10th Controlled and Modified Atmosphere Research Conference held in Antalya, Turkey – 4-7 April 2009

The A J Banks travel grant made it possible for me to attend the 10th Controlled and Modified Atmosphere Research Conference held in Antalya, Turkey from 4-7 April 2009. Research in postharvest technology have made great contributions to the enhancement of postharvest management of horticultural produce. Significant contributions towards minimising postharvest losses have been made through research on physiological and biochemical changes in fresh produce after storage, new long life varieties, suitable cultivation circumstances, optimum harvesting indices, recommended storage conditions, pre-cooling, refrigerated transport and careful handling. The Controlled and Modified Atmosphere Research Conference aimed to discuss the optimum methods for prolonging the storage life of horticulture commodities. 

Although controlled and modified atmosphere (CAMA) techniques have been commercially applied to extend postharvest life of fresh produce in some countries (e.g. USA, UK, and Canada) for over 50 years, CAMA practices have only recently been introduced into other parts of the world. New techniques development and knowledge transfer in CAMA are important and required. The conference covered a wide range of knowledge in dynamic controlled atmosphere practice, controlled and modified atmosphere storage and packaging and other related postharvest treatments for fresh and minimally processed fruit and vegetables.

I had the opportunity to present on a panel entitled 'Effect of packaging materials on individual anthocyanins in pericarp of imported non-acid treated litchi' (a part of my PhD research at Cranfield University). This study was the first report on the effect of modified atmosphere packaging on individual anthocyanin (red pigment) content in litchi pericarp. Fresh and red colour skin indicated better postharvest quality in litchi fruit. My full report of this study will be published in Acta Horticulturea in the near future.

Participation at this conference was an important academic milestone for me. The attendance of this conference not only provided further experience to present within an academic forum but also presented an opportunity to gain and exchange my research knowledge and established international contacts with participants from different field of interest (engineering, agriculture, postharvest technology, plant biochemistry, plant pathology and food nutrition and technology) in similar types of research. The beneficial comments and knowledge transfer from experts worldwide will be incorporated into my future research, especially for my home country of Thailand.

Participation at the 10th Controlled and Modified Atmosphere Research Conference was a valuable experience. The feedback I received was both stimulating and encouraging for my PhD work and publications. I would like to thank SCI for this opportunity.

Nettra Somboonkaew
Cranfield University

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