Plant Postharvest Science

We develop new tools and techniques to ensure the delivery of high quality fresh produce to the consumer.

Plant & Food Research has been working with horticultural and food industries for many years to provide effective postharvest solutions that have supported exponential export growth. We bring together an understanding of the taste, texture and keeping of fresh produce and food products, and how they’re influenced by pre-harvest conditions and events, harvesting, handling, transportation and storage.

Our knowledge and understanding of essential regulatory pathways of senescence, shelf life limitations and the role of cell walls in texture informs our development of elite cultivars and new technologies to deliver fresh, tasty products to global markets. Our understanding of sensory science and microbiology ensures these products taste great and are safe to eat.

We have extensive, world-class research facilities:

  • Over 80 temperature controlled rooms, including:
    • Dynamic controlled atmosphere and temperature rooms
    • Controlled atmosphere rooms
    • Modified atmosphere facilities
  • Heat treatment facilities including water-baths and hot air units
  • Ethylene treatment systems (pre-ripening, ethylene conditioning, ethylene antagonists)
  • Microscopes: Scanning electron microscope and Transmission electron microscope
  • Gas chromatography
  • Quality and texture assessment tools in purpose-built rooms
  • Sensory science laboratories.
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