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September 1, 2005
CITRUS RESEARCH & EDUCATION CENTER
700 Experiment Station Road
Lake Alfred, FL 33850-2299
IN COOPERATION WITH
FLORIDA CITRUS PACKERS
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
INSTITUTE OF FOOD & AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, GAINESVILLE
REGISTRATION B 8:30 AM
PROGRAM B 9:30 AM
EXHIBITS B AFTERNOON
Packinghouse Day Coordinators:
Mark Ritenour, Ph.D. B Program Coordinator
Bill Miller, Ph.D. B Exhibits Coordinator
Ren6e Goodrich, Ph.D. B Local Arrangements Coordinator
Welcome to the Forty-Fourth Annual Citrus Packinghouse Day! I am very pleased that it is back after being
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canceled during last year's brutal 2004 hurricanes. Throughout today, leading members of industry and scientists from
the University of Florida, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Florida Department of Agriculture
and Consumer Services B Division of Plant Industry will present practical information of interest to your business.
This year, in addition to the many important issues to be addressed, we will be providing concurrent training sessions
for packinghouse management and workers. These training sessions will cover, 1) Forklift Driving Safety, 2)
Packinghouse Postharvest Treatment Safety, and 3) Citrus Canker Decontamination Procedures. A Certificate
of Completion will be awarded to each person completing the training.
This year's keynote speaker is Juan Muniz from PrimusLabs who will discuss how to pass a 3rd party food safety
audit, with brief information about EurepGap and BRC (British Retail Consortium) requirements. Other topics
presented will include:
-Update on issues of packinghouse biosecurity
-Fruit and packingline sanitation
-Progress of the Citrus Canker Eradication program
-Color separation of Florida citrus prior to degreening
-Prospects and progress for robotic harvesting of fresh Florida citrus
-Prospects for good fruit quality this year
Because of a generous donation from DECCO/Cerexagri, Inc., an excellent lunch will again be provided to the first
200 people to register. Be sure to stop by DECCO's exhibitor booth to say thanks! Representatives from more than
20 companies will be on hand to provide valuable information for your business. Check out what they have to offer
after lunch. An exhibitor list will be provided including the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and products sold.
Be sure to stick around for the door prize drawings. We will again be giving out $250 in door prizes. The only catch
is that you have to be present to win. One of the door prizes will be given out in the exhibitor area. Also, please
complete and turn in an evaluation form, they provide us with valuable feedback on how we can improve
Packinghouse Day. One of the door prizes will be awarded only to participants who turn in a completed evaluation form.
Mark A. Ritenour
Indian River Research & Education Center
Forty-Fourth Annual Citrus Packinghouse Day
University of Florida IFAS
Citrus Research and Education Center
700 Experiment Station Road
Lake Alfred, FL 33850-2299
Thursday, September 1, 2005
8:30 AM REGISTRATION
9:30 AM INTRODUCTIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS
Mark A. Ritenour, Program Coordinator
Indian River Research and Education Center
Dr. Harold W. Browning, Center Director
Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred
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Mr. Richard Kinney
Executive Vice President
Florida Citrus Packers, Lakeland
10:00 AM HOW TO PASS A FOOD SAFETY AUDIT & Overview of BRC Requirements Juan Muniz, Primus
Labs, Santa Maria, CA
Many retailers and foodservice companies are requiring the production of Safe Production Manuals and Third Party
Audits as a verification of food safety practices. This presentation will:
-Review the important components of a good food safety program
! Good Manufacturing Practices.
! Food Safety File Requirements.
! HACCP Program (Sometimes required by a Buyer).
!Food Security (evolving).
-Provide instructions for accessing online tools for evaluating a company's food safety program
-Discuss the steps that are involved in a PrimusLabs audit
-Discuss practical tips on how to pass a food safety audit (including common pitfalls and misunderstandings about
Facility Audits Guidelines
-And briefly discuss the general differences between domestic food safety standards and EUREPGAP and
The online, food safety program evaluation tools mentioned can be accessed from the PrimusLabs.com website
(www.primuslabs.com) free of charge. These include materials to assist in developing safe production/packing/
shipping/receiving manuals, and in conducting self-audits. The self-audits use the same exact questions that are used
by PrimusLabs.com auditors when conducting independent third party audits.
