M.Sc. (1971), Agricultural Engineering University of California, Davis
Cooling, storage, packaging, and transportation of horticultural commodities and drying and storage of tree nuts and grains.
My program covers a broad spectrum of engineering issues related to handling crops after they are harvested. I am the only extension engineer in the state working on postharvest issues, so I work with many of the over 250 commodities produced in the state.
Some horticultural commodities are sold as a low moisture product and I have done a great deal of applied research and extension work on increasing the efficiency of drying systems and improving product quality for crops such as walnuts, pistachios, raisins, prunes, and rice.
My work with fresh market commodities has centered around improving the design and operation of cooling systems and cold storage facilities. More recently, I have determined the energy use of various cooling systems and developed recommendations for minimizing energy consumption. I have also worked on packaging systems for perishables.
My current work as an Emeritus Specialist is developing refrigeration and drying systems to reduce food losses in developing countries. I’m also part of a team developing methods of reducing methyl bromide emissions from fumigation facilities. I am also working with a number of California produce companies to improve their postharvest handling procedures.
- Thompson, J.F., D.C. Mejia, R.P. Singh. 2010. Energy Use of Commercial Forced-Air Coolers for Fruit. Applied Engineering in Agriculture 26(5): 919-924.
- Mutters, R. G., J. F. Thompson. 2009. Rice Quality Handbook. Univ. of Calif. Agriculture and Nat. Resources publication 3514, 140pp.
- Slaughter, D. C., D. M. Obenland, J. F. Thompson, M. L. Arpaia, D. A. Margosan. 2008. Non-destructive freeze damage detection in oranges using machine vision and ultraviolet fluorescence. Postharvest Biology and Technology 48:341-346.
- Thompson, J. F., D. C. Slaughter and M. L. Arpaia. 2008. Suspended tray package for protecting soft fruit from mechanical damage. Applied Engrg in Ag. 24(1):71-75.
- Thompson, J. F., R. G. Mutters. 2006. Effect of weather and rice moisture at harvest on milling quality of California medium-grain rice. Transactions of the ASAE. 49(2): 435-440.
- Anderson, B.A., A. Sarkar, J. F. Thompson, R. P. Singh. 2004. Commercial-scale forced-air cooling of packaged strawberries. Transactions of the ASAE. Vol. 47(1): 183-190.
- Thompson, J. F., and S. C. Blank. 2000. Harvest mechanization helps agriculture remain competitive. California Agriculture 54(3):51-55.
Biological and Agricultural Engineering