After the exponential growth that led us to an annual production of 8,929 tons of product in 2019, the arrival of the pandemic in 2020 had a clear impact on our sector. “Fresh” bread and in particular our PDO Tuscan Bread is a product that, due to its obvious characteristics, has undergone social changes and consumer habits more than others.
The Protection Consortium and its associates, however, continued to make a square, thanks to a solid project aimed at pursuing the uniqueness of Tuscan excellence by closing annual production in 2021 close to 8,000 quintals with a signal of market recovery.
The final online conference "The agronomic and technological methodologies aimed at increasing the shelf-life of PDO Tuscan bread", was promoted as part of the Pane + Days project created with the EAFRD co-financing of the Rural Development Plan, ended on 18 March 2022 2014-2020 of the Tuscany Region.
PANE + DAYS is a pilot project aimed at testing an Innovative protocol that allows extending the storage times of PDO sourdough Tuscan Bread by acting on the chemical-compositional characteristics of the wheat used in its production and using innovative conditions and methods of conservation while maintaining it, the high qualitative and nutritional level as much as possible unchanged. This procedure would make it possible to reach markets currently closed, increasing the possible economic return for the entire supply chain but above all to reach those consumers further away from Tuscany who appreciates this healthy, salt-free, naturally leavened bread that keeps the wheat germ in its flours .
Through the final Seminar, the project partners shared with the participants the activities carried out over the three years that have passed since the start of the course. An opportunity to reflect on future prospects in light of the results achieved through the Pane + Days project. A design process that had to be adapted to the dynamics of the pandemic situation linked to Covid-19 as reiterated by Angela Zinnai Professor of the Department of Agricultural, Food and Agri-environmental Sciences, the University of Pisa for which "the anomalous situation, linked to the pandemic, is not it prevented the carrying out of the experimental activities even if it created many problems in finding the necessary technical means. Therefore - concludes Zinna - the operating results were overall achieved according to what was proposed in the project application ".
As regards the part relating to the experimentation activity in the cultivation of wheat, Simone Orlandini - Director of the Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Forestry Sciences and Technologies, University of Florence underlines the important steps forward made through the Pane + Days project for which “the experimentation in the cultivation of wheat is pushing towards new goals with the aim of enhancing aspects of the quality of the kernels not considered until now. Agronomic management - continues Orlandini - is also revisited in terms of efficiency in the use of inputs in order to improve environmental impact performance ".
For Laura Simoncini, Director of the CEDIT training agency, the pandemic has imposed important adjustments in the provision of training courses and a continuous reprogramming of the information and dissemination of innovations activity plan. Simoncini declares “The project was already complex in itself and the pandemic made it even more challenging but the partners were able to respect their commitments and continued to work together allowing the achievement of the set objectives. It was our intention Simoncini continues - to help tell the story of this project and we did it by collecting images, stories and documentation. Being part of this team has been a really good experience for our agency ".
Finally, the Secretary of the Consortium for the Protection of Tuscan Bread Daniele Pardini remembers the leader of the Consortium and of this project, Director Roberto Pardini who a year ago left us, orphans with his presence, passion and competence, giving the whole agronomic sector an irreplaceable contribution. . We embrace the legacy of knowing about him, adds Daniele Pardini, carrying on the Consortium in his name and in that of Tuscany. The Consortium thanks all the project partners, the technicians and the Universities for not stopping at it but continuing on the research and innovation path.
For info on the project
Visit the websites https://www.paneplusdays.it and https://www.panetoscanodop.it/it