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NPD is one of the most common techniques used by Grupo Catala in order to better approach sustainability principles. In order to get one of the most efficient sustainability project we have implemented new growing techniques.

New growing techniques

Experimental Plots. Grupo Catala is involved in a continuous process of evolution with the aim of marketing varieties that fulfill market demand.

Tasting quality

Better brix levels

Better pressure and texture


Shape and size

With the aim of fulfill market demands we select new varieties in order to extend seasons at the beginning and at the end.
Grupo Catala carries out studies in different farms in order to make sure market demands can be fulfilled. We work with the best nurseries, editors and plant dealers, making sure we are always planting the best varieties in our farms


Cooperation for innovation:

“New natural strategies to reduce physiopathies of post-harvest in pome fruit”

One of the most important problems in the fruit growing sector has been the cold storage of some varieties of pear and apple susceptible to superficial scalding problems. The main consequence of the scalding is the deterioration of the appearance and the market value of the fruit, reason why the fruit only happens to be considered apt to be used in industrial processes.

For this reason, a collaboration with a large company of the fruit sector (COOPERATIVA DE SANT DOMENECH) and one of the main companies of organic product production and without residues by the control of diseases (ALTINCO), accompanied by the IRTA and the DBA (University of Lleida), in order to study a joint strategy in the field and in postharvest to improve the parameters that can influence poaching, with the use of natural products.

The objective of the project is to evaluate different conditions of management in the field and post-harvest, with natural products, in order to reduce the incidence of problems associated with cold storage such as surface scalding.

Specific technical objectives:

1. To determine the application of a natural product to increase the absorption of macro and micro elements and to evaluate its influence on the quality parameters of the fruit and its predisposition to the appearance of physiopathies.
2. Study different natural treatments for post-harvest application for pome fruit.
3. Monitor the scalding process of this fruit during its conservation in a controlled atmosphere by studying α-farnesene, choose conjugates or ethylene.
4. Evaluation of the efficacy of field and post-harvest management on fruit scald and quality.
5. Carry out an outreach plan to bring the results obtained in the pilot project to the sector.

With the financing of:

Project financed through Measure 16:01:01 (Cooperation for innovation) through the Rural Development Program of Catalonia 2014-2020.

Order ARP / 258/2015 of 17 August approving the regulatory bases for aid for innovation cooperation by promoting the creation of operational groups of the European Association for Innovation in Productivity and agricultural sustainability and the implementation of innovative pilot projects by these groups, and convening the corresponding ones by 2015.


The company’s strategy is to maximize fruit farms, taking into account the needs of the market, with the aim of guaranteeing the quality and food safety of the fruit, through the improvement and control of all the processes carried out in The development of the activity.

The post-harvest handling of the fruit is limited by its rapid deterioration, due to changes induced by its respiratory, metabolic and enzymatic activity, in addition to that generated by a wide range of altering and pathogenic microorganisms. The rotting caused by molds and the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in the fruit is a problem for the sector, generating high economic losses and hindering the possible regional, national and international trade of the fruit. Therefore, it is necessary to search for new alternatives that are effective, safe and respectful to the environment that can prolong the conservation of fruits.

There are many studies that state that fruit conservation is a consequence of the interaction between productive factors, technological factors of conservation and genetic factors. Among these innate properties of the plant material are the compositional characteristics of the fruit, which will determine its suitability to withstand more or less long periods of conservation. This chemical composition will depend on the fertilization plans that are followed in the field and the post-harvest behavior. This project aims to establish a relationship between these factors, both in fruit production and in its subsequent conservation, affecting the useful life of each species or variety of fruit, in order to prolong its conservation.

The main objective of the project is to extend the shelf life of the stone fruit (peach, nectarine, paraguayan and apricot) by means of: sustainable production strategies in the field to obtain a fruit at its optimum maturity and the application of conservation techniques That allow to prevent the appearance of pathogens in poscosecha.

A number of specific technical objectives are derived from this general objective:

1. To determine the nutritional requirements of nitrogen of the fruit trees of bone, and their influence in the useful life, obtaining a fruit of quality.
2. Characterize the use of ozone gas at low temperature as a control agent of post-harvest pathogens and its effect on the subsequent conservation of the fruit in a controlled atmosphere.
3. Determine a predictive model that allows us to establish the conservation time of the bone fruit through the relation of production variables and post-harvest techniques.

