In the latest edition of Bioconservacion's Partner Meeting with all its partners from the post-harvest sector, we had the good fortune to have Professor Emeritus Ron Wills from the University of Newcastle in Australia.
Dr Wills, with over 50 years experience researching agronomy, agriculture and post-harvest techniques is undoubtedly a leader in the sector and one of the great experts on ethylene and its effects on fresh produce.
Dr Wills has published more than 300 research works on different issues related to post-harvest technologies for fruits and vegetables. For some time now, his research projects have centred on ethylene gas, its effects and the benefits of eliminating it during the post-harvest of fruits, vegetables and flowers. Referring to the effect of ethylene in flowers, Bioconservacion published a post a few months ago discussing this topic. (Effect of Ethylene on Flowers)
In his talk entitled “Effect of ethylene on fruits and vegetables rotting”, he explained that attacks by microorganisms represent the largest cause of post-harvest losses, for fruits. Furthermore, because of the low pH of their tissues, they are more affected by fungi, whereas vegetables are affected by fungi and bacteria.
During his presentation, he explained how the presence of ethylene in the atmosphere affected the development of these pathogens by stimulating the ripening and senescence of fruits and vegetables, of plants' natural defense systems and of the growth of microbial pathogens.
Dr Wills is a great advocate of applying ethylene control technologies as a highly profitable method to lengthen the lifespan of fruits and vegetables. Obtaining extremely important benefits such as reducing fresh produce waste throughout the entire distribution chain, and reducing energy consumption, as the produce can be transported at higher temperatures when solutions are employed to eliminate ethylene from refrigerated shipping containers.
You can view the presentation by Dr. Wills in next video