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Ripening Workshop Set For May 20

A hat tip to Jim Gorney! It wasn’t all that long ago that he was toiling at United Fresh and we were awarding him — along with Hank Giclas and David Gombas — our Perishable Pundit Unsung Heroes Award for doing yeoman’s work during the industry spinach crisis.

Now having read our piece, Lousy Fruit Undermines Consumption, and Pundit’s Mailbag — More On Lousy Fruit: Where’s The Management?, both of which dealt with issues of taste and ripening on stone fruit, Jim writes to let us know about a program that can actually help operators ripen fruit to perfection:

I’ve been following the discussion regarding fruit ripening.

We at U.C. Davis firmly believe that proper fruit ripening and management of ethylene (produce ripening hormone) are critical in today’s produce marketplace, so as to drive repeat sales and boost consumption of fresh produce. If it doesn’t taste good, no matter how good it is for you, people simply won’t eat it and are put off by the experience.

Attached and below is more information about an upcoming 1-day workshop at U.C. Davis set for May 20th to provide retail, food service and ripening operators information they can use to ripen fruit to perfection.

— James R. Gorny, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Postharvest Technology Research & Information Center
University of California, Davis
Department of Plant Sciences/MS2
One Shields Avenue Davis, California

Jim sent along a news release with details:


Registrationincluding convenient and easy on line registration is now open for the 14th annual Management of Ripening & Ethylene Control Workshop to be held May 20th, 2008 on the U.C. Davis Campus. During this one-day event, attendees will hear from leading produce experts in academia and industry on how to increase profits by delivering ready-to-eat, delicious fruits and fruit-vegetables to the consumers.

“Now, more than ever, it is imperative that every one in the produce supply chain understand and have the ability to control produce ripening to assure that consumers have a positive produce eating experience, which drives repeat sales and promotes a healthful eating” said Course Coordinator and Faculty Director for the UCD Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center Jim Thompson.

Attendees will learn about how to set up a retail ripening program that works by understanding the underlying biology of the produce ripening, understanding how to use cutting edge technologies to provide optimum conditions for ripening and how reduce postharvest produce losses by slowing ripening. The course is targeted specifically at shippers and destinations (wholesale and retail) handlers who are involved in ripening fruits and fruit-vegetables (avocados, bananas, mangos, tomato, pears and stone fruit).

“We are constantly striving to provide produce practitioners with useful, user-friendly and up-to-date technical resources to assist them in reducing costly postharvest losses and helping them to assure the quality, safety and marketability of fresh produce for consumers said U.C. Davis Postharvest Technology Research & Information Center Executive Director Dr. Jim Gorny. “Our hope is that industry representatives will turn knowledge into actions to enhance consumer satisfaction with produce purchases and thus increase consumption of these healthful, wholesome and nutritious food items” said Gorny.

Attendees may register for this and other upcoming educational outreach activities sponsored by the Postharvest Technology Research & Information Center via the web at or by contacting Ms. Penny Stockdale, registration coordinator, at (530) 754-4326 or

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The self-defined mission of the University of California Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center is to reduce postharvest losses and improve the quality, safety and marketability of fresh horticultural products. You can visit the center online here. You can also download a brochure for the 2008 Fruit Ripening Conference here.

Doing a better job at ripening is a certain way to increase produce consumption and consumer satisfaction. Many thanks to Jim Gorny for letting us know about this most useful workshop.

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