WAPATO, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pace International, a leader in sustainable postharvest solutions recently hosted its half-day Postharvest Academy in Cle Elum, WA at the Suncadia Lodge. Every spring, Pace's Academy explores game changing ideas and presents some of the latest research being conducted in the postharvest segment for the apple, pear, and cherry industries, with this year’s event including two quality-related pre-harvest presentations. "We bring in the experts whose cutting-edge research addresses our customers' most pressing packinghouse challenges, with a focus on maintaining fruit quality, freshness and safety," said Rodrigo Cifuentes, VP of Marketing and Business Development, Pace International.
Pace International’s line up of speakers this year included seven industry experts presenting on a wide-range of topics from market expectations, presented by Dr. Desmond O’Rourke, Belrose Inc. to managing fruit disorders with decay control, covered by Dr. James Mattheis, USDA and Dr. Richard Kim, Pace International. Food safety management was also presented, with a focus on efficacy of water sanitizers and Peroxyacetic acid in apple packing processes, presented by Dr. Meijun Zhu, WSU, and a proactive defense strategy by Dr. Trevor Suslow, UC Davis, who are both researchers on the food safety project, “Assessment of Apple Packing for Listeria Risk” funded by the Center for Produce Safety (CPS), which the WTFRC is a partner in research with. A few academy highlights included:
- COSMIC CRISP® was claimed recently to be the most promising “celebrity apple” of the future by The New York Times and Seattle Business Magazine. According to Dr. Ines Hanrahan, Project Manager, WA Tree Fruit Commission, the COSMIC CRISP® is a new apple variety bred by WSU. During Dr. Hanrahan's presentation, she reviewed the current status of the development of a starch scale for growers, to help determine the perfect harvest time for the COSMIC CRISP®, which has slow starch degradation, a narrow fruit maturity profile on the tree, and a long harvest window. This scale, along with other fruit quality parameters, will help to ensure high-quality fruit being picked every time, and it allows packers to make corrections during harvest. She also shared the latest harvest and storage practices for the COSMIC CRISP® apple variety.
- The new application process for ecoFOG® (fungicide thermofogging technology) and FYSIUM® (1-MCP technology) reduces application times and provides significant benefits to packers, including better apple quality management. Dr. David Felicetti, Sr. R&D, and Regulatory Affairs Manager, Pace International, presented very promising results demonstrating FYSIUM® exposure times less than the current 24 hour recommendation can be just as effective. Dr. Felicetti also discussed applying ecoFOG before FYSIUM®. "Traditionally, FYSIUM® is applied first followed then by the ecoFOG application. However, by inverting the applications, all actives can be applied in a shorter window,” Dr. Felicetti presented. The benefits of reducing application times are significant for packers and include reduced pathogen incubation time due to the earlier application of fungicides, reduced CO2 build-up in the rooms, and increased flexibility to meet packer's individual needs. These trials are still ongoing.
- Valent shows results of new ReTain® organic formulation to help manage organic apple harvests. Kevin Forney, Product Development Manager, Valent USA LLC, spoke on the evaluation of ReTain® as a maturity management tool on new apple varieties and field evaluations of a new organic formulation of AVG. With the maturity management tool, ReTain treatments resulted in highly significant reductions in fruit drop across all varieties tested, with no observable effects on the development or intensity of skin color. "ReTain, and the new organic formulation have consistently demonstrated equal performance around all varieties tested," Forney concluded.
Pace International’s 8th Annual Postharvest Academy attracted a record-breaking attendance of over 150 industry leaders and professionals from various countries around the world, including the USA, Canada, Chile, and France. "Our next scheduled Postharvest Academy will be in October 2018 in Chile. We hosted our first Postharvest Academy in Chile last year and had over 100 attendees. We plan to continue hosting Pace’s Academy into markets where we have a presence. Our goal is to share the latest trends, practical research and sustainable postharvest technologies with all of our customers," said Cifuentes.
About Pace International:
Pace International, LLC is a subsidiary of Valent BioSciences LLC, a Sumitomo Chemical Company. Pace collaborates with growers, packers and agricultural organizations to develop innovative solutions to enhance, protect, and preserve fruit and vegetable quality and freshness. Pace is the leading provider of sustainable postharvest solutions and technologies, equipment and technical services to maximize efficiencies in packing operations and increase the value of crops being processed. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.paceint.com.