University of California

Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops Short Course

The 39th Annual Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops Short Course workshop date is June 19th-23rd, 2017 (week one) and 26th-30th, 2017 (week two) at the UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center (ARC).

Who Should Attend

This course is a two-week intensive study of the biology and current technologies used for handling fruits, nuts, vegetables and ornamentals in California. It is designed for research and extension workers, quality control personnel in the produce industry, and business, government or academic professionals interested in current advances in the postharvest technology of horticultural crops. It is particularly of interest to technical professionals responsible for quality assurance, research and extension activities related to fresh produce quality, safety and marketability. The lecture plus field trip option is limited to 50 participants, and the lecture-only option is limited to 45 participants. Enrollment will be handled on a first-paid, first-enrolled basis.

Topics included

  • An overview of the postharvest biology of horticultural crops
  • Maturity and maturity indices, measuring quality
  • Safety factors
  • Harvesting systems, preparation for market, packinghouse facilities and equipment, packaging, containers, and unitization
  • Cooling prior to shipment: methods, evaluation of efficiency
  • Storage: methods, facilities, equipment, management of environmental conditions including controlled atmospheres
  • Ethylene: treatments, exclusion and removal
  • Transport: systems, loading patterns, environmental control, use of modified atmospheres
  • Sanitation and other procedures related to decay and insect control; food safety assurance
  • Standardization and inspection, quality evaluation and control
  • Energy use in postharvest technology procedures
  • Harvesting and postharvest handling systems for various commodity groups
  • Marketing fresh produce: socioeconomic and environmental considerations
  • An overview of current postharvest research at the University of California

Short Course Format

The first week (Monday through Friday) is spent on intensive lectures and discussions as well as hands-on laboratory sessions on the UC Davis campus. The optional second week (Monday through Friday) is an extensive field tour covering a wide variety of postharvest operations. Facilities last year included selected packinghouses, cooling and storage facilities, produce distribution centers, field harvest operations, packing, and transportation facilities in various locations in central and coastal California. A prerequisite for attendance on the field tour is attendance at the first week of the short course. The tour’s first stop is in Sacramento, then the bus travels as far south as Bakersfield, continues west towards the Salinas and Monterey area, and then the final stops are in the San Francisco/Oakland area. The bus then returns participants to the UC Davis campus.

2-Day and Week 1: Lectures + Labs on UC Davis Campus

Participants are responsible for their own housing (reservations and payment) during the first week of the course.

Local Hotels and Motels. The City of Davis has a fine selection of lodging options available as well. Please see the Yolo County Visitors' Guide. The accommodations within easy walking distance of the campus are:

Davis Lodging Note: In order to ensure adequate lodging for our participants, we have reserved blocks of rooms at the Hyatt PlaceBest Western Plus Palm Court Hotel, and the University Lodge. We encourage you to make your lodging reservations as quickly as possible due to graduation and numerous other activities in the Davis area. Be sure to mention that you are with the "Postharvest Technology Short Course."

Week 2: California Postharvest Field Tour

Hotel accommodations for the field tour are pre-arranged by Postharvest Technology Center staff. This additional charge must be paid at the time of enrollment, the amount depends upon whether single or double accommodations are selected.

Note: Field tour lodging payments are not refundable after May 13, 2017.

Enrollment Information

Date and Time

June 19-23, 2017 (week one) and 26-30, 2017 (week two)


UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center (ARC).

Enrollment Fee

New this year: The 2-day enrollment fee ($975) includes all classroom instruction, lab activities, course materials, morning and afternoon coffee breaks, Monday - Tuesday lunches, and a barbeque dinner Tuesday evening.

The 1-Week enrollment fee ($2250) includes all classroom instruction, lab activities, course materials, morning and afternoon coffee breaks, Monday - Friday lunches, and one barbeque dinner. The enrollment to the 1-Week, lecture-only section is limited to 70 participants.

The 2-Week enrollment fee  ($3150) includes all week 1 activities, plus field tour transportation and continental breakfasts Monday through Friday during the tour, as well as a Networking Reception in Visalia on Monday, June 19. Enrollment to the 2-week section of this Short Course is limited to 40 participants. An additional lodging fee is also required for 2-Week participants.

Enrollments are requested no later than May 19, 2017. Reservations are made on a first-paid, first-enrolled basis. A waiting list will be available for additional registrants. For the 2-week enrollments, a late fee of $100 will be added if registering after May 13, 2017.

A scholarship is available for individual(s) pursuing a career in horticultural science who otherwise would not have the opportunity to participate in postharvest horticultural training in a developed country and who will take the knowledge gained back to their home country to benefit others in the region. A link to the scholarship application can be found here.

All-Inclusive Package (2017)

For the convenience of our international and business participants, we are pleased to offer an all-inclusive package that includes the course enrollment fee, airport transfers, hotel accommodations and a food allowance. If you are interested in this limited offer, please contact our enrollment coordinator, Penny Stockdale by May 19, 2017 at 530-752-7672 or A late fee of $100 will be added if registering for an all-inclusive package after May 13, 2017.

If Your Plans Change (2017)

Refunds, less a $200 processing fee, will be granted if requested no later than May 26, 2017. At that time, you can also discuss sending a substitute. We reserve the right to discontinue, postpone, or combine classes, and to change instructors. Every effort will be made to notify enrollees of any changes or cancellations.

Accommodations & Parking

Campus Bike Rental. The UC Davis campus is one of the largest in the University of California system (5,300 acres). The UC Davis Bike Barn offers rental bicycles to help speed your navigation around campus. Located in downtown Davis, Ken's Bike & Ski also offers bike rentals on a weekly basis, with extended business hours, including Saturday and Sunday.

Internet Access. Postharvest Short Course participants will be provided access to a non-secured campus guest wireless account. The UC Davis campus has a number of wireless hot spots, including the ARC where we'll be meeting the first week, as well as the Segundo Dining Commons, the Memorial Union, and Shields Library.

Parking. Daily campus parking permits cost $9/day and during the first week the permits may be purchased at kiosks near the entrance of the parking lot. Please notify the registration coordinator if you will be parking a vehicle on campus during the week of the field tour.

Air Travel. The closest airport to Davis is Sacramento International (a 25 minute drive); we encourage the 2-Week participants to use this airport as the Field Tour bus completes its route at the UC Davis campus.


Dr Elizabeth Jeanne Mitcham 

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: CE & AES Postharvest Pomologist
Department of Plant Sciences,
One Shields Avenue
1047 Wickson Hall
Davis, CA 95616-8683
Phone: (530) 752-7512
Fax: 530-752-6746

For More Registration Information Please Contact

Penny Ann Stockdale
Title: Program Representative
Department of Plant Sciences
One Shields Avenue
Mail Stop 2 Wickson 2023
Davis, CA 95616-8780
Phone: 530-752-7672

College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
Postharvest Technology Center
Department of Plant Sciences

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