Postharvest specialty crop research
The postharvest movement of specialty crops to foreign markets is of vital economic importance. At any time, importing countries can confront industry with quality, quarantine, and residue requirements with the potential to terminate trade. A substantial portion of my research program is dedicated to overcoming these trade barriers. For example, we routinely develop chemical, physical, biological, and toxicological strategies for controlling populations of stored product and quarantine insect pests of perishables, such as fresh fruits, and durables, such as nuts and dried fruit. By in large, the existing infrastructure of the specialty crop industry dictates that chamber fumigations be used for this purpose; a variety of chambers are housed at SJVASC to confirm treatment efficacies. Another important facet of my postharvest research involves the determination of chemical residues associated with commodities, which typically result from microbial infestation and pesticide application.