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The PHTRC R&D programs are implemented through innovative and industry-driven researches which are designed to develop science-based technologies, protocols and processes that address problems of high postharvest losses, food safety and quality that greatly affect productivity and global competitiveness. Its extension programs, on the other hand, are designed to assist the fresh produce industry by making services readily available, to produce highly-trained and well-informed manpower, and to enhance institutional visiblity of the Center through digital and other forms of communication.
Extension programs of PHTRC revolve around training and capability building, information dissemination and technology promotion, and institutional and industry cooperation through industry and government assistance on handling systems for local, institutional and export markets, formulation of standards, codes of hygiene, good agricultural practices, etc. and, quarantine treatments and regulations.
The PHTRC covers research, extension and related activities in the following scientific disciplines and areas:
POSTHARVEST PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOCHEMISTRY
Biological and chemical reactions in crops after harvest in relation to function such as ripening and senescence, physiological disorders that limit potential marketable life, and responses to the postharvest environment
Identification and manipulation of key regulatory enzymes and genes involved in ripening, senescence, and development of physiological disorders in response to postharvest treatments and environment; metabolic profiling of fresh produce in rsponse to changes in temperature, gas composition and chemical treatments after harvest.
Nature, form, and anatomical structure of a crop that explains its behavior after harvest, and in response to the physico-chemical and biological environment.
Biophysical properties (rheological, thermal, optical, acoustic) of fresh produce and their applications in postharvest technology development; design tools, equipment and postharvest facilities.
POSTHARVEST PATHOLOGY AND ENTOMOLOGY
Interaction of the harvested commodity, the pathogen and the environment in disease development, and manipulation of postharvest treatments to control diseases; development and/or modification of disinfestation treatments for insects of quarantine significance that would not affect quality and insure safety of the produce for consumers.
The economics of postharvest technologies and systems, trend analysis on niche marketing like product forms (e.g. fresh-cuts), retail packaging and labeling, and consumer preference studies.