On 25-29 October 2021, Assist. Prof. Tamar Sachaneli and Assist. Elene Sordia from GTU Faculty of Agricultural Science and Biosystems Engineering visited Polytechnic Institute of Beja (Portugal) within the ongoing Erasmus+ ICM Meeting on Agriculture, Food Technology, and Environmental Engineering: Eastern European, Balkan and Mediterranean Perspectives.
Within this International Week event, 15 participants visited Polytechnic Institute of Beja from Georgia (Technical University of Georgia), Armenia (Armenian National Agrarian University), Bosnia and Herzegovina (University of Banja Luka and the University of Sarajevo), Ukraine (Odessa National Academy of Food Technologies) and Czech Republic (Tomas Bata University in Zlin).
Assist. Prof. Tamar Sachaneli and Assist. Elene Sordia took part in Erasmus+ mobility for teaching activities at the project coordinator university. They delivered presentations and seminars for students and academic staff for the School of Agriculture, namely, at Food Sciences and Technology Department, Agronomy and Environmental Engineering Department. The seminars were related to the microbiological and chemical aspects of "Traditional Georgian PDO Cheeses" and "Georgian Wines".
During the technical and scientific visits, Prof. Maria João Carvalho (ERASMUS Coordinator for Food Science and Technology students) showed Georgian colleagues Research Centre of Agriculture and Horticultural Centre, Agriculture School Laboratories which are equipped with specialized instruments, enabling modern research tasks in the field of food technology and agriculture.
The Microbiology Laboratory is involved in the isolation and identification of microorganisms from traditional cheeses as probiotic starter cultures. The chemical laboratory has accreditation in ISO 17025 and is making different analyses of water and soil as well different scientific research in wastewater treatment by chemical precipitation processes and neutralization with CO2 from the air. They have aerobic biodegradation national patent as well.
Besides the seminars, there were conducted working meetings at the School of Agriculture. During the meetings were discussed the possibilities for further cooperation with Prof. Maria Teresa Santos in research activities in the microbiology field related to probiotic microorganisms from traditional cheeses.
It was conducted the research in winemaking technology same as Georgian, Qvevri’ by Prof. Anabela Amaral at Polytechnic Institute of Beja. Portuguese Professor expressed a desire to publish a joint publication about wines with designation of origin Alentejo and Georgia.
The intensive mobility schedule included various cultural events kindly organized by the Polytechnic Institute of Beja. The representatives of Georgian Technical University had an opportunity to explore Botanical Museum, also, Herdade da Figueirinha Estate, acquired in 1998 by Leonel Cameirinha. The Figueirinha has a passion for the culture of wine and olive oil. They showed the preparation technology of olive oil and wine. The vessels used for the fermentation of wine are oak barrels and egg-shaped terracotta clay pots, and maturation takes place above the ground. Specific visit programs included ALQUEVA DAM AND RESERVOIR, the largest hydro-agricultural investment in Portugal which improved the irrigation system in the Alentejo region.
It should be noted that this first visit for academic staff mobility from GTU at Polytechnic Institute of Beja actually contributed to further fruitful cooperation in research between Georgian and Portuguese colleagues.