The Australian food industry, and the fresh produce sector in particular, offer enormous opportunities for growth and diversification through development of innovative new products that are convenient, affordable, healthy and, of course, safe.
We're training and mentoring innovative, 'industry-savvy' researchers who will contribute to the development of the fresh produce sector through new products with improved shelf life and quality. Our research includes horticulture, food science and market analysis projects, relevant to the horticultural supply chains of Woolworths supermarket.
This eNews features a project working to make baby spinach last longer in your fridge. It also includes the results of a study of 124,353 comments from consumers on why they buy organic food. Plus, find out if the ripening agent ethylene (strongly emitted by bananas) affects watermelons!
Image: Vongai Dakwa measures the colour of baby spinach using a colourimeter at a Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture lab, Hobart.
Find out about potato greening, research into banana injuries in the supply chain and field research on resin canal disorder in mangoes.
Image: PhD candidate Umar Muhammad (in blue) has been doing field research into resin canal disorder in mangoes, with support from hardworking Northern Territory Government Technical Officers lan Niscioli and Maddison Clonan.
Get updates on research into mango quality, microbiological risk to apples in pack-houses, and the latest innovations for berry packaging.
Image: PhD student Elizabeth Frankish checks fruit on an orchard near Kirup, WA for her research on a microbial risk assessment for apple pack-houses.
This industry update gives brief overviews on Yan Lee's investigation into the shelf life of fresh cut fruit and Nha Huynh's research into the benefits of packaging on berries and broccoli. Also included are recommendations for the use of PLA packaging and a link to the Centre's review on using Modified Atmosphere Packaging technologies for fresh cut produce.
Left: PhD candidate Michelle Enano making experimental fresh cut fruit samples at industry partner Perfection Fresh.
CENTRE ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Our annual conference was on February 21-22 in Hobart. Thank you to all who participated. Project update presentations are now available here.
PACKAGING PROVIDING NEW INSIGHT INTO SHELF-LIFE AND QUALITY OF FRESH CUT PRODUCE
Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr Matthew Wilson, is working closely with key suppliers of fresh fruit and vegetables, including Woolworths, to evaluate, develop and demonstrate how new technologies can improve outcomes for their customers and suppliers.
Left: Post-Doctoral Fellow Dr Matthew Wilson with Woolworths produce.
STUDENTS IN THE MEDIA
Find out more about Indika Fernando’s research on banana quality and vibration during transport and Dianfan Zhou's research on the environmental impact of glasshouse production in these videos.
The bumpy road to perfect fruit
Did you know greenhouse production of food is a relatively new practice in Australia?
On 6 September 2016, the Training Centre was privileged to host Emeritus Professor Ron Wills, from the Faculty of Science & Information Technology at the University of Newcastle. Ron is a world expert on the effects on fresh produce of ethylene in the postharvest environment. Ron has over 50 years of experience in many aspects of the postharvest of horticultural products, including projects on bananas, lettuce and fresh-cut fruits, and has published over 300 articles. During his visit Ron gave a public seminar at the University of Tasmania, Hobart campus, on “the benefits from controlling ethylene concentration around postharvest fruit and vegetables”. Ron also met with Training Centre staff and students, communicating his wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm, and sharing ideas about projects and potential funding.
Watch Professor Ron Will's public seminar:
NEW INVESTMENT FOR THE TASMANIAN VEGETABLE INDUSTRY
Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) has invested in communicating the latest research to the Tasmanian vegetable industry. The project contracted by RMCG, aims to bring together the local growers, agronomists, advisers and researchers together to ensure members of the supply chain receive targeted information including production benchmarking, markets, value-adding, innovation and new technologies.
TRAINING CENTRE VISITS INDUSTRY
Staff, post docs and students from the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovative Horticultural Products visited our major industry partner Woolworths in Sydney. The team saw how the distribution centre received, sorted and delivered produce to the stores, visited two new Woolworths store formats and discussed with Woolworths the practical application and opportunities within each ARC Training Centre project.
ARC Training Centre for Innovative Horticultural Products staff and students at the Woolworths distribution centre in Minchinbury, Sydney.
TRAINING CENTRE LAUNCH
The ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Innovative Horticultural Products was officially launched 14 December 2015 at Government House by Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Kate Warner, AM, Governor of Tasmania.
Left: Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Kate Warner, AM, Governor of Tasmania (right) at the Official Launch of the Training Centre shown with Centre Manager Dr Sue Pepper (Left) and Centre Director Associate Professor Tom Ross (Centre).
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