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Post-Harvest Instrumentation in Fruits and Vegetables


In the last decades, Brazil has gone from food importer to exporter of agricultural products. It is currently the world's third largest fruit producer and a major vegetables grower. In this way, it became self-sufficient in the supply of fruits and vegetables. However, post-harvest losses are estimated to be between 40-50%. Thus, of 10 boxes produced in the field, 5 are thrown in the trash. It has to be considered not only direct losses, but indirect losses, such as energy, water, inputs, etc. Losses start at harvest, with inadequate handling, and often follow in sorting and classification, with high fruit impact, and with inefficient sorting. Lack of sensors use for quality traceability, as well as retailing problems related to storage and product disposal, also contribute to increase postharvest losses. Several researches have been carried out in recent years, with funding from FAPESP and other agencies, which has contributed to the improvement of this situation. Several researches have been carried out in the last years, with FAPESP funding (02/00645-7, 07/54054-3, 10/ 51155-6 and 13/ 23479-0) and other funding agencies (Embrapa and CAPES), which have contributed to improving this situation. However, challenges remain. This proposal refers to the request for aid modality visitor researcher, Prof. Steven A. Sargent, Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fl, USA, for a period of 15 days in which he will participate in meetings with different research groups, not only at Embrapa Instrumentation, but in others such as ESALQ/USP, UNESP, Campus Araraquara, and at private companies such as Citrosuco and a fruit sorting and classification unit in the state of São Paulo. Prof. Steven A. Sargent is fluent in Portuguese, has extensive experience in post-harvest technology, acts as an extensionist agent, and is responsible for the Florida Postharvest Tour, which has been held for several decades visiting companies related to fruits and vegetables businesses in Florida. The expected result of this proposal is the interaction between already consolidated Brazilian research lines related to harvesting, processing, non destructive analysis, sensors, impacts to fruits, with Prof. Sargent work therefore providing an integration between these lines in order to improve system efficiency, maintaining quality and reducing food losses. (AU)

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