Project VG17012 is focused on identifying the organism(s) that cause internal rot. Management techniques will be developed to prevent infection as well as minimise the risk of sending unacceptable fruit to market.
In this webinar, Dr Jenny Ekman and Dr Len Tesoriero discussed the project results so far. These included identification of the different fungi cultured from infected fruit, how they vary between growing regions and factors that potentially increase the likelihood of infection.
Internal rot of capsicums and chillies is a major issue for Australian growers. At times up to 25% of red and yellow fruit can be affected, with fruit grown in warm, humid areas most at risk. Even if the fungus is only on the seeds and not the edible flesh, internal mould invariably results in unhappy consumers, retail rejections and waste.
The team also provided an overview of a recent test grading fruit using near infrared (NIR). This technology is promoted as able to detect internal mould, rejecting fruit before they are packed. Does it work or is it just an expensive packing line ornament?
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