For more information, contact Julian Sollozo or Chelsea Felix at (805) 922-0055 or by e-mail at, julian@primuslabs.
com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
10:30 AM UPDATE ON ISSUES OF PACKINGHOUSE FOOD SAFETY AND BIOSECURITY Renee M.
Goodrich, UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred, FL 33850, email@example.com
Starting with the President's Food Safety Initiative in 1997, there has been a heightened interest in produce-related food
safety issues. An increase in per capital fruit and vegetable consumption in the past decade, coupled with several high-
profile foodborne disease outbreaks related to produce, has led to continued regulatory and scientific focus on fresh and fresh-
cut fruit and vegetable food safety and security.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) have been the cornerstone programs in produce food safety for the past 5
years. Since 1998, when these federal guidance documents were issued by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), most major producers and packers have adopted GAPs programs. Impetus for change was
the realization that produce food safety was a real concern for consumers and regulators alike. Additionally,
many producers/packers instituted GAPs programs to achieve and/or maintain preferred vendor status with
Important components of GAPs programs include assessing the following aspects of production and packing, as
appropriate for a given operation:
Agricultural water source and distribution
Historical use of land
Wells properly maintained
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Processing water is tested regularly
Cooling water and ice are clean and sanitary
Worker Health & Hygiene
SEmployees properly trained in good hygienic practices
SRe-assignment of ill employees to non-food handling duties
SProper use of gloves
SProper management and stocking of field toilets
SBe familiar with laws and regulations that might apply to field sanitation facilities such as state laws and OSHA
Field & Packing Facility Sanitation
SStorage facilities and bins cleaned before use
SDo not re-contaminate produce that is washed, cooled or packed
SMaintain temperature that promotes optimum produce quality and minimize pathogen growth
SAssign responsibility for equipment cleaning and maintenance
SRemove as much dirt as possible outside packing area
SEstablish and maintain pest control program in packinghouse
Transportation & Traceback
STransportation vehicles inspected for cleanliness, odor and debris before loading
Maintain proper transport temperatures
SBe able to trace produce containers from the farm, to the packer, distributor and retailer
SDocument date of harvest, farm identification and who handled produce
Much useful and practical information regarding produce safety and GAPs can be found at the following FDA website:
Food Security and the Bioterrorism Act of 2002
September 11, 2001 was a wake-up call for American citizens and businesses. The nation's food supply has
been identified as a critical network and a possible target for terrorist activities. This portion of the presentation will
focus on summarizing the Bioterrorism Act of 2002 as it relates to fresh fruits and vegetables, including citrus.
Some producers, and all packers, face new record keeping requirements in light of this recent legislation. The
specific requirements of Facility Registration and Prior Notice will be reviewed, and some food security self-
auditing information will be provided. A detailed discussion of the relatively recent (August 2004) AQuestions
and Answers Regarding Registration of Food Facilities B Edition 4@ will cover the packer-specific aspects of this
latest guidance. This document can be found at:
Finally, a valuable resource for background information regarding food security, bioterrorism, and the specific
requirements of the Act can be found at the main FDA food biosecurity website:
Increasingly, 3rd party audits will address the food biosecurity issues summarized at this website; these audits are
becoming necessary to sell product to major customers. Therefore it is good business to both learn and
implement appropriate food safety and security practices at your individual facility; this talk will discuss some of
the resources available for that purpose.
10:45 AM SANITIZERS IN PACKINGHOUSES Jan Narciso, Citrus and Subtropical Products Lab, USDA/ARS,
Winter Haven, FL, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanitation literally means "to promote health" and is usually associated with applications to reduce disease-
causing microorganisms on foods or food contact surfaces. In packinghouses, this includes reducing the number of
fungal spores on fruit contact surfaces (e.g. brushes and belts) as well as on fruit surfaces that can cause
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While fungicides are organism specific, sanitizers are non-specific and will kill most fungi and bacteria with which
they have contact. Fungicides will act for a prolonged period. The working time of sanitizers depends on the amount
of organic materials introduced into these solutions. ("Organic materials" include twigs, leaves and soil stuck on
fruit surfaces as well as any juice and microorganisms). In addition, the effectiveness of sanitizers is variable,
depending often on pH, concentration, contact time, and general condition and type of the commodity.
