In order to achieve our main objective the Institute's researchers combine basic and applied research for developing methods and unique and innovative technologies for the preservation of the different qualities of the produce. These include texture, appearance, color, taste, aroma, nutritional and health qualities of the products. In order to minimize produce-waste between harvest and consumption and reducing food losses, research is performed to formulate optimal storage conditions for fresh and dry grain- preservation and for developing practical solutions to prevent the development of physiological injuries and damages, rot and pests. Priority is given to the development of human and environmental friendly treatments to ensure the safety of fresh food and minimize risks of microbial and pesticide residues and harmful chemicals. This is in order to meet the need for supplying food with the highest health qualities which will comply with the official existing standards for marketing in Israel and abroad. Basic research performed in the Institute results with new basic knowledge essential for the understanding of the main biological processes in the different agricultural products, including plant physiology (senescence, ripening, abscission), plant pathology, microbiology and entomology, advanced packaging, food technology and investigating health properties of phytochemicals for developing functional foods. These research directions enable and promote development of practical approaches and new strategies.
The Institute's research and development outcomes are recognized as a significant factor in the development of agriculture in Israel, the ability of fresh produce marketing, and especially the ability to export to foreign markets. Knowledge, methods and various technologies resulting from the activities in the institute relevant to agricultural produce treatment and preservation are transferred to - farmers, export companies, packing houses, dry grain storage facilities and the food industry. Over the years, environmental friendly protocols and technologies have been developed in the Institute for the treatment, storage and packaging of fresh produce and dry grains using environmentally friendly substances, and biological control for the preservation of produce, whilst preventing microbial risks and minimizing food waste. Researchers and staff of the Institute invest many efforts in training and implementing professional knowledge among all the relevant clients. In addition, great emphasis is placed on training students who perform their research projects in the Institute mentored by the researchers of the Institute, as well as instructing foreign scholars for delivering professional knowledge to developing countries. Results of research are distributed in the country and the world through scientific professional journals and local and international conferences, thereby establishing the status of the Institute as the leading forefront of research and development in Postharvest and Food Sciences.
The recent issue of the "Volcani Voice" is dedicated to the subject of "FACING CHALLENGES IN POSTHARVEST & FOOD LOSSES" and include review articles written by the researchers of the Institute of Postharvest and Food Sciences who participate and organize the International conference in that subject to be held in April 28-30 in the frame of Agritech 2015 exhibition.
Recently published instructions for "HOW TO STORE FRUITS & VEGETABLES AT HOME" prepared by researchers of the Dept. of Postharvest Sciences.