2019 Citrus Tech Forum: Spanish expert to share post-harvest knowledge
24 January 2019
The Australian citrus industry is collaborating with a leading citrus postharvest research expert from Valencia in Spain in a bid to further improve quality of fruit for consumers and optimise fungicide use in packinghouse. Lluís Palou has extensive experience in applied research and extension on postharvest pathology of citrus. He is based at the Postharvest Technology Centre at IVIA in Valencia, Spain. Prof Palou is a key note speaker in the Postharvest program of the 2019 Citrus Technical Forum, to be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre on March 6-7. While in Australia he will also work with researchers from NSW Department of Primary Industries, including Senior Research Scientist Dr. John Golding, who leads the Hort Innovation-funded postharvest project. Dr Golding said postharvest knowledge and research in Spain was more advanced than in Australia, and that working alongside Prof Palou is providing unique insights will benefit the Australian citrus industry. Prof Palou has recently concentrated on alternative treatments to conventional chemical fungicides for the control of major postharvest diseases of fresh citrus. These treatments have the potential to being alternative postharvest treatments. “We’re excited to see what Lluís is doing in Spain regarding reduced fungicide use,” Dr Golding said. “Spain still uses some postharvest chemicals but have increased use of non-fungicide treatments. They reduce decay in fruit and also reduce chemical use. “Lluís has done a lot of work using non-chemicals and it’s this knowledge and application which we want to learn. “We won’t be chemical-free tomorrow but if we can manage our postharvest chemicals better to reduce residues, that’s a good thing.” Dr Golding said the focus in Australia’s postharvest program is “consistently delivering high quality fruit to the consumer to maintain and build opportunity for growers”. New knowledge and techniques to maintain fruit quality (such as keeping limes green) have been developed through the Hort Innovation postharvest project. An update of this exciting work will be discussed. “Growers go to a lot of effort to grow good quality fruit and we need to get that fruit to the consumer in peak condition. All these advances will help us do that.” Visit www.citrusaustralia.com.au/events to view the full program and register for the 2019 Citrus Technical Forum.