Bioconservación at the 1st all Africa Postharvest Congress
Bioconservación participated from 28th to 31st March, 2017 in the “1st All Africa Post Harvest Congress & Exhibition” which took place in Nairobi (Kenya) and was the first congress on this discipline held on the whole of the continent of Africa.
Under the slogan ‘Reducing Food Losses and Waste: Sustainable Solutions for Africa’, the congress brought together researchers, academics, farmers, business people, development agencies, civil society and politicians from all over the world.
For four days they worked on defining pragmatic solutions to revert the current trend whereby it is reckoned 30% of foodstuff produced for human consumption is lost throughout various supply chains. The congress had 40 exhibitors from all over the world who presented innovations and technologies to tackle postharvest losses in various food chains.
Bioconservación was present at the Exhibition with its own stand and also took part in the session ‘Postharvest handling and technologies for perishable commodities’ with a verbal presentation entitled ‘Ethylene removal from horticultural produce held without refrigeration by a potassium permanganate ethylene absorbent’.
The work presented had been carried out at the University of Newcastle (Australia) under the direction of Professor Emeritus Ron Wills who is very well-known in the postharvest field especially for his discoveries about the damaging effects of low levels of ethylene and, most recently, the interaction between the concentration of ethylene and temperature in postharvest life. His most outstanding recent publications prove that effective reductions in ethylene would allow products to be kept fresh at temperatures higher than those currently recommended. It would lead to a considerable energy saving in refrigeration, as well as an alternative conservation strategy for countries with a defective refrigeration chain. The work presented demonstrated the ability of Bioconservación ethylene absorption envelopes to effectively eliminate ethylene caused by fresh bananas, strawberries, runner beans and cucumbers kept under commercial conditions at 20ºC, thus demonstrating their potential for extending the commercial life of horticultural products at temperatures higher than those recommended. An extended abstract of this work will be published in coming months in the Minutes of the Congress.