To be most effective, fruit and packinghouse sanitation should begin with Good Agricultural Practices in the grove.
The goal is to harvest fruit with minimum peel damage (e.g. wounds, scab) and without infection from latent disease.
This is partially accomplished with prudent tree pruning as well as the application of a preharvest spray. At
the packinghouse, sanitation practices continue with cleaning and sanitizing the line and the fruit. Split or decayed
fruit should be culled from the line, as removing these diseased fruits from any proximity to the packingline will avoid
There are a variety of ways to sanitize the fruit and/or fruit contact surfaces. These include methods that are widely
used such as chlorine based dips or drenches for both the fruit and packinghouse surfaces, and cleaning with hot
water under pressure. Some newer sanitizing agents, such as peroxyacetic acid (PAA), are safe and effective for both
the packinglines and fruit surfaces and are not as corrosive as chlorinated products. Ozone (used often in re-
circulating water systems) reduces microorganisms on produce surfaces and has been found to be successful in
reducing decay caused by some fungi. However, to accomplish this, the water must be pre-conditioned before the ozone
is added and the contact time for fruit surfaces greater than 2 minutes. Also, ozone will not prevent growth of fungi
once they are in wounds and peel abrasions. Ozone concentrations (>0.1 ppm) can be dangerous to packinghouse
workers over time, and can be corrosive to packinghouse equipment. Chlorine dioxide is an anti-fungal sanitizer that
can be used over a wide pH range, but may be expensive to use and, if the packinghouse is not adequately ventilated,
can cause respiratory problems in packinghouse workers.
Sanitizers should be a part of an integrated program of processes and possibly other chemicals to maintain fruit quality.
It is important to remember that sanitizers have several limitations, one being that they have no residual effect. Some
are inactivated quickly when they are exposed to organic materials, and require constant vigilance in maintaining a
stable pH level (e.g. chlorine). To make sanitizers more effective, increasing exposure time rather than concentration
may reduce numbers of viable spores on fruit surfaces without causing problems for workers or equipment.
Regular cleaning of brushes (especially in non-recovery systems) is necessary as spores can accumulate on them;
sanitizers would be well used here. Non-recovery systems are found to have a higher incidence of
microorganisms throughout the packingline and these should be carefully maintained and sanitized so clean fruit is not
re-inoculated at the end of the packinghouse process.
11:00 AM CITRUS CANKER UPDATE ON ERADICATION PROGRESS AND REGULATORY ISSUES Mark
Estes, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry
11:15 AM COLOR SEPARATION OF FLORIDA CITRUS PRIOR TO DEGREENING William M. Miller,
University of Florida, Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred, FL, email@example.com
One potential scenario to operate a packinghouse more efficiently is to process only fruit lots where a high percent of
the fruit is of a packable grade. Obviously, the first step would be to select groves that have been maintained
to produce fresh market quality citrus and that have a previous history of yielding high packouts. A new step
that packers may want to consider individually or in a cooperative arrangement is to pre-grade fruit before
degreening. Electronic camera-based grading systems have been implemented in numerous Florida
packinghouses. However, a high percent of non-marketable fruit are de-greened and handled through the initial dump,
trash elimination and washing unit operations. An electronic sizing/grading step before de-greening could eliminate
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under and over-sized fruit, severely blemished fruit and fruit of low density (i.e. freeze-damaged or granulated
fruit). Inclusion of color separation would reduce de-greening time and provide some fruit for immediate
packing. Herein, preliminary results are presented on such initial color separation.
Fallglo tangerines were classified based on color only with a machine vision based automatic grading unit (Colour
Vision Systems, Vero Beach, FL). The fruit were segregated into either 4 or 5 classes based on a hue-saturation-
intensity color space with defined color regions ranging from yellow-orange to dark green. Although the fruit had
not been washed, they were readily separated into color grades for subsequent de-greening.
