On February 23rd at the Muses, European Academy of Essences, in Savigliano (Italy), was held the first training workshop front of the European project Erasmus KA2 Herbartis. The project started with the aim to strengthen the training of producers of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants (PAM) with particular reference to the food industry; It aims to develop and improve the skills and knowledge of people working in the herb industry. The project involves the collaboration of four countries: Spain, Portugal, Italy and France; within this frame it is created a common training program.
The program includes online courses and virtual activities, workshops and transnational mobility in the partner countries: Spain, France, Portugal and Italy. Most of the work is done on-line, only the two workshop are “student – teacher” presence; the first held in Savigliano (Cuneo) by MÚSES – EUROPEAN ACADEMY FOR ESSENCES, a project of the Association Le Terre dei Savoia, and the other at the CREA in Sanremo (IM). The title of the workshop: “Sensory analysis and new drying and distillation techniques for obtaining food products based on herbs and medicines”.
- Prof G. Zeppa of DISAFA, University of Turin. He spoke about sensory analysis showing how it is a key instrument, though well known, to improve the characteristics of products in process and production. Main topics of the report are: the scale of the types of tests according to the training, the test panel and the panel head, the choice of descriptors;
- Dr. Roberto Di Paolo, Euphytos company in Val di Lemma who cultivates, collects and processes herbs and medicinal plants The company is using the best of plant extraction technology that transfers in the final mixture the totality of the active ingredients of the plants. The laboratory is energetically sustainable with solar panels and boiler fueled by wood. The company produces hydro-alcoholic extracts, fructose extracts, syrups, flavored oils and liqueurs. Topics of the report were: drying techniques, preservation, storage and production of aromatic and medicinal plants.
At the end of the conference participants experienced a practical exercise with microwave extraction method extracts of rose , thyme, ginger, peel cocoa powder. The extracted products were subjected to a brief sensory analysis.
The participants represented holders of food companies, herbalists, chemists, pharmacists and graduates in health techniques. As shown by a satisfaction survey they had to fill out, participants expressed great interest for the initiative both from an organizational point of view and for the topics covered.