Going bananas - Where does the banana come from?

Project

Going bananas - Where does the banana come from?

This project focuses on the development of innovative technology to verify the provenance of bananas. This concerns both the geographical and production origins of bananas. With the verification of the production (location) sustainability claims can be underpinned as well. The main deliverable is a combination of an analytical method and chemometric analysis which allows the identification of the product origin of tropical fruits.

The sustainable production of fruits is growing globally. Dutch enterprises actively import and certify socially and environmentally sustainable tropical fruits due to the increasing societal demand. Due to this demand retailers increase their shares to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Bananas are an important product in this group. Consumer confidence is pivotal for maintaining and growth of the sustainable production of fruits. A good reputation of the sector and avoidance of rotten apples is, therefore, important for the future of the whole supply chain. Apart from the current track and trace methods, additional options for verification of the identity of fruits from sustainable production systems are welcome.

Objectives of the project

This project aims at the development of innovative technology to assess and verify the production origin of bananas. 

Methodology and time table

In the project combinations of rapid analytical techniques and chemometrics to identify the production origin of tropical fruits will be developed, and the best selected. In order to generalise use, the chemical fingerprint signatures will be correlated with geological, climatological and local management meta data. Finally, the methods developed will be tested in practice.  

Results

The innovative technology to be developed in the project will increase the verifiability of plant products from sustainable productions, and thus the reliability of sustainability claims. The methodology is new and additional to the current track and trace systems. The involved production, trade, retail, and certification project partners are in full support of sustainable productions, and it is part of their business strategy. Within this strategy, it is important to them to guarantee the sustainability of the products they sell, and to reduce fraud risks in the supply chain. Technology that can verify the production origin of bananas adds considerably to the economic value of their products and brands, as well as to the supply chain as a whole by prevention of potential serious reputation damage.

Publications