With the growing number of evolving technologies available, it is more important than ever those involved in horticulture focus on information that helps them make decisions in a timely manner that manage for better quality fruit.
Speaking at the Post-harvest 2019 seminar on 16 January in Melbourne, AgroFresh Research & Development Manager for Australia & New Zealand Dr Hannah James said there was no future in collecting data for information sake.
“Data collection has to be about insights, and how it can be used to deliver higher quality fruit, like apples and pears, to consumers, and the industries future depends on just that,” she said.
“In the past a lot of information has been collected for its own sake or for retrospective analysis of issues to identify loss of quality.”
Hannah has made it clear that the objective now must be on collecting and using data for improving fruit quality and reducing food waste.
“At AgroFresh we are actively aggregating new technologies to offer end-to-end visibility and management of fruit quality from the orchard and across the supply chain to ensure freshness.
“We have developed a solution, FreshCloud™, that optimises transit insights, storage insights and predictive screening, making them available through a cloud-based platform for simplified data access.
“This the future. In Australia we are not all the way there yet, but we have started the journey. An example is StorEdge™ which is a traffic light system which tells us what is happening in the storage room around the release of SmartFresh™. Essentially, we are now doing this for every application, and it is being used successfully to identify and resolve problems in storage rooms. For us the next step is putting this data online for our customers for simple access.
“In terms of predictive screening, genomics is being used to predict potential disorders and allow for decisions to be made before the fruit goes into storage. In the USA, juice sampling of Honeycrisp is occurring at harvest to identify the risk of soft scald development. The high value of this variety justifies the investment into genomic screening. However, the goal is to make the tests robust over more varieties and disorders over time.”
Hannah is working closely with AgroFresh’s FreshCloud Technical Group in the USA to represent the region and advance the application of this technology in Australia.
Dr Hannah James, ANZ Research & Development Manager
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