Thank you for visiting the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission’s website. We support applied science to improve the financial and ecological sustainability of Washington’s tree fruit industry through innovative horticulture, pest and disease management, postharvest programs, and development of new technologies which efficiently deliver premium quality fruit to consumers.
In March 2017, the WTFRC board, accompanied by WTFRC Manager Dr. Mike Willett, Project Manager Dr. Ines Hanrahan and apple committee member John Gebbers, along with WSU scientists Meijun Zhu and Girish Ganjyal went on a 2-day intensive study tour to Central California. The overarching goals of the trip were to learn about various activities related to food safety research at UC Davis and the Center for Produce Safety (CPS, www.centerforproducesafety.org) and to observe application of contemporary food safety practices in a commercial bean sprout facility
Picture 1: The tour group and Dr. Nitin Nitin (4th from left) in front of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Sciences in Davis, CA on March 2, 2017.
The group met with Bonnie Fernandez Fenaroli, Executive Director of CPS to discuss current activities of the Center and future enhanced collaboration with the PNW tree fruit industry. Dr. Janneth Piznon, a postdoctoral scientist in Dr. Trevor Suslow’s laboratory, updated the group on key findings related to two projects partially funded by the WTFRC: “Evaluation of an alternative irrigation water quality indicator”
Evaluation_of_an_alternative_irrigation_water_quality_indicator.html) and “Assessment of apple packing for Listeria risk”. Dr. Nitin Nitin (Picture 1), lead scientist on a nationally funded, collaborative food safety project, spent time with the group to explain several key aspects of the project titled: “An Integrated Approach to Eliminate Cross-Contamination During Washing, Conveying, Handling and Packaging of Fresh Produce” (http://bae.engineering.ucdavis.edu/blog/nitin-lab-receives-large-grant-as-uc-davis-heads-usda-food-safety-project/). Next, Dr. Robert Atwill, Melissa Partyka and Ronny Bond from the Western Center for Food Safety discussed activities of the Center, agricultural water quality and testing methodologies (Picture 2), current research and future plans, collaboration with FDA, and FSMA implementation.
Picture 2: Ronny Bond of the Western Center for Food Safety in demonstrating equipment to determine microbial contamination in agricultural water samples.
The group enjoyed a tour of Salad Cosmo Sprouts, the largest producer of bean sprouts in the US hosted by the Nakada family and Devon Zagory (Food Safety Consultant, CPS Technical Committee). The group spent time with Dr. Barbara Linke and her doctoral student Jayanti Das, touring the engineering laboratory and discussing ideas on how to study bacterial attachment to metal surfaces (https://research.engineering.ucdavis.edu/master).
Picture 3: Touring the engineering laboratory with Dr. Barbara Linke (center).
The tour wrapped up by meeting with Dr. Stavros Vougioukas, who works in agricultural robotics and the mechanization and automation for specialty crops, focusing on the design, development, and testing of actuators, sensors and control systems (https://faculty.engineering.ucdavis.edu/vougioukas/). Dr. Irwin Donis-Gonzalez (postharvest engineering specialist) briefly introduced himself to the group.
In response to increasing industry concerns about meeting Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for pesticides in foreign markets, the WTFRC initiated studies in 2011 in apple and cherry to develop some residue data for commonly used insecticides and fungicides to help Washington growers make more informed choices about their spray programs. The WTFRC Internal Program recently completed its 2016 study in apple which included 13 insecticides/acaricides and 7 fungicides, as well as considering the effects on residues from 3 sunburn management programs: overhead cooling, application of a waxy sunburn protectant (Raynox), or application of a calcium carbonate-based fertilizer with sunburn protective qualities (Eclipse). The results of that study are available below, as well as similar reports from previous years on apple and cherry.
2015 WTFRC Cherry Residue Study
2012-2014 WTFRC Cherry Residue Summary
2014 WTFRC Cherry Residue Study
2013 WTFRC Cherry Residue Study
2012 WTFRC Cherry Residue Study
2011 WTFRC Cherry Residue Study
2011 Univ. California Extension Cherry Residue Study