August 30, 2001
RESEARCH & EDUCATION CENTER
700 Experiment Station Road
Lake Alfred, FL 33850
STATE OF FLORIDA--DEPARTMENT OF CITRUS
IN COOPERATION WITH
FLORIDA CITRUS PACKERS
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
INSTITUTE OF FOOD & AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, GAINESVILLE
REGISTRATION 8:30 AM
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PROGRAM 9:30 AM
Packinghouse Day Coordinators:
Mark Ritenour, Ph.D. Program Coordinator
Bill Miller, Ph.D. Exhibits Coordinator
Renee Goodrich, Ph.D. Local Arrangements Coordinator
welcome to the Fortieth Annual Citrus Packinghouse Day! In an effort to continually
crease the value of Packinghouse Day, each year we make improvements to justify your
ne investment. This year we begin featuring a keynote speaker to help address our theme
pic. Keynote speakers will bring new perspectives and information concerning issues
at are important to Florida's citrus industry. This year's theme is "Food Safety." Our
Snote speaker this year is Dr. Jim Rushing from Clemson University who will discuss
\v food safety issues have affected produce industries in South Carolina and what
orida's citrus industry might learn from their experiences.
cal academic and industry presenters will address a number of important food safety
utes for Florida's citrus packinghouses. Principals of food safety contained in the FDA's
uide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables" will
discussed focusing on their application to citrus packinghouses. Researchers will also
ovide practical information on how to monitor microbial populations within
ickinghouses and discuss what "Traceback" means, why is it important, and how it can
implemented in our industry. A representative from Publix supermarket will discuss
eir food safety requirements for fresh produce suppliers and the Florida Citrus Packers
association will present their views on how issues of food safety are affecting Florida's
.sh citrus industry.
ot neglecting other important issues to fresh citrus packers, we have included updates on
me exciting work on postharvest decay control and present results on reducing stem-end
id breakdown. Finally, with the technology of optical grading and sorting equipment
proving, Dr. Bill Miller will discuss economic/labor factors involved in determining
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whether or not to invest in such equipment for your packinghouse.
cause of a generous donation from FMC FoodTech, another improvement this year is
at lunch is both improved and FREE for the first 200 to register!! Be sure to stop by
IC's exhibitor booth to say thanks! Corporate sponsors for lunch will also be sought in
ture years to keep lunches free for our participants. Over 30 commercial exhibitors will
Son hand to provide valuable information for your business. Check out what they have to
fer after lunch. An exhibitor list is provided including the names, addresses, telephone
imbers and products sold.
Assure to stick around for the door prize drawings. Another change for this year is that we
ill be giving out $250 in door prizes DIRECTLY TO THE WINNERS (not their
nployer). The only catch is that you have to be present to win. WE NEED YOUR HELP
continue to improve Packinghouse Day! Please complete and turn in an evaluation form
give us valuable feedback on how we can improve Packinghouse Day for the future.
ne of the door prizes will be awarded only to participants who turn in a completed
ark A. Ritenour
dian River Research & Education Center
30 AM REGISTRATION
30 AM WELCOME (10 min.)
Dr. Harold W. Browning, Center Director
Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred
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ITRODUCTORY REMARKS (10 min.)
Dr. Mohamed A. Ismail
Scientific Research Director, Fresh Fruit
Florida Department of Citrus, Lake Alfred
,ESIDING (10 min.)
Mr. Billy Heller, Jr.
Heller Brothers Packing Corporation
Winter Garden, FL USA
):00 AM FOOD SAFETY James W. Rushing, Clemson University, Coastal Research
1d Education Center, 2865 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC 29414 jrshng(~,clemson.
recent years the primary concern for produce food safety has shifted from pesticide
sidues to the possibility of contamination with microbial pathogens that cause human
ness. Many major fruit and vegetable industries, including tomatoes, strawberries,
elons, and several others, have had to cope with outbreaks of illness associated with
nsumption of fresh products. While reports of outbreaks may be due in part to the
proved ability of health professionals to detect, diagnose, and trace illness back to the
urce, clearly there are concerns about produce food safety that industry and regulatory
encies must address.
