Knowledge from fruit industry helping to reduce food waste

Innovation in post-harvest storage of vegetables that will reduce waste and improve quality for consumers will be presented at the Postharvest Showcase in Lincolnshire on 27 July.

Applied research from the Produce Quality Centre (PQC), part-funded by AHDB, will show how adapting knowledge and methods already used in fruit storage could help extend shelf-life, improve the schedule of harvesting and reduce the loss of nutrition in other horticulture crops.

The impact of ethylene on the reduction in nutrition of apples during storage has been extensively documented, but not in other crops. New trial results undertaken at the PQC about the impact of ethylene on nutrition for other vegetable crops will be explored at the event.

Other topics to be presented include; new developments in Controlled Atmosphere storage, which means products are able to be stored for longer using lower concentrations of oxygen than previously thought, and brand new methods that can assess crop maturity and accurately predict how long fresh produce will store after harvest.

Dr. Richard Colgan, researcher at University of Greenwich, said: “Being able to correctly store fruit and vegetables will help growers and packers better schedule crops onto the retail market and therefore maximise their yields, while importantly for consumers, also maintaining produce quality and minimising wastage.”

Dr. Dawn Teverson, knowledge exchange manager at AHDB, said, “The applied storage research from PQC is particularly exciting as it has a direct benefit to everyone in the supply chain, from growers through to consumers.

“We’re focused on generating tools, methods and strategies that can be easily adopted by growers in their commercial practices to help both reduce waste and more easily manage their customers’ needs”

Postharvest Showcase will take place on 27 July at AHDB Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research facility in Lincolnshire.

Attendees at the event are expected to number above 150, drawn by the keynote talks, seminars, 25 trade stands and range of interactive displays where a mix of current best practice and technology horizon scanning will be on show with experts available to answer questions. These displays will form part of a BASIS knowledge trail.

The event is free to attend, but attendees must register ahead of time at https://potatoes.ahdb.org.uk/events/postharvest-showcase

A factsheet ‘Improving quality and extending shelf life of broccoli heads through ethylene management’ is also available from www.horticulture.ahdb.org.uk.

 

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.