Case Study 13: Mango Treatment: Extending Shelf Life Using Fewer Chemicals
Principal Investigators: IS: Dov Prusky, (Agricultural research Organization, Volcani Center); US: Jeffrey Rollins (University of Florida), Lisa Vaillancourt (University of Kentucky), Tesfaya Mengiste (Purdue University)
Goal: To develop methodologies to reduce post-harvest loss of mango fruit by fungal pathogens.
Activities: The researchers discovered that the fungi pathogenicity was modulated by the pH levels of the fruit, and that pH changes were induced by the pathogen itself.
Outcomes: A post-harvest acid-prochloraz treatment of mango fruit was established that modifies the pH of the fruit environment and inhibits fungal colonization. The treatment reduced fruit loss from Alternaria fungi by several percent and improves safety by reducing the concentration of prochloraz applied as a post-harvest fungicide. The treatment has been adopted in Israel and in Northern Sinaloa, Mexico.
Economic Benefit: Net Present Value of BARD’s investment is $54 million, thereof $26 million already attained. The Internal Rate of Return is 21%. Benefit-Cost Ratio is 17, thereof 9 already attained.
Capacity Building: At least 9 postgraduates were involved in the research supported by the 5 BARD awards between 1995 and 2014. Currently, 3 of these are in academia in the US and Israel, 1 is in medical research, 3 are in the agritech industry and another 1 at the Standards Institution of Israel.