)uth Carolina's fresh produce industries have had a number of unfortunate experiences
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ith food safety issues. Our fresh-market tomato industry, valued at approximately $50
million, has twice been implicated in outbreaks of salmonellosis. The first known outbreak
SCyclospora-related illness in the U.S. occurred in S.C., although the source of
:ntamination was later identified to be imported berries rather than local product. More
:cently, the Food and Drug Administration has isolated human pathogens from
ntaloupes and green onions produced in S.C. Most other states have had similar
toblems. These experiences have motivated us to take a highly proactive approach to the
e\vention of microbial contamination on our produce.
resented here is an overview of actions taken within the state to cope with food safety
sues. Educational programs have been developed that are directed to all food handlers,
cluding field, packinghouse, and shipping employees, food-service workers, and home
nlsumers. Programs are conducted in English and Spanish. Numerous specialists
working cooperatively in regional, national, and international programs have developed
|od safety management guidelines for all segments of the produce industry. This
formation is made available to appropriate audiences in ongoing programs. An increased
Ivareness of the causes, consequences, and steps toward prevention of foodborne illness
essential to the safety of our food supply.
biographical Sketch: Jim Rushing is an Associate Professor of Horticulture and
bstharvest Extension Specialist with Clemson University's Coastal Research and
education Center (REC) in Charleston, SC. Jim worked for over 6 years as a technical
Isistant at the Citrus REC while completing a B.S. in Citrus Production at Florida
puthern College (1979). He attended graduate school at the University of Florida, earning
s M.Ag. in Fruit Crops (1981) and Ph.D. in Vegetable Crops (1985). In 1991 he moved
Santiago, Chile and was self-employed as a consultant in the fruit and vegetable export
Industries. He returned to his faculty position at Clemson in 1994 and now has statewide
Responsibility for postharvest extension activities with the fruit and vegetable industries of
):30 AM PRINCIPALS OF PACKINGHOUSE FOOD SAFETY Mark A. Ritenour,
university of Florida, Indian River Research and Education Center, Fort Pierce, FL
zstharvest researchers and extension specialists have long promoted the importance of
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od sanitation practices to reduce postharvest decay. However, in recent years, reported
ses of human illnesses caused by fresh fruits and vegetables contaminated with human
thogens has increased, sparking governmental organization and produce buyers to look
ore closely at risks associated with consuming fresh fruits and vegetables.
1997, president Clinton announced a Food Safety Initiative that let to the Food and
rug Administration's (FDA) release of the "Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety
hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables," also known simply as "the guide." The good
ricultural practices (GAPs) and good manufacturing practices (GMPs) described in "the
.ide" are not governmental regulations, but retail and produce buyers have begun
quiring shippers to follow these guidelines and implement third-party verification. This
esentation discusses these guidelines and ways they can be implemented within citrus
od safety is an integrated concept, involving both pre- and postharvest practices that
list be followed from "field to fork." The primary goal is to prevent contamination in the
st place; once product is contaminated, it is extremely difficult to remove all the
hogens. The major source of microbial contamination comes from human or animal
ces. Other sources of contamination can include foreign materials or debris (e.g.
iemicals, metal, glass, wood, etc.) or contaminants from insects, rodents, etc. To
minimize contamination keep in mind the following principals:
ater: Use only clean, potable water for all fruit contact. Know the quality of irrigation
after and water used on product in the packinghouse; test for bacteria, protozoa and
ruses. Do not use open water sources for field washing. Sanitize recirculated water
stems and change as often as necessary to maintain sanitary conditions.
ni ial Feces, Manure and Municipal Biosolids: Insure that manure is properly treated
reduce microbial hazards when it is used on groves that produce fruit for the fresh
market. Take steps to minimize animal access to the fields.
orker Hygiene: Train employees to follow good hygiene practices and encourage sick
iployees to stay home. Cover employee wounds so they do not contact the product.
