Post-harvest fruit check advances outlined

New treatments and diagnostics can help extend fruit life, Dr Debbie Rees tells Fruit Storage Day.

Storage

The range of new post-harvest technologies available to the fruit industry was highlighted by Dr Debbie Rees of the University of Greenwich Natural Resources Institute at the recent East Malling Research Fruit Storage Day.

Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy offers the possibility to measure starch and sugar content as well as pectin levels because each absorb the radiation in identifiable ways, she said.

"This is already starting to be used commercially in the USA and Europe - by Dutch sorting technology developer Aweta for example - and can grade out storage disorders."

Newly-developed handheld NIR machines being trialled in Belgium can indicate the optimal picking date in seconds, she added.

Other technologies showing promise include pheromone testing, surface deflection measurement and chorophyll fluorescence. Meanwhile, molecular diagnostic techniques "let you analyse fruit to see which genes are being expressed at any one time", she said.

A number of ways of controlling the plant-ripening hormone ethylene in stores are being developed in addition to the established SmartFresh, Rees added.

These include the ozone-based systems from Biofresh and palladium-based scrubbers from Food Freshness Technology, both of which are UK-based firms.

Polish fruit industry - Chemical concern

The loss of the scab inhibitor DPA (diphenylamine) was a concern to the Polish fruit industry, Dr Krzysztof Rutkowski of the Polish Horticultural Institute revealed at East Malling Research's Fruit Storage Day.

"We don't know what to replace it with," he said. "We are looking into alternatives but still can't block this disorder."

He added that despite rationalisations, the Polish fresh produce sector remains dominated by small producers, with more than 300,000 horticultural holdings, one-third of which are under 1ha in area.

"The last decade has seen a growing number of producer groups, though they remain under 300," said Rutkowski.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What is being done to develop biocontrols against orchard pests?

What is being done to develop biocontrols against orchard pests?

The SIVAL horticultural trade show in Angers, France, this week (16-18 January) heard about several initiatives to promote more environmentally sustainable orchard growing.

What does the 25-year plan mean for growers?

What does the 25-year plan mean for growers?

Published on 11 January, the Government's long-awaited 'A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment' brings together a number of policy strands into a single framework that will impact many sectors, not least fresh produce, over the coming decades.

What will 'embracing change' mean for horticulture?

What will 'embracing change' mean for horticulture?

At the Oxford Farming Conference, whose theme was "embracing change", Defra secretary Michael Gove expanded on what a post-Brexit UK agriculture and land-use policy will look like and how it will impact farmers and growers.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon