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Ongoing project

Citrus postharvest program (CT19003)

Key research provider: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

What’s it all about?

This investment is keeping Australian citrus growers informed on postharvest best practices, primarily through the development of a grower manual which will be extended to industry via hard copy as well as regional postharvest workshops and online resources.

Building on outcomes delivered by previously levy-funded project Australian Citrus Postharvest Science Program (CT15010), this project is delivering new information and innovative technologies to improve the quality of Australian citrus and ensure that growers gain access to effective new methods.

Key objectives of the project include, but are not limited to:

  • Researching and extending improved methods for decay control and sanitation whilst also maintaining fruit quality, particularly following any market access treatments

  • Reducing chemical and microbiological risks from postharvest methods

  • Developing resources to enable growers to meet export maximum residue limits (MRLs) whilst ensuring postharvest quality.

The program has been continuing with its laboratory-based research, with limited packinghouse visits and trials. The project team have been working on the potential of removing dimethoate residues from postharvest packing lines, the assessment of postharvest fungicides, the development and assessment of alternatives to fungicides against postharvest decay and new ways to improve quality during extended export shipping.

Current extension outputs include an industry article in the Australian Citrus News (available via the Citrus Australia website here) discussing the need to review postharvest fungicides and giving options for new chemistries.

Where travel was allowed, there has been extension of the program outcomes with in-person presentation to growers and packers in Griffith with a virtual presentation on best practice degreening at the Citrus Australia Southern Queensland Regional Forum in Gayndah.

The development of the ‘Best Practice Postharvest Manual’ is still progressing.

Since the last update, the Citrus Postharvest Program continued laboratory-based R&D, with limited packinghouse visits or trials. Work progressed on the development and assessment of alternative decay control technologies and chilling injury surveys.

  • Laboratory works investigated the potential of removing dimethoate residues from postharvest packinglines, the assessment of postharvest fungicides, and the development and assessment of fungicide alternatives against postharvest decay.
  • Extension outputs included industry articles in Australian Citrus News outlining the evaluation of a new electrolysed water sanitiser system, which was researched in previous Hort Innovation project Australian Citrus Postharvest Science Program (CT15010) and recent research on safe food additives for the control of postharvest decay.
  • With some travel possible, Program outcomes were presented to growers and packers in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Development of the Best Practice Postharvest Manual

ACT NOW

Read these Program articles published in Australian Citrus News and on the Citrus Australia website:

Project planning has begun with groundwork being laid to deliver new information and innovative technologies to improve the quality of Australian citrus through both domestic and export supply chains.

Current extension outputs include four industry articles which outline the objectives and goals of this project.

ACT NOW

Related levy funds
Details

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Citrus Fund