maintain sanitary, well-supplied toilets and sinks.
ckinghouse Sanitation: Design packing facilities so that the dirtiest product is treated
tside the packinghouse keep dirty product separated from clean product. Avoid contact
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tw een fruits, vegetables, bins, etc. and soil. Clean and sanitize harvest and packing
uipment, storage rooms, packing areas, bins, storage containers, and loading areas.
handle produce carefully to prevent cuts and bruises that may allow internal
)ntamination. Implement an effective pest control program to keep animals (birds,
dents, etc.) away from the equipment and fruit. Discard fruits and vegetables that fall on
e floor and remove cull fruit and debris promptly. Prepare cartons only as needed. Avoid
lays in product cooling. Maintain up-to-date packinghouse sanitation records.
transportation: Insure that all parties understand product and sanitary requirements.
lean and check that equipment is in working order. Watch for incompatibilities of
envious or current mixed loads (e.g. previous hauling of animal products). Maintain
oper temperature throughout shipment.
raceback: Document and include product identification so that problem units can be
iced back to the specific grove.
):40 AM MICROBIAL DETECTION AND CITRUS PACKINGHOUSE
LNITATION Steven Pao, Florida Department of Citrus, Citrus Research and
uication Center, Lake Alfred, FL.
-suring food safety is a common goal shared by all branches of food and agricultural
dustry. In the citrus industry, packinghouse procedures such as washing and waxing are
liable of reducing microbial contaminants on fruit surfaces. These fruit surface
atments when used with adequate fruit handling, plant sanitation, and employee hygiene
in effectively protect the integrity of fresh fruit and their products.
icrobial detection methods have long been used in the food industry to monitor
ocessing sanitation and product safety. Regular testing of packinghouse equipment and
u it surfaces may also help to provide useful information to the overall packinghouse
citation program. Modern techniques of sampling and rapid detection of
microorganisms have become more simplified and fairly economical. There are a number
Companies which provide sterile sampling devices and rapid detection media for these
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r a successful and meaningful detection, careful planning is needed. Some testing
methods can be utilized by a trained in-house staff with very little time and effort; other
sts require assistance from a qualified service laboratory. The result of these
icrobiological evaluations may be used to affirm good manufacturing practices and fruit
1o, S. and G.E. Brown. 1998. Reduction of microorganisms on citrus fruit surfaces
ring packinghouse processing. Journal of Food Protection. 61:903-906.
to, S., C.L. Davis, D.F. Kelsey, and P.D. Petracek. 1999. Sanitizing effect of fruit waxes
high pH and temperature on orange surfaces inoculated with Escherichia coli. Journal
'Food Science. 64:359-362.
0o, S., C.L. Davis, and D.F. Kelsey. 2000. Efficacy of alkaline washing for the
contamination of orange fruit surfaces inoculated with Escherichia coli. Journal of Food
:50 AM FOOD SAFETY THE ROLE OF TRACEBACK Renee Goodrich,
university of Florida, Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred, FL
:00 AM A SUPERMARKET'S APPROACH TO FOOD SAFETY Clayton Hollis,
ice President of Public Affairs, Publix Super Markets, Lakeland, FL
ith consumers becoming more aware of food-safety issues, it has increasingly become
ii responsibility as a retailer to ensure the safety of the products we sell. While quality
(d food safety have always been important to Publix, we've taken that commitment to a
w level. Last year we introduced food-safety training throughout the company. It was an
itiative that came from the top. It included certification for management and training for
sociates. Once training was complete, we instituted quarterly third-party auditing at all
s part of our continued commitment to food safety, we implemented a program this year
at encourages our produce suppliers to develop food-safety procedure manuals, conduct
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If audits and incorporate third-party audits to their operations. We see this program as an
)portunity for the suppliers and Publix to save time and money.
e all recognize that competition in the food market has become strong internationally.
Making food safety a priority at your company, you are ensuring your position in the
market in years to come.
