What is the program about?
Western Vegetable Quality is a research and extension program based
at the University of Arizona-Yuma Agricultural Center. The program
is dedicated to the promotion of communication among academic and
industry members in issues related to the quality of vegetables.
Our main interests are production, handling and processing technology
of vegetables commonly grown in the Sonoran Desert.
What are the objectives?
To provide the vegetable industry and other clientele with relevant
information about current and alternative technology to enhance
the quality of vegetables. The ultimate goal is to aid the industry
in finding economically feasible and environmentally safe practices
that add value to the final product.
Where can we help?
We study any physiological aspect that may affect quality of the
final product, at the pre-harvest or post-harvest levels. Examples
of studies are the use of micronutrients for quality maximization,
effect of irrigation water scheduling on microbial quality, nutritional
and chemical evaluation of new varieties under different environmental
conditions, plastic mulch systems etc. As part of the extension
program we may offer empowerment training and quality control talks
to agricultural laborers.
How do we evaluate quality?
Integrally. We evaluate sensorial, chemical, microbial and nutritional
What are we doing now?
The program started in July, 2003. A vegetable quality laboratory
is being equipped with appropriate instrumentation to measure quality.
Presently thermometers, pH meter, spectrophotometer, lab glassware,
chromameter, freeze dryer, environmental chambers, sonicator, coolers,
freezer, penetrometer, refractometer, gas chromatograph and, liquid
chromatograph are available for our use.
What's coming soon?
Lab space has been dedicated for microbiology studies. The micro
lab will have all the basic equipment to support food safety studies,
including a biosafety hood, stomacher, colony counter, autoclave
Three walk-in coolers are in place to build a mini fresh-cut processing
facility to study different aspects of fresh-cut vegetables.
Regardless of our plans your
needs are top priority to us!
Let us know what we can do to help