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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 quality.

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 and chamber.
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

Other ACIS vegetable links: Home | Crop Mgmt | Soil Mgmt | Irrigation | Varieties | Quality | Insects | Diseases | Weeds | Advisories | Pesticides | Photos
Cooperative Extension
University of Arizona
Forbes 301, P.O. Box 210036
Tucson, AZ 85721-0036
Phone: (520) 621-7205
Fax: (520) 621-1314

Last Reviewed and Updated: January 23, 2013
Questions/Comments: jfonseca@ag.arizona.edu
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