Exporting Australian avocados:


    Challenges, options and research




   Peter Hofman and Roberto Marques



     Quee...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




How to get there – the cost/quality balance!
• Air
   – Generally expensiv...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




Seafreight - the tyranny of time
                  Cold storage at 4ºC



...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




The need for best practice from field to fork


• Based on Hazard Analysis...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




Predicting outturn quality-which fruit to export
• Disease load in the orc...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




Predicting outturn quality – the Avotest
• Harvest sample fruit weeks befo...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




Predicting using non-destructive means
• E.g. near infrared spectroscopy
 ...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




In the container……………the key variables
   1.   Temperature
   2.   Atmosph...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




1. Temperature
• Can we store below 4-5ºC?
   – Risk –discrete patches
   ...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




    Not conditioned                                          Conditioned
A...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




2. Atmospheres
• Humidity
   – Reduces fruit weight loss
   – Controlling ...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries


        Controlled atmospheres
Without CA                                   ...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




Ways to “control” the atmospheres
Full control
   – Nitrogen generator to ...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




Ways to “control” the atmospheres
Dynamic CA
   – Determine best O2
     c...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




Ways to “control” the atmospheres
• “Hybrid system - Maxtend
   –   Uses f...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




SmartFreshSM
• 1-MCP
• Similar molecule to ethylene – but different       ...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




Smartfresh - potential



• Internal quality often as good as with CA
• Bu...
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries




Other potential advances
• RFID
   – Tracking container movements
• In tra...
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Peter Hofman

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Peter Hofman

  1. 1. Exporting Australian avocados: Challenges, options and research Peter Hofman and Roberto Marques Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries
  2. 2. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries How to get there – the cost/quality balance! • Air – Generally expensive – Maintains quality • Sea – Cheaper – May compromise quality because of longer times (10-40 days) • Combinations of air and sea 60000 Actual Projected 3.5 – Intermediate cost and quality risks Required consumption (kg per capita) 50000 3.0 – Greater logistical challenges 40000 Required Volume (T) 2.5 consumption 30000 Production 2.0 20000 1.5 10000 Imports Exports 0 1.0 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2 /9 /0 /0 /0 /0 /0 /1 /1 97 99 01 03 05 07 09 11 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 21 Year © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  3. 3. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Seafreight - the tyranny of time Cold storage at 4ºC Dixon et al. (2003) © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  4. 4. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries The need for best practice from field to fork • Based on Hazard Analysis – Draft stage – Will be refined at end of season – Will be the basis for information guides/training material © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  5. 5. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Predicting outturn quality-which fruit to export • Disease load in the orchard – Everett (2003) using leaf discs • Fruit “robustness” – Nitrogen – Calcium – Iron – Maturity – C7 sugars? © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  6. 6. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Predicting outturn quality – the Avotest • Harvest sample fruit weeks before shipping • Combines inoculum load and fruit robustness 100 r ²=0.62 % of ripe fruit with rots harvested at 24%DM 80 60 40 20 0 0 20 40 60 80 100 % of ripe fruit with rots harvested at 19%DM Le Lagadec et al. (2008) © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  7. 7. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Predicting using non-destructive means • E.g. near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) • It can sort for dry matter/ moisture content in the lab • Can NIRS sort for: – rots? – more even ripening? (Blakey 2009) – Poster by Burdon et al. Wedding et al (2008) © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  8. 8. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries In the container……………the key variables 1. Temperature 2. Atmospheres – Humidity – Low oxygen and high carbon dioxide • Reduces respiration rate • Two main “control” systems • Controlled atmospheres – full active control • Modified atmospheres • Relies on fruit respiration and a “membrane” to restrict gas movement • MA packaging - plastic bags etc • Maxtend • The reefer container is the “membrane” © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  9. 9. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries 1. Temperature • Can we store below 4-5ºC? – Risk –discrete patches – Benefits – less flesh defects – Conditioning before storage • 3-4 days at 4-6ºC • Eliminates discrete patches for 20-25 days at 1ºC • Good cold disinfestation treatment - in transit?? • Also improves internal quality • Not sure about longer than 25 days • Not tested in combination with CA © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  10. 10. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Not conditioned Conditioned At removal from 1 ºC for 16 d At removal from 1 ºC for 16 d At ripe At ripe © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  11. 11. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries 2. Atmospheres • Humidity – Reduces fruit weight loss – Controlling water loss from harvest reduces risk of fruit “ripening” in store • Can reduce flesh defects – New containers have larger evaporator coils • Allows >90% RH • Oxygen and carbon dioxide – Literature reports ranges of 2-4% O2 and 4-6% CO2 – Recent static trial gave excellent results after 42 days © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  12. 12. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Controlled atmospheres Without CA With CA Grower 1 Grower 2 © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  13. 13. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Ways to “control” the atmospheres Full control – Nitrogen generator to flush out excess O2 – Introduce air if O2 gets too low – Flush with air/nitrogen to reduce CO2 buildup • Recent improvements – CA system integrated into container • Increased cargo space – Smarter atmosphere control – AFAM+ • Better use of air and generator gases – More powerful CA units • establish CA more quickly © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  14. 14. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Ways to “control” the atmospheres Dynamic CA – Determine best O2 concentrations by measuring fruit behaviour during storage – Adjust O2 concentrations to just above damaging levels – Currently only used for land storage in apples etc – Promising results with avocados (Burdon et al 2007&8) © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  15. 15. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Ways to “control” the atmospheres • “Hybrid system - Maxtend – Uses fruit respiration to reduce O2 concentrations – Introduces air when O2 concentration gets too low – Absorbs excess CO2 using satchets – Similar performance to full CA, but can be cheaper Include CO2 absorber Seal the container Flush with nitrogen Install the Maxtend controller © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  16. 16. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries SmartFreshSM • 1-MCP • Similar molecule to ethylene – but different Ethylene enough – blocks ethylene from starting the ripening process • Applied as a gas soon after harvest 1-MCP – Cool fruit – Treat with about 0.5 ppm for about 20 hours – Handle/store/seafreight as usual © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  17. 17. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Smartfresh - potential • Internal quality often as good as with CA • But: No SmartFresh – variable ripening – Can get more disease with longer ripening • Use only during mid-late maturity? (SA) • Maybe sort with NIRS for even ripening No SmartFresh © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009
  18. 18. Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries Other potential advances • RFID – Tracking container movements • In transit fruit behaviour monitoring • Infrastructure improvements – Maintaining the cold chain • Logistics scheduling – Reducing time from harvest to sale Thanks to QPIF Sunfresh AAL HAL © The State of Queensland, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, 2009

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