PHHI Presenting Postharvest Cooling Session at Southeast Vegetable and Fruit Expo

(Download a PDF of the news release.)

N.C. State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI) will coordinate a comprehensive postharvest cooling session during the 27th Annual Southeast Vegetable and Fruit Expo on November 27, 2012, in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie, postharvest physiologist and professor with PHHI, will lead the session – titled “Capitalize on Commodity Postharvest” – with colleagues Jonathan Baros, farm and agribusiness management, and Justin Moore, Extension communications, both with the institute.

Dr. Penny Perkins-Veazie_postharvest research
Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie (at left), postharvest physiologist with PHHI, will lead a postharvest cooling session for growers at the 2012 Southeast Vegetable and Fruit Expo in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The PHHI postharvest presentation will help growers determine cooling needs for their operations while exploring ways to tweak technology for more affordable cooling systems. The presenters will share expertise from a variety of fields, including postharvest quality (produce condition and shelf life), economics (cooling system costs and options), and marketing communications (leveraging cooling capabilities to build business).

“We will provide low-cost solutions for growers who want to increase their product while keeping infrastructure costs down,” said Perkins-Veazie. “Growers doing direct market, local grown or farm-to-table programs should find the session especially valuable.”

Each topic will be broken into 30-minute presentations with Q&A, plus attendees will tour a forced-air cooler and PHHI’s Pack ‘N Cool mobile refrigeration trailer, which combines the mobility of a cargo trailer with the refrigeration capabilities of a commercial cooler. The Capitalize on Commodity Postharvest session will take place Tuesday, November 27, 2012, at 2 p.m. in the Eton Room of Embassy Suites at the Kingston Plantation Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Expo Background
The 2012 Southeast Vegetable and Fruit Expo is organized by the N.C. Vegetable Growers Association in association with N.C. State University, the S.C. Fruit, Vegetable and Specialty Crop Association and Clemson University. Attendees and exhibitors will include fresh produce growers, processors, shippers, retailers, logistics experts, health and nutrition professionals, researchers, Extension agents, media and representatives from other agricultural industries across the region.

Some educational topics will include new varieties, labor issues, weed management, pest management, fungicides and marketing. Experts from universities including Clemson University, Cornell University, University of Georgia, N.C. State University, University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech will be on hand to share their expertise. Visit the 2012 Southeast Vegetable and Fruit Expo website for complete details.

About the Presenters
Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie heads research on postharvest physiology and technology for fruits and vegetables at N.C. State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI). During her 25-year career, she has cultivated a national reputation for her research program and efforts to make sure growers have better quality fruits and vegetables for high-value markets. Her research involves extending produce shelf life, determining fruit and vegetable roles in human health, enhancing functional food compounds, and the identification and quantification of health-related compounds in fruits and vegetables. She also evaluates food safety, quality and consumer-appeal characteristics such as fla­vor, color, antioxidants and texture.

Jonathan Baros and Justin Moore at the 2012 Vegetable and Fruit Expo in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Jonathan Baros, farm and agribusiness management, and Justin Moore, Extension communications, represented PHHI at the Southeast Vegetable and Fruit Expo from November 26-28, 2012, in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Jonathan Baros, part of the N.C. Cooperative Extension group at PHHI, coordinates programs that help N.C. fruit and vegetable producers explore efficient economic options and optimize profits for their operations. He is charged with evaluating economic components involved in compliance with food safety rules; examining economical options for initiating cooling and postharvest handling programs in fruits and vegetables; assessing value-added and alternative enterprise opportunities in the traditional horticultural area; and developing cost-and-return estimates for traditional horticultural crops.

Justin Moore provides communications and public relations expertise to the institute, including the N.C. Cooperative Extension component of PHHI. He works with faculty and staff with the institute and Cooperative Extension to develop and execute a variety of strategic marketing communication plans and resources. Responsibilities include media relations, website updates, writing and editing expertise, multimedia development and the creation, packaging and marketing of educational resources that position PHHI and N.C. Cooperative Extension for continued success.

Writer: Justin Moore