Postharvest Program to target low residues
Postharvest is the link from the orchard through to the consumer and it is essential that fruit quality and market access is maintained through the supply chain.
The Australian Citrus Postharvest Science Program (CT15010) is a new Horticulture Innovation Australia’s research and development project that will deliver new information and innovative technologies to improve the quality of Australian citrus.
Project leader, John Golding, NSW DPI, said the development of a program with ultra-low chemical residues is a key focus of the project.
“While the management of orchard sprays and the use of integrated pest and disease management (IPDM) approaches have worked to reduce chemical use and residues in the production of Australian citrus, the use of postharvest chemicals to control decay is problematic to achieve ultra-low residues,” John said.
“New chemistries and alternative decay control approaches will be developed and adopted to assist industry meet market requirements.”
John and his team will work with citrus growers and packers around Australia to:
- Develop and assess chemistry and other emerging technologies to address postharvest issues for the Australian citrus industry
- Facilitate the adoption of existing and new postharvest application by industry through a program of postharvest presentations covering the different growing regions
- Inform industry on technical developments in postharvest science and applications through targeted communications using online platforms and other channels; and
- Identify options for individual growers and packers to engage postharvest services on a fee-for-service basis for advice specific to their business.
“The outcomes of this Postharvest Science Program will be essential to ensure the competitiveness of the Australian citrus industry by guaranteeing high quality, safe and nutritious fruit onto domestic and export markets,” John said.
“This will improve the value and market access of Australian citrus.”
John will visit all growing regions to discuss postharvest and market access issues with growers and packers and will also give presentations in the later stages of the project.
He has already visited packing sheds in SA, Vic and NSW and is looking forward to meeting other growers and packers around Australia.
The program will use existing communication channels such as Australian Citrus News and develop on-line training / information packages on key postharvest issues.
This will ensure growers have access to relevant and practical information to improve fruit quality and market access.
The program will also work with leading world researchers such as Dr. Lluis Palou at the Valencià d’Investigacions Agràries (IVIA) in València, Spain and at the University of Newcastle.
Dr. Lluis Palou is a world leader in postharvest decay control and will work with the project team to investigate and adapt the latest innovations and new developments for the Australian citrus industry.
This article was first published in the latest edition of the Australian Citrus news.