AgroFresh Solutions Opens New Innovation Center in Fresno

AgroFresh Accelerates Growth Plan with New Facility in Central California

News Release

AgroFresh Solutions, Inc.—a global leader in produce freshness solutions— has opened its Innovation Center in Fresno.

In addition to advancing its core post-harvest technologies, AgroFresh’s R&D and Technical Service & Development Center in Fresno will drive innovation in coating and packaging solutions, antimicrobial products, and furthering AgroFresh’s data-driven FreshCloud™ platform.

The Innovation Center will be led by a highly skilled team of post-harvest physiologists with a strong focus on developing solutions and servicing specialized crops such as citrus, table grapes, kiwifruit, avocado, berries, and broccoli.

“Innovation and crop diversification is central to our success, which is why we continue to invest in our innovation centers,” says Ann Beaulieu, vice president of R&D and regulatory at AgroFresh. “We strategically chose to open this office in Central California because this location enables us to expand our services to a broader range of crops while positioning our company for long-term growth.”

The newly-opened center is divided between a conventional office space and laboratories with capabilities to solve challenges, partner with customers, and break new ground across post-harvest biology, plant pathology, and analytical chemistry. The center will also accommodate growing commercial and operational teams.

Learn more about AgroFresh’s current job openings by visiting their career portal.

Postharvest Short Course Focused on Taste and Quality

UC Davis Postharvest Course Covers Food Loss, Produce Handling

By Lauren Dutra, Associate Editor

The 38th annual Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops Short Course concluded TODAY, June 24 at UC Davis. Presented by Beth Mitcham, director of the Postharvest Technology Center, the course focused on postharvest produce quality and safety.

Beth Mitcham, Director of the Postharvest Technology Center at UC Davis.
Beth Mitcham, Director of the Postharvest Technology Center at UC Davis.

“This class provided a really broad overview of all the topics that are relevant for postharvest handling of produce, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and also ornamentals,” said Mitcham. “We cover the crops that are grown in California, but because our audience includes a lot of people from around the world who want to learn the basics about postharvest handling, we also cover a few crops that aren’t grown in California for commercial purposes. Furthermore,”she noted, “we also address some of the latest technologies that are available for maintaining excellent quality,”

Maintaining a good cold chain throughout the entire shipping line is critical, according to Mitcham. “We talk a lot about temperature,” she elaborated. “In fact, we tell students the three most important things about postharvest biology and technology are: temperature, temperature and temperature. We discussed many other technologies during the week, but they are secondary to good temperature management,” she noted.

Mitcham also mentioned food waste and how to control it. “So much effort goes into growing the crop, which includes harvesting at the prime of ripeness and getting it in the pre-cooler, on the trucks and to the market. But, people buy it, put it in their refrigerator and then don’t eat it. It goes bad and they waste it. It does happen,” said Mitcham. “Our goal is to try to make the product as hearty as possible while retaining really good flavor so it can last in your refrigerator as long as possible but also so people want to eat it, so hopefully it doesn’t sit in there and degrade.”
UCD Postharvest Technology Center

In reducing postharvest losses, Mitcham commented on the dissonance between addressing postharvest flavor and consumer satisfaction, “In some ways they are two opposite ends of the spectrum; some of the things we do to reduce losses are counter to delivering good flavor to consumers,” she said. “We really need to do both, and that was a big part of our message this week.”

Also at the event, the California Leafy Green Marketing Agreement (LGMA) discussed food safety principles, and Trevor Suslow, a UC Davis Plant Pathologist with the Postharvest Technology Center, discussed good agricultural practices (GAP) for food safety.