Scientific research in the field of postharvest handling of fresh agricultural plant produce is the basis for the development of the international trade in fruits, vegetables and flowers. This high level Scientists Conference is part of the series of International conferences on this area held every 4 years and which began in 1988 in Belgium. Its objective is to bring to the scientific community the advances, which have been made in basic and applied research in the field. The 4 days of sessions are planned to cover 4 areas of research: molecular biology, physiology, pathology and technology of postharvest science.
Areas which progress has been rapid since the last conference in new Zealand in 1996 include: The elucidation of the ethylene signal transduction pathway and methods of applications of antagonists of both ethylene biosynthesis and ethylene action. The use of controlled and modified atmosphere with unconventional atmospheres including oxygen higher than air. Reduction of the use of chemical pesticides by developing biological and physical means of pest control as well as by genetic engineering. Maintenance of commodity quality pastharvest. changes in vitamins and medical constituents of fresh produce and technologies to minimize these changes. The medicinal value of the antioxidant potential of fresh fruits and vegetables and how it can be manipulated. Special technologies to maintain quality in organic produce. All these topics and others will be covered in the conference.