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Published in Scientific Papers. Series B, Horticulture, Vol. LXVI, Issue 2
Written by Szandra KLÁTYIK, Roxana CICEOI, Gergana MLADENOVA, Okray OREL, Eszter TAKÁCS, Mária MÖRTL, András SZÉKÁCS

Spice paprika, including different species such as bell pepper and chili, is the second-largest spice commodity worldwide. It has varying significance in the European Union (EU) countries from a culinary, economic, and socio-cultural points of view. Due to the high pressure of pests and intensive plant protection, food safety aspects related to mycotoxins and pesticide residues have come to the fore. Currently, there are 41 active ingredients registered in the EU for chemical treatments in paprika cultivation. Pesticides can affect the quality of spice paprika. High dosages of pesticide treatment resulted in lowered levels of tocopherols (up to 13%) and carotenoids (up to 16%). Some of the aims of the European Green Deal are “50% reduction in use and risk of chemical pesticides”, “50% reduction in the use of more hazardous pesticides” and “at least 25% of the EU’s agricultural land under organic farming”. The present collaboration within the Erasmus+ Hort4EUGreen project supports the dissemination of pesticide-free and organic farming knowledge, doubled by knowledge on nutritional quality of horticultural products and urban horticulture, for students, farmers and other interested citizens. This is done open access, via the educational platform, that aims at becoming a long-term training hub enhancing theoretical and practical skills of horticulture specialists to better address the demands of the European Green Deal.

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