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Pace Postharvest Academy 2022

Pace’s 10th Annual Postharvest Academy Recap

Photo L to R: Jorge Gotuzzo, Rodrigo Cifuentes, Salman Mir, Trevor Suslow, Carolina Torres, Christian Aguilar, Scott Christie, Marcelo Masoero and, David Felicetti

Thank you to all those that gathered to celebrate Pace’s 10th Postharvest Academy.

After two years of hosting Postharvest Academy webinars and virtual events, it was a rewarding opportunity to bring everyone together, in-person. The compelling two-day event provided a center stage for cutting-edge postharvest technologies and solutions. This event is the cornerstone of Pace’s mission, serving to connect customers with postharvest education and services that support their efficient and sustainable operations.

Thought leadership from across the industry headlined this content-rich event. Pace International’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Rodrigo Cifuentes, opened the event with a vision into the future of postharvest systems and the ways that Pace is reinventing the path forward with sustainable innovations, digital transformations, and exceptional service.

Cifuentes expanded on Pace’s digital and sensing technologies designed to improve packinghouse insights. He highlighted PackVisor™, a cloud-based platform housing multiple apps that capture and analyze data to develop better insights on fruit quality and operational efficiencies. Cifuentes also shared the benefits of Pace InSite™, a cloud-based data tool to digitalize, visualize and analyze packinghouse service reports.

With an investment in groundbreaking bio-based solutions, Cifuentes highlighted the two upcoming products Pace is adding to its portfolio of sustainable products: BioSpectra®, which is pending organic status, and PURE Hard Surface®, for food contact surfaces.

Jessa Allen, CAE, USApple, Vice President of Membership & Events, previewed USApple’s Newton report, a 20-year aggregate of apple growing data, that will be published later this summer, during the presentation, “The Voice of America’s Favorite Fruit”.

Carolina Torres, M.S., PhD., Associate Professor Endowed Chair in Postharvest Systems, Department of Horticulture, Tree Fruit Research & Research Extension Center, Washington State University, shared her initial findings for preventing bitter pit, soft scald and other ripening room challenges of storing organic apples, attributing possible solutions to Pace’s BioSpectra.

Trevor Suslow of Trevor Suslow Consulting, LLC, took attendees on a deep dive into the “Emerging Pillars of Produce Safety Optimization”, addressing pathogens, mutations, and other postharvest challenges that fruit faces during storage and handling. Suslow addressed the common question of fungicide rotation, suggesting that it’s okay to use more than one fungicide in one season.

Several members of the Pace team shared the stage, highlighting the advancements in science and technology available to the postharvest industry. Scott Christie, Pace International, Sr. Engineering & Application Services Manager, presented “Keeping Pace with Postharvest Technology and Innovation.” Christie’s presentation emphasized the importance of accessing the right information to make the right decisions during postharvest. For a solution, Christie presented Pace’s newest innovation, PackVisor™, which uses electronic sensors to monitor and keep records of application equipment throughout the line as well as telemetry capabilities to access controls remotely.

Christian Aguilar, Pace International, Senior Biology Scientist, Plant Pathology, took the lead from previous speaker Trevor Suslow and in her presentation “Postharvest Fungicide Resistance Management” where she focused specifically on blue mold (Penicillium expansum) of pome fruit as a case study. Aguilar addressed the common question of fungicide rotation, stating that rotating postharvest fungicides of different chemical classes and modes of action, such as fludioxonil and pyrimethanil, on an annual basis reduces the occurrence of fungicide resistance. Aguilar emphasized sanitation and cultural control as being critical to an effective fungicide resistance program. Her research has also proved that poor decay control when using a fungicide is not always indicative of resistance.

This annual event provided Pace customers a first-class seat to timely research, innovations, and postharvest solutions available today and into the future. We look forward to hosting the event in 2023 and are excited about the innovations to come!

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