postharvest short course blog

Postharvest short-course- A blog by Felipe Becerra Sanchez

The UC Davis post-harvest centre was founded over 40 years ago by Adel Kader. The aim of this centre is to coordinate and gather knowledge to reduce postharvest losses and improve the product quality. From there till now, the postharvest centre remains as one of the top sources of postharvest knowledge offering three courses: Fruit ripening, Postharvest short-course and the Fresh cut workshop.

This June 2019 is celebrating the 41st edition of the Postharvest Short-course. This course is aimed at professionals working in the fruit and vegetables industry, looking to learn about postharvest biology and the current technologies used in the industry.

This year the course was coordinated and hosted by Beth Mitcham with the collaboration of the directors of the Postharvest Center Florence Zakharov and Angelos Deltsidis. Many other experts in postharvest such as the Emeritus professor Marita Cantwell, Mary Lu Arpaia and Irwin Donis-Gonzalez among others have participated in this course.

The course consists of morning lectures and debates, and afternoons of laboratory sessions. The morning lectures cover all the postharvest aspects such as cooling, packaging, modified/controlled atmosphere etc. and a whole series of talks focused on specific products.

The first and last laboratory sessions consist of a small experiment where the participants work with different products and store them during the week in different temperatures and packaging, and the last day variable changes are discussed.

Other demonstrations consist of quality and sensory evaluations, learning of how to use instruments for monitoring temperature, relative humidity (RH), air velocity, ethylene, disease display and control and water sanitation.

My experience as a postgraduate researcher working in collaboration with industry has been very positive. The amount of knowledge available in this course, from the university instructors and industry professionals, is limitless. This course provided me with an outlook of the postharvest science and industry. Also, I have learnt to identify postharvest issues and find solutions that will help me to reduce postharvest waste and improve product quality.

So, whether you are a professional looking to learn or update your knowledge or a company looking to help develop your postharvest employees I would totally recommend this course as well as the workshops.

If you want to go further and become a postharvest expert, the centre offers a Produce Professional Certificate with online modules to complement the courses.


Post Harvest Center recommended resources

Comprehensive Postharvest Handling Resources

Global Postharvest Handling

Quality Standards

Pesticides, Additives, Organics, and Quarantine Requirements


Food Safety, Traceability, and Defense




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