I am expertise leader Postharvest Engineering at Wageningen University & Research. What is most rewarding for me is when our research projects help to improve the performance of our clients, now and in the future. This includes multiple aspects: make sure we understand our clients needs well, ensure that our research meets their needs, communicate our results to the client, and support our clients in implementing our findings in their context.
In our research projects it is all about the development of technologies for post-harvest quality preservation of fruit, vegetables and ornamentals throughout the supply chain. Our focus is especially on the technologies of modified atmosphere packaging, climate control, refrigeration technologies, and accompanying energy savings options. All these technologies encompass management/control of temperature, humidity, oxygen, carbon dioxide, ethylene and energy consumption in applications across the cold chain, like cold storage, Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage, Controlled Atmosphere Temperature Treatment (CATT), precooling, and refrigerated transport.
Some examples of recent projects:
- Temperature mapping and qualification testing of transport equipment in view of the EU guideline on the good distribution practice (GDP) of medicinal products.
- Improving the defrost control logic in reefer containers for moist frozen-mode shipments.
- Studies on improving quality preservation during transport of bananas, flower bulbs, seed potatoes and grapes.
- A study on the use of solar energy for refrigerated storage of fruit.