In order to keep horticultural produce fresh for longer, members of the supply chain have various post-harvest solutions available to them. However the effectiveness of these technologies is reliant upon an understanding of the physiology of the produce.
The laboratory of Dr Amanda J. Able at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus focuses upon gaining this understanding and the development of suitable post-harvest technologies.
Current research includes:
- developing the use of the ethylene action inhibitor, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), as a tool to extend shelf life of banana and determining the impact of 1-MCP on aroma, volatiles and consumer acceptability;
- understanding why capsicum does not ripen when harvested green;
- the effect of Ca and B application (pre- and post-harvest) on the development of grey mould; and;
- the effect of 1-MCP and controlled atmosphere storage on health qualities of apples (such as antioxidant content).
However, there is a real need to link post-harvest technology with an increase in the long term benefits that could be derived from food (especially for human health). The Able laboratory is now seeking to examine the impact of post-harvest technologies on bioactive compounds, their bioavailability and impact on human health.