To improve postharvest quality of Florida grown fruits and vegetables and find ways to extend shelf-life using various preharvest and postharvest treatments. Special regards will be given to developing natural or organic protocols which do not leave residues on commodities.
Initially we will be screening experimental compounds in the laboratory by in vitro testing with Petri-dishes and pathogens of citrus and other Florida commodities to see if there is an indication of success with these compounds. This would involve using protocols already in place in addition to utilizing new methods for testing. The next step would be to test the experimental compounds on fruits/vegetables under controlled conditions in the laboratory and environmental chambers at Winter Haven. The final step would be running the compound through commercial packing and storage conditions. These conditions will be set in the environmental chambers at Winter Haven and offsite commercial packing lines. Information from these studies will be published and made available to growers and packers (fresh fruit and vegetable industry). Citrus canker studies will involve screening antimicrobial compounds for incorporation into commercial products used in the packing house.