The overall objective of WP5 is to assess existing and innovative technologies serving as intervention strategies to improve the safety and quality of water used in the fresh supply chain, mainly on a microbiological level. Different types of water that are currently used for crop production (pre- and post-harvest) and also for processing purposes, (e.g. washing of fresh-cut produce) will be evaluated. This will result in modeling of water treatment technologies related to the microbiological quality and assessment of chemical by-products due to disinfection.
A structured evaluation of currently used water treatment techniques taking into account the sustainability aspects is required. For this purpose, terminology regarding types of water (depending upon source), quality and treatment will be compiled. A selection tool which lists technical details concerning water treatment and water (re-)use will be developed. Subsequently, the effect of selected water treatments on the microbial quality of the water will be examined. However due to disinfection, the formation of harmful disinfection by-products (e.g. trihalomethanes, halogenated acetic acids, semi-carbazide) can occur. The potential formation of by-products will be studied in a manner similar to that proposed for the study of the disinfection efficacy of the various techniques. The disinfection capacity of selected water treatment systems, their influence on the chemical safety as well as the influence of the quality of the inlet-water on their performance, will be studied. A semi-mechanistic mathematical model for one selected water treatment system based on the collected data and on an optimal design of experiments will be developed.