Course overview

This course explores the postharvest chain for fresh produce, introducing you to the issues surrounding the maintenance of this area’s quality of the food supply chain.

Through three days of campus workshops at the University of Reading, you will be introduced to the science behind the common challenges facing producers, including temperature, atmosphere, and contamination risks. You will also explore concepts such as the influence of agronomy, the different biological factors stemming from other crop species, and the biotic and abiotic quality problems faced by fresh crops. With all these issues in mind, you will then explore the processes and controls implemented to mitigate or eliminate these dangers to food quality after harvesting.

This module is availabe for CPD (£1200) or for credit (£1500)

After completing the course, you will have a robust understanding of the science behind the challenges, solutions, problems in maintaining quality for fresh produce and a detailed appreciation for different technological solutions. As a result, you will be able to identify risk areas in a supply chain, select appropriate solutions to those risks, and develop solutions when the supply chain breaks down. This module has a broad range of applicability for anyone working with fresh produce, including growers, food processors, and retailers looking to improve their knowledge about maintaining postharvest food quality.

Previous Course Speakers:

Professor Carol Wagstaff (Associate Professor in Crop Quality for Health, University of Reading)

Dr Jim Monaghan (Director of the Fresh Produce Research Centre, Harper Adams University)

Dr Ana Allande (Senior Researcher, Spanish National Research Council)

Simon Matthews (Director, AgriCoat NatureSeal)

Eric Duncan (Head of Food Science, Coveris High Performance Packaging)

Dr Angel Medina Vaya (Lecturer in Food Mycology, Cranfield University)

David Barney (Managing Director, Geo Fresh)

Learning outcomes

By completing this course, participants will gain:

An appreciation of where the quality of fresh produce is at risk in a supply chain

An understanding of the influence of agronomy on postharvest quality

Knowledge of the biological basis of factors determining fresh produce quality and how to manipulate them in different crop species

The ability to identify and control biotic and abiotic quality problems in fresh produce crops

An understanding of the sources of microbiological, pest and disease contamination on fresh produce and how they can be contained

The ability to select appropriate technologies for extending shelf life and reducing biological degradation of the crop

Additional Course Information

Areas covered will include:

Risk in fresh produce supply chains

The influence of agronomy on postharvest quality

Biotic and abiotic quality problems in fresh produce crops

Sources of microbiological, pest and disease contamination

Technologies for extending shelf life and reducing biological degradation

Key facts:

Course Dates  1 June 2022
Type/Duration 3 Days campus workshop
Entry Requirements Graduate level or relevant experience
Credits 20
Cost CPD (£1200) or for credit (£1500)
CQFW Level 7
Course Provider University of Reading
Provider Reference Number FZMR19
Course Arrangements


The course provider will confirm full joining instructions.
Course Location Online, University of Reading
Cohort EPTH Cohort
Course Logistics Delivered via three days of intensive campus workshops consisting of seminars, presentations, site visits, and practical sessions. The course is awarded 20 academic credits, where participants complete the course’s formative assessment requirements.

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