(PROJECT THAT HAS RECEIVED CDTI FINANCIAL SUPPORT THROUGH EUROPEAN UNION FEDER FUNDS: Intelligent Growth Operational Program 2014-2020). Currently, consumers demand fruit of the highest quality, that has a high content of nutritional compounds and with favorable effects for health. EL ESCOBAR, S.C.L, aims to satisfy consumer demand, which requires a healthy and quality fruit; the company is making a bet to study techniques that allow it to obtain a fruit of the highest quality, that has a high content of nutritional compounds and with favorable effects for health. Among these compounds, it should be noted the presence in fruits of vitamins, fiber and polyphenols (Toselli et al., 2010) that can exert an antioxidant activity, either alone or in a synergistic way.
For this he has decided to carry out the project entitled “IMPROVING ANTIOXIDANT CAPACITY OF FRUIT BY MEANS OF LIQUID FERTILIZERS BASED ON POTASSIUM ORGANIC SALTS” “KANTIOX”. The main objective of the project is to improve the durability and antioxidant capacity of the fruit through a more efficient application of potassium.

Specific technical objectives of the project: 1. Obtain greater durability and quality of the fruit by determining an efficient management of the application of potassium to the plant 2. Evaluate the potassium absorption in the leaf by leaf analysis 3. Study the alterations in the profile of polyphenols soluble in fruit, due to the new fertilizer. 4. Study the influence of subscribers on the useful life of the fruits.


In recent years, Japanese plum has reached great importance in Spain and, especially, in Extremadura. One of the main characteristics of this crop is the floral incompatibility that practically all varieties present, so they need cross-pollination with pollen from other varieties to produce fruit. Also, for the pollination to take place, it is necessary that the flowering time of the compatible varieties coincide. Therefore, the main problem presented by Japanese plum plantations is the lack of synchronization of flowering between compatible varieties, which negatively affects crop yield.

EL ESCOBAR, S.C.L, aims to find a solution to the oscillations of production of plums by implementing agronomic techniques in their plantations that improve pollination and fruit set, by synchronizing the flowering of different varieties.


The main objective of the project is to determine the cultural practices of Japanese plum cultivation to stimulate the emergence of winter rest and, therefore, synchronize the flowering of different varieties of plum, so as to optimize pollination and fruit setting. , keeping its maximum quality.

Specific technical objectives of the project:
1. To know the effects of the application of bioactivating compounds in the emergence of rest and flowering of three varieties of Japanese plum
2. Evaluate the effect of the treatments on fruit setting
3. Determine the influence of the treatments on the yield and quality of the plum


The export of stone fruits to third countries, has been diversifying, and currently, the demand for farther destinations such as Brazil, South Africa or some Asian countries stands out. The shipment of stone fruit, both at great distances and to closer European destinations, requires that the conservation and sanitary status of the fruits be maintained for a longer period (shelf-life), thereby fulfilling the expectations of the customers within the value chain.

The main problem for its commercialization, are the losses produced by post-harvest rots.

EL ESCOBAR, SCL, aims to study different pathogen protection techniques in stone fruit, to replace the application of phytosanitary products with biomolecular compounds from the plant itself, with the aim of increasing conservation and, consequently, the shelf-life of the fruit, with a biological and sustainable method.

For this purpose, it has decided to carry out the project entitled “BIOSHELF-LIFE: BIOMOLECULAR PROTECTION TECHNIQUE IN FRUIT CONSERVATION”.

The main objective of the project is to develop a biomolecular protection technique that allows to increase the useful life of the stone fruit.

Specific technical objectives of the project:
1. Study the activation of defense mechanisms of the plant and the increase of bioactive compounds, through water stress
2. Obtain polyphenols with antimicrobial capacity, from the lignin of biomass byproducts of the crop, and determine their application conditions for the control of pathogens in the field of stone fruit trees.
3. Obtain phenolic and peptidic extracts with antimicrobial capacity from the waste byproducts of the fruit of the industry itself, evaluating the best post-harvest application conditions in the selected fruit varieties
4. Determine optimal packaging conditions in modified and controlled atmospheres, by using advanced technologies for the selected fruit varieties
5. Selection and application of antagonistic microorganisms against the pathogenic flora of the fruit and determination of the best application conditions in pre and post-harvest of the selected fruit varieties
6. Apply the best previously selected treatments individually or in combination both in pre and post-harvest, taking into account the production conditions of the fruit varieties selected by the industry