technical data sheets and database) and a virtual place in which information related to project innovations converge. Details can be found on the web page entirely dedicated to the BiotecA project, available on the Valle Fiorita website.
“We can say with great satisfaction that the results have allowed numerous steps forward”, commented Pietro Minisci. In particular, for the bakery production chain, Valle Fiorita – thanks to its own microbiological laboratory and the staff of the R & D department, guided by the professionalism and competence of Andrea Minisci – has developed a biotechnological protocol to be applied to the production of baked yeast products to improve its preservability, its nutritional-functional value and prolong its shelf life.
The Ats BiotecA has therefore seized the opportunity of the Puglia region, always attentive to the enhancement of the territory and the companies that operate there, to innovate the typical products without depriving them of the characteristics that make them unique. Innovative products will be put on the market by companies immediately after the consumer test phase. “We can state,” declares the managing director of Valle Fiorita, “that research and collaboration between companies and universities become increasingly strategic in terms of both product innovation and better market positioning”.