Initial tests in Fall 2003 on three harvest dates of Fallglo tangerines indicated that 14 to 44 percent of the fruit
had satisfactory color for immediate packing. The amount of fruit considered dark green was 8 to 58 percent
dependent upon harvest date. A de-greening time increase from 24 to 48 hours resulted in a small decrease from 4 to
2 percent, in dark green fruit.
Initial grading and separation of Florida citrus fruit before degreening would allow more efficient use of de-greening
room space. Some fruit with sufficient natural color could be processed immediately. Secondary advantages of the
above approach would include minimum fruit exposure time to ethylene treatments and better utilization of
packingline equipment. The shortening or eliminating of degreening time should noticeably increase fruit quality
and provide more uniformity in packing operations.
(The author would like to acknowledge the contributions of Ms. Sherrie Buchanon, Sr. Engineering Technician at
CREC and Mr. Guillermo Moreda, Ph.D. student in Agricultural Engineering at Polytechnic Univ. of Madrid
in conducting this study.)
11:30 AM PROSPECTS AND PROGRESS FOR ROBOTIC HARVESTING OF FRESH FLORIDA CITRUS Dr.
Thomas F. Burks, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, University of Florida, Gainesville
In the summer of 2001, the Florida Department of Citrus began an investigation into the potential for using robotics
to harvest citrus. Current mass harvesting programs have proven viable for process citrus, but cannot be used for fresh
fruit markets, and questions remain with regard to mass harvesting late season Valencia. During the course of
this investigation, a Fact Finding Team evaluated past horticultural robotics efforts, talked to experts in the area
of robotics, Ag mechanization, horticulture, and economists to determine if there had been sufficient advances
in technology, and changes in the economic potential for robotic harvesting to suggest that a renewed effort was
warranted. The consensus opinion of a Forum on Robotic Citrus Harvesting, April 2002, was that there was an
urgent need for harvesting solutions for the fresh fruit market, that significant long-term financial commitment would
be required, and although it is a difficult problem, enough technical progress has been made in the past decade to
warrant a new robotics program. Initial optimistic estimates have suggested that a 7 to 10 year program will be required
to bring forth a market ready system, which would require budgetary levels beyond that of most agricultural
commodity groups. There is a growing interest among national researchers and commodity group leaders to seek
federal funding for supporting a national initiative to promote automation of horticultural production.
Through the funding and support of the Florida Department of Citrus, a research program was begun at the University
of Florida in the summer of 2002, which is seeking to address the fundamental technology barriers which have
prevented past citrus robotics efforts from being successful. The following research projects are currently in progress at
the University of Florida; 1) fruit detection systems, 2) manipulator development, 3) fruit handling systems, 4)
vehicle guidance, 5) visual servo control, and 6) grove design and tree genetics for optimized harvesting.
11:45 AM PROSPECTS FOR GOOD FRUIT QUALITY THIS YEAR L. Gene Albrigo, Citrus Research and Education
Center, University of Florida, Lake Alfred, FL 33850, albrigo(-crec.ifas.ufl.edu
In recent years, internal fruit quality has been relatively poor. Fruit has matured early based on sugar to acid ratio and
two year's ago fruit developed internal drying granulationn) early, especially in navel oranges but even in
'Hamlin'. Granulation is associated with low soluble solids and acidity contents. Characteristics of these poor quality
years include early bloom, high spring and fall temperatures with a variety of crop loads. An analysis of weather and
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other characteristics suggests that early maturity is primarily weather related and leads to low solids. For last year's
crop, bloom was still early, but spring temperatures were cooler than previous years. However, the previous year's
crop and the heavy set led to small fruit size, and then external quality was compromised by hurricane damage.
Other factors may also contribute to fruit quality limits. This year the normal early and mid-March bloom dates
were predicted, but cool spring weather and probably hurricane effects delayed the main bloom until late March.
The spring was unusually wet and continued into the summer. Fruit may have less protective natural wax and
not withstand handling as well as in a dryer year, so extra care should be employed until some experience with
fruit condition is obtained. Maturation might be a little later than recent years, with lower brix and acid levels due
to dilution and fewer mature leaves. The general balance of favorable and unfavorable factors for internal and
external fresh fruit quality will be discussed.
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