University of California

About Us

The Center was founded in 1978 by Adel Kader with the goal of organizing and coordinating knowledge transfer regarding reduction of postharvest losses and improving the quality and marketability of fresh horticultural products. The research findings disseminated during this era by Kader and a cadre of colleagues is the cornerstone and foundation for our current year-round supply and global sourcing of quality fresh and minimally-processed produce and cut flowers.

Our mission today is to remain a leading source of information on quality, safety and marketability of fresh produce and to sustain the viability of the Center for the next generation of scientists and practitioners. Our immediate goal is to broaden the level of involvement among our basic, applied and extension faculty and use the PTC platform to distill, translate, and disseminate emerging technology advancements to a broader industry and affiliated stakeholder audience.

Our Mission

About us
To reduce postharvest losses and improve the quality, safety and marketability of fresh horticultural products. Our Goals are:


  • Be a leading source of research-based information on the postharvest quality, safety and marketability of fresh horticultural products for the produce value chain.
  • Effectively communicate information and knowledge on postharvest technology that enhances the quality, safety and marketability of fresh horticultural products.
  • Catalyze innovative and enhanced collaboration among center members, industry, government, and other academic institutions, nationally and internationally.
  • Be financially self-sustaining.

Through the postharvest research and extension programs of 11 Extension Specialists, we strive to provide relevant information to California growers, shippers, marketers, carriers, distributors, retailers, processors, and consumers of fresh horticultural crops.

Elizabeth Mitcham, UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, serves as the Center's Director. Administrative responsibilities are shared among Center staff.

The Center is housed in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, and receives support from contributions to our Endowment Fund.  The Postharvest Technology Center is  a self-supporting UC Davis center and depends on income from workshops, publication sales, as well as the endowment to maintain center activities.

Center Activities

Short Courses and Workshops
A two-week short course on postharvest technology of horticultural commodities is presented each year during late June. It includes five days of lectures, discussions and demonstrations, and an optional five-day field trip to major production areas of California.

Other annual educational programs are offered on management of fruit ripening, and maintaining quality and safety of fresh-cut products. In addition, workshops of one to three days are held in various locations throughout the state on postharvest handling of fruits, nuts, vegetables, and ornamentals.

Our Web Site is visited over 1 million times per year, and is comprised of more than 500 web pages and 2,000 documents containing useful postharvest information.

Industry Meetings
Our members present research results and postharvest information at meetings of various industry organizations. In addition, local meetings are held in cooperation with farm and family, nutrition and consumer science Advisors to disseminate information about proper postharvest handling procedures.

Individual consultations in person and by telephone constitute an important route for evaluating industry problems and extending information to California's shippers, handlers, and the general public.

Our Bookstore
Available through our bookstore are approximately 50 titles providing the latest information about a wide range of postharvest technology topics.

We distribute a free monthly newsletter via e-mail, featuring information about new content on our Web site, upcoming courses, new publications written by UC postharvest specialists, and current events.

Industry Liaison
Close cooperation, in relation to their educational programs, is maintained with various trade organizations such as the California League of Food Processors, International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, Produce Marketing Association, National Perishable Logistics Association, Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association, and United Fresh Produce Association. In addition, close liaison is maintained with the California Advisory Boards and Commissions for various horticultural crops.

Contact the Center

UC Davis Map photo
Main Office Location:
3047 Wickson Hall, UC Davis campus (link to campus map)

  Postharvest Technology Center
  Department of Plant Sciences-Mail Stop 2
  One Shields Avenue
  University of California
  Davis, CA 95616-8683
  Phone: (530) 752-6941
  Fax: (530) 754-4326


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