Providing impartial honest scientific support to the fresh produce industry

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Ros Fisher

Maintaining the quality of apples during long term storage is becoming increasingly important, to allow growers to effectively compete with imported fruit.  At the same time, developments such as Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere (DCA) are making it easier than ever to monitor the condition of fresh produce during storage in real time.

 structural factors

Based at the Produce Quality Centre (PQC) – a collaboration between the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), University of Greenwich, and NIAB-EMR – this PhD project is being undertaken by NRI postgraduate student Ros Fisher, guided by project supervisors Debbie Rees and Richard Colgan.

Several techniques are being used to investigate the structural and biochemical factors which govern why some apple varieties can be stored at much lower oxygen levels than others without developing damage.  LabPods and LabPodMinis are used alone and in conjunction with HarvestWatchTM chlorophyll fluorescence monitors to study respiratory characteristics and stress response.  Confocal microscopy and TA.XT Plus study the texture of the fruit, and HPLC-MS targeted metabolomics looks at key metabolites.  Innovative techniques such as VisiSens TD and reactive oxygen species tissue printing are also being developed.