:15 AM FOOD SAFETY: KEY ISSUES Billy Heller, Jr., Heller Brothers Packing
rp., Winter Garden and Richard Kinney, Florida Citrus Packers, Lakeland
re will provide an updated evaluation of several key concerns on issues related to food
fety and citrus packinghouses, including:
) How soon will the trade require packinghouses to adhere to certain minimum
od safety requirements? Citrus has a natural barrier (peel) to the introduction of
ithogens that may be harmful to consumers. Consequently, the trade has indicated that
trus shipper/suppliers are low on the list in having to meet certain verifiable food safety
inimulms. Ok, but when? Can you afford to wait? What are your competitors doing?
) What will be included in those requirements and how are other citrus regions
tempting to meet requirements? The industry has developed a template, minimum
quirements for Florida citrus packinghouses. However, other citrus regions have also
veloped programs for their shippers. An attempt to "marry" various citrus food safety
ograms is ongoing, to create a generic program that the trade may endorse. A report on
is effort and a copy of the "generic document" will be provided at Packinghouse Day.
'ill a comprehensive food safety program necessarily include practices from the grove to
) Where does state and federal rule/law come into play? State and federal food safety
guilations apply to all producers/packagers of food. This "base" of information will be
lpful in understanding your responsibilities.
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:30 AM POSTHARVEST DECAY CONTROL SYNTHETIC FUNGICIDES
ND NATURAL PRODUCTS Jiuxu Zhang, Florida Department of Citrus, Citrus
search and Education Center, Lake Alfred, FL
stharvest diseases of citrus fruit can cause significant economic losses when
vironmental and fruit conditions are conducive to pathogen infections and disease
velopment. Postharvest losses are usually greater than realized due to added cost of
r\ testing and handling. Decay control in Florida is implemented as an integrated
ocedure using synthetic fungicides as the core. However, only three fungicides,
iabendazole (TBZ), imazalil and sodium o-phenylphenate (SOPP), are registered and
)proved for citrus postharvest treatments. There is no guarantee that these three
ngicides will be available for use in the future because of new regulations, pathogen
distance, etc. Within the FDOC-Scientific Research Department, our current approaches
postharvest decay control program are briefly described below:
e continue to search and evaluate new effective synthetic fungicides for postharvest
cay control. Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc., which manufactures imazalil, is registering at
ast one new synthetic fungicide for postharvest decay control and we have been involved
the evaluation phase of the new fungicide. Another synthetic fungicide Abound (Zeneca
c.) containing an active ingredient azoxystrobin, that is classified as a risk-reduced
impound, has been registered for preharvest citrus disease control. We are currently
aluating the potential of Abound for postharvest decay control.
cause of consumers concern about chemical residues on fresh fruit, marketing of
iemical-free and organic citrus is expanding, especially in overseas markets. Obviously,
ternative approaches for decay control should also be pursued. We are searching and
aluating natural products for postharvest decay control. We have tested some
carbonate-based products against green mold, and found that two formulations
formed effectively against green mold in a simulated commercial application. These
oducts have been registered by Church & Dwight company for disease control. Another
w natural product (Messenger) from Eden Bioscience Corporation has been marketed.
e active ingredient in Messenger is a protein which elicits or triggers plant defense
sponses to many pathogens. We are currently evaluating the potential of Messenger for
>stharvest decay control by the application of Messenger in both preharvest and
another alternative approach that we are pursuing is to evaluate and develop biocontrol
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ents of posthharvest decays. Two biological products, Aspire (Ecogen Corporation)
sed on the yeast Candida oleophila, and BioSave 1000 (EcoScience Inc.) based on the
cterium Pseudomonas syringae, have been registered and marketed for commercial
Implications to fresh fruit for the control of postharvest decays on citrus. However, these
o biocontrol products have not been used by the Florida citrus industry due to many
asons. We are working with EcoScience Inc. to assess the feasibility of its products for
trus postharvest decay control. We are also searching for new effective biocontrol agents
our lab at Lake Alfred. We have found that at least one Bacillus subtilis strain and
veral Bacillus spp. isolates have good potential for green mold control. Collectively, our
search goals on postharvest decay control are to establish an effective, integrated
>stharvest decay control system for the Florida citrus industry. This system will include
N sical, chemical and biological methods.
