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Santomera hosts Citrosol’s Postharvest Symposium II

Santomera, a town in the Murcia region, the birthplace of lemons in Spain, is hosting the second edition of the Post-harvest Symposium by our country’s leading firm in the sector, the Valencian company, Citrosol on October 16. The symposium will consist of two parts. The first, scientific in nature with presentations from doctors from the UMH of Orihuela, Cebas-CSIC, Murcia and Citrosol itself; and the second, dedicated to a vison of the business where key players in the sector participate in an interesting round table addressing current and anticipated challenges.

Starting at 4:00 pm the Casón de la Vega de Santomera will bring together professionals, researchers and experts who will present innovative technologies and post-harvest treatments for citrus and other fruit and vegetables. Scientific contributions designed to maintain and improve the profitability of exports.

Scientific papers *

Dr. Daniel Valero, from the Miguel Hernández University of Orihuela, is to moderate the symposium. The first presentation will be given by Dr. Domingo Martínez, also from UMH Orihuela, who will cover the use of ethylene and its elimination in the conservation and transport of fruit and vegetable produce. Another doctor from the UMH, Dr. Pedro Zapata, will then continue by addressing the pre-harvest treatments in “bio” lemon production (certified organic agriculture). Immediately followed by Citrosol’s own, Dr. Celia Murciano who will also be focusing on organic citrus, but from the post-harvest perspective. This first session will be closed by the CEO of Citrosol, Benito Orihuel, who will broach an issue that is always at the forefront, decay control problems in citrus fruit. ‘From the laboratory to the Packinghouse’ will be Benito Orihuel’s epigraph, in which he will address, among other aspects, the precision post-harvest that Citrosol has been championing for some years.

The second block is to be opened by Dr. Martín Mottura, Citrosol’s precision post-harvest manager, who will present a strategic line of the Valencian brand that is our Citrocide® systems. ‘How we turn the washing process of fruit and vegetable produce into a critical control point’ as Dr. Mottura will summarize in his presentation. Before concluding at the symposium round table which will close the proceedings, there will be a final scientific presentation by Dr. María Gil del Cebas-CSIC from Murcia in which she will expound the keys to monitoring and control of water disinfection for washing fruit and vegetables.

The Round table

The finishing touch to Citrosol’s Post-harvest Symposium II will be a round table that will address a fundamental question for the sector: How can we differentiate our citrus produce in the context of Europe and the distribution of fresh citrus?

The table is to be introduced by Dr. María Serrano, from UMH Orihuela, who will provide data on the importance of citrus as a source of bioactive compounds and their health benefits.

At said table will be José Antonio García, director of Ailimpo, Paco Borrás, highly knowledgeable in the sector thanks to his long career at Anecoop, Manuel Arrufat, president of the Citrus Management Committee (CGC), Antonio Pujante from Mundosol and Francisco Rodríguez Mulero, secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Valencian Community.


*The scientific program in detail

Ethylene and its elimination in the preservation and transport of F&V. Dr. Domingo Martínez – UMH Orihuela

Ethylene is a gaseous plant hormone that controls a wide range of physiological processes in plants. This hormone can be used, post-harvest, in a controlled way, as a tool to induce or accelerate ripening. Furthermore, even when found at very low concentrations, it can induce negative effects including senescence, over-ripening, accelerated loss of quality, increased susceptibility to fruit pathogens and to physiological disorders. Techniques have been developed to protect products sensitive to ethylene. The selection of the appropriate method of elimination depends on the produce in question and the handling techniques used in its commercialization.

Pre-harvest treatments in BIO lemon (certified organic farming). Dr. Pedro Zapata – UMH Orihuela

The Post-Harvest Group for Fruit and Vegetables at the Miguel Hernández University have been working over recent years on the development of natural tools to be applied prior to harvesting, that can be used in organic agriculture, with the aim of improving the quality of the citrus at the time of harvesting and during post-harvest preservation. This will show that the results obtained will allow us to open up a new path in the future of production and commercialization of BIO citrus.

Post-harvest treatments in BIO citrus (certified organic agriculture) and alternatives. Dr. Celia Murciano – Citrosol

The Citrosol R&D+i team has developed the BIOCARE Line with which organically grown citrus fruit can reach the European market in good, commercial, condition. The effectiveness of our organic farming solutions applied together with a series of preventive measures will be demonstrated.

Today’s problems controlling decay in citrus: from the laboratory to the packinghouse. Dr. Benito Orihuel – Citrosol

Control of citrus decay remains highly relevant in today’s shipments. With an ever-decreasing number of post-harvest fungicides available for use within Europe, a correct and homogeneous application of treatments under industrial conditions is increasingly important. The decrease of active substances and their “inappropriate use” also facilitates the appearance of resistance to the fungicides we are able to use.

CITROCIDE® SYSTEMS: How we turn produce washing into a Critical Control Point. Dr. Martín Mottura – Citrosol

Since 2011, when Citrosol integrated the first CITROCIDE® system into a pepper washer, Citrosol has developed similar systems for washing tomato, avocado, mango, sweet potato, peeled garlic and, of course, citrus fruit. Moving forward to today, within the framework of a European project (Aquafresh), we have finalized a system for the Fresh Cut and Minimally Processed industry. We will present data, obtained principally by third parties that establishes how we have turned the washing machine into a Critical Control Point (CCP).

Monitoring and control of the disinfection of the produce wash water. Dra. María I. Gil – CEBAS-CSIC

During the conditioning and processing of the produce, the wash water should be treated with a disinfectant to avoid cross contamination. The residual concentration must be measured and controlled frequently through the establishment of operating limits, and with measurement methods that avoid food safety being compromised. We are to present industrial-level examples of critical measurement parameters, their validation and verification, as well as commercial sensors used for monitoring and control.

ROUND TABLE: How can we differentiate our citrus produce in the context of Europe and the distribution of fresh citrus? Moderated by Dr. María Serrano – UMH Orihuela. José Antonio García (AILIMPO), Paco Borrás, Manuel Arrufat (CGC), Antonio Pujante (Mundosol) and Francisco Rodríguez Mulero (Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development)

The objective of the round table is to reflect on how Spain can and should take advantage of its income from exports of fresh citrus to Europe, with BIO products (certified organic agriculture), citrus with leaves, etc. Spanish citrus fruit with excellent sensory characteristics that, due to their freshness, are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, bioactive compounds and come with a superior flavor.

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