University of California

2020 Fresh Cut Products: Maintaining Quality & Safety Workshop

24th Annual Workshop
Nov. 17 & 24, Dec. 1, 8, & 15 live sessions on Zoom!

Register Here

Workshop Agenda

Fresh-cut products are fresh fruits and vegetables that have been prepared (cleaned, washed, sanitized, cut), packaged, and held under refrigeration until consumption. The fresh-cut sector continues to develop innovative and convenient products.

Consumers demand safe, high quality fresh-cut products that have extended shelf-life, but also good eating quality. These demands require that fresh-cut processors and handlers meet rigorous standards.

This workshop provides an intensive and substantive overview of fresh-cut production, processing, packaging, distribution and quality assurance. Participants gain working knowledge of established and new procedures through topic-related sessions and demonstrations.

In 2020, the workshop will feature discussions on fresh-cut marketing, new packaging, product physiology, microbial control, and sensory evaluation. And our practical demonstration on the impact of temperature on packaged product quality reinforces all the temperature-related discussions.

The fresh-cut industry and this workshop have changed considerably over the past 20 years. Join us if you are new to the fresh-cut industry, or if you want updates on many topics important to the success of the fresh-cut fruit and vegetable sector.


Who Should Attend

The workshop is relevant to all levels of fresh-cut produce industry professionals—from small, local and regional produce processors to large businesses with nationwide distribution. Food scientists, food engineers, quality assurance personnel and new product development staff as well as representatives from research institutions, the restaurant and Institutional food industries, and equipment, packaging and ingredient suppliers will all benefit from attending.


Topics Included (subject to change)

Product Biology

  • Physiology and biochemistry of fresh-cut products
  • Respiration, ethylene production, wound reactions

Product Quality

  • Noninvasive quality analysis
  • Sensory quality of fresh-cut products
  • Treatments to maintain product quality
  • Pre-process storage impacts on quality
  • Ripening and conditioning for fresh-cut products

Product Preparation

  • Technical aspects of processing equipment and selection
  • Fruit and vegetable preparation procedures

Temperature Management

  • Cooling and storage options
  • Accurate temperature measurement
  • Temperature control during transportation and distribution
  • Impact of temperature on product sensory and nutritional quality

Microbiology and Sanitation

  • Hygienic equipment design
  • Microorganisms of concern in fresh-cut products
  • Validation and verification in wash water systems
  • Food safety considerations for fresh-cut

Modified Atmospheres and Packaging

  • Optimizing MA on product quality and shelf-life
  • MAP and temperature interactions
  • Packaging selection for fresh-cut products
  • New developments in fresh-cut packaging

Specific Fresh-cut Product Information

  • Sessions on product commodity performance as fresh-cut groups

Looking ahead: emerging trends in the Fresh-Cut industry

  • Enhanced fresh-cut opportunities with ethylene
  • Emerging technologies for sanitizers and process validation
  • Traceability
  • Novel food waste recovery and recycling systems
  • New Technological advances and trends for Fresh Cut


  • Tim Beerup, Beerup Inc.
  • Jeff Brandenburg, JSB Group, Greenfield, MA
  • Jeff Brecht, Dept. Horticultural Sciences, Univ. Florida
  • Marita Cantwell, Dept. Plant Sciences, UCD
  • Angelos Deltsidis, Cooperative Extension, Univ. of Georgia
  • Irwin Donis-González, Dept. Biol. Agric. Engineering, UCD
  • Rudi Groppe, Heinzen Manufacturing, Gilroy, CA
  • Linda Harris, Dept. Food Science and Technology, UCD
  • Dennis Kihlstadius, Produce Technical Services, Bemidji, MN
  • Elizabeth Mitcham, Dept. Plant Sciences, UCD
  • Adrian Sbodio, Dept. Plant Sciences, UCD
  • Luxin Wang, Dept. Food Science and Technology, UCD

Workshop Details (2020)

The new, interactive, virtual format will include pre-recorded video presentations available one week before the live sessions; five weekly live overview, highlights and Q&A sessions with instructors; demonstrations; and break-out discussions. The Live Sessions start Tuesday, November 17 from 8 to 11 Pacific Daylight Time, and continue every Tuesday for 5 weeks.The live sessions will be recorded for later viewing in case you are unavailable at this time.

Enrollment Fee

The enrollment fee for this virtual short course has been reduced to $750. We also have a special enrollment rate for students and individuals from developing countries for the 2020 Fresh-cut Workshop.  If you believe you qualify for this discount, contact Pam Devine at

The enrollment fee includes access to view pre-recorded videos of all topics and demonstrations, weekly live interactive Zoom meetings with instructors, and PDF copies of all presentations.

Refund Policy

For cancellation requests received via email on or before November 10, 2020. Reimbursement of registration fees paid less $50 USD administrative fee.

Registration substitution or transfers must be approved by class administrator and can be requested before November 10, 2020.

In the unlikely event that this program is canceled or postponed due to insufficient enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, the Postharvest Technology Center will fully refund registration fees.

For all inquiries, contact Pam Devine at



Elizabeth Jeanne Mitcham

Dr. Elizabeth Jeanne Mitcham 

Beth Mitcham received a Ph.D. in Horticulture from the University of Maryland. She joined the University of California at Davis in 1992, and currently serves as Director of the Postharvest Technology Center and as Associate Director of the Horticulture Collaborative Research Program, promoting horticulture in developing countries. Dr. Mitcham leads an applied and fundamental research program focused on improving the quality of fruit for US consumers and the viability of the California produce industry. She works closely with the fruit industry in California to develop strategies for maintaining postharvest quality of fruit, especially apples, sweet cherries, pears, berries, pomegranates and nut crops.


For more information on Technical content, please contact:

Dr Elizabeth Jeanne Mitcham
Title: Director, Postharvest Center
Phone: (530) 752-7512

For more registration information, please contact:

Pam Devine
Title: Administrative Officer
Phone: 530-752-6941



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