In a dynamic workshop, the Flanders Centre of Postharvest Technology (VCBT) informed apple and pear growers on the latest developments in dynamic controlled atmosphere (DCA) storage. The workshop took place at the experimental station pcfruit in Sint Truiden, in the heart of the Belgian fruit growing area.
The workshop put growers in touch with industry and academia to provide them with a balanced view on the merits and possibilities of the different technologies. Ann Schenk from VCBT introduced the general principles of DCA storage and Pieter Verboven (KU Leuven) gave an overview of the most recent research results. The three major DCA technology providers Storex, Besseling and Van Amerongen in the Netherlands and Belgium were asked to present their specific implementation and solutions. During and between the different talks, questions were asked and lively discussions were held. It appeared that growers still had a lot of questions regarding these latest technologies.
The core of all DCA technologies is to measure an appropriate response from the fruit being stored to control the storage regime. In the QCAP project, a novel type of sensor will be developed that will provide a much more rich fruit response signal. Bert Verlinden from VCBT gave an outlook on this new sensing technology. At the end of the workshop, the growers took the opportunity to further discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each system with the presenters in a more informal way, with a glass of apple juice.