:40 AM STEM-END RIND BREAKDOWN OF CITRUS Huating Dou, Florida
department of Citrus, Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred, FL and Mark
Ritenour, University of Florida, Indian River Research and Education Center, Fort
recent years, stem-end rind breakdown (SERB) of fresh 'Valencia' oranges (Citrus
ensis) has been frequently reported at destination markets. High rates of SERB and
ing have also been found in fresh grapefruit and have resulted in substantial economic
sses. SERB is characterized by the collapse and subsequent darkening of epidermal
sues around the stem end of citrus fruit. A 2 to 5 mm ring of unaffected tissue
aimed lately around the stem (button) is a distinctive symptom of SERB; that area
stains no stomata and a thick layer of natural wax on the cuticle.
RB is more severe on small oranges, when there are delays between picking and
king, or when fruit is held under dry storage conditions. It has been recommended that
lit be packed as soon as possible after harvest and that excessive brushing in the
ckinghouse be avoided. Our recent studies demonstrate that storage temperature is the
ost significant factor influencing SERB of'Valencia' oranges. Fruit stored at 700F
10C) with 703% relative humidity (RH) had 61% SERB when examined three weeks
ter packing whereas only 1.3% of the fruit had SERB when stored at 400F (70C) for the
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me duration and under the same RH. Use of different wax formulations did not result in
insistentt effects on fruit SERB incidence. Fruit size and harvesting methods (pulling vs.
ipping) did not significantly influence the incidence of'Valencia' oranges with SERB
mptoms. It has been suggested that rootstocks, nutrition, and irrigation may influence
Sit susceptibility to SERB. However, recent preliminary studies have not found
significant effects of these factors on SERB development on 'Valencia' oranges.
conclusion, to minimize SERB development, especially on fruit known to be
sceptible, pack fruit as soon as possible after harvesting, optimize brushing in the
ickinghouse, and hold fruit at low but non-chilling temperatures with high RH. The
irrent recommended storage temperatures of Florida Department of Citrus are 33-400F
r oranges and 450F for grapefruit both at 933% RH.
:50 AM EVALUATION OF AUTOMATION FOR FLORIDA CITRUS
-CKINGHOUSES William M. Miller, University of Florida, Citrus Research and
tication Center, Lake Alfred, FL
dustrial automation has been touted as the technological implementation to keep
dustries in the United States ahead of global competition. Such automation is envisioned
computers, sensors, actuators, and robots executing routine jobs in a highly efficient
manner at preset standards for uniformity and quality. In such tasks, automation replaces
ilman labor prone to mental fatigue and physical injury due either to the task
qulirements or its repetitive nature. Fruit and vegetable production and processing are
cely U.S. industries to implement automation due to a high reliance on seasonal labor
id stringent food safety regulations. However, such automation usually is associated with
rge capital expenditures which may be prohibitive in certain citrus operations.
n engineering economic model has been developed to assess one packinghouse
tomation possibility, i.e., automatic grading with machine vision. Various capital
penditure levels, incorporating savings in fungicides and waxes, were evaluated. Other
actors considered were maintenance and operating costs and productivity limitations in
annual grading for fruit lots of very low packout. With respect to labor, number of graders
placed by automation as well as inclusion of a skilled operator for automation were
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considered. For a $400,000 expenditure, an 8 grader reduction yielded an equivalent 5-
ar cost projection. A reduction of 14 graders would be required for a higher level
00,000 capital outlay.
other packinghouse operations should be considered also for automation. These include
Sit bagging and packing, environmental control in degreening and cold storage, and
ore extensive carton palletizing. Secondary benefits to automation may include higher
icing through identification of premium product, product traceability for consumers,
od safety compliance, and industry uniformity in grade standards.
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