Centre of Excellence for Horticulture Market Access, Ourimbah

The NSW DPI Central Coast Primary Industries Centre is co-located at the University of Newcastle, Ourimbah campus and is the NSW DPI’s Centre of Excellence for Horticulture Market Access. The research facility was opened in 2012 and is equipped with world-class modern research facilities and staff.

The Centre has modern postharvest laboratories in quality assessment, pathology, food safety and market access. State of the art measures of product quality and senescence include quantification of ethylene and respiration rates, product firmness, aroma development (off-flavours) and nutritional quality (e.g. vitamin C, carotenoids and antioxidant capacity (FRAP, DPPH)). The NSW DPI postharvest laboratory also works with the University of Newcastle to train postgraduate students in postharvest science. The Centre of Excellence for Market Access team has significant expertise and experience in applied supply chain development and is at the forefront of applying these for commercial outcomes for industry.

Current facilities

  • Access to advanced food technology (pilot plant)
  • Advanced low pressure treatment facilities
  • Analysis (e.g. HPLC/MS, GC/MS, SEM) and sensory facilities at the University of Newcastle.
  • Controlled environment rooms
  • Disinfestation facilities (including fumigation)
  • Extensive controlled atmosphere storage facilities
  • Fruit quality analysis laboratories
  • Quarantine insect colonies

Current research and development themes

  • Edible coating and films
  • Food safety
  • Improving quality and storage without chemicals
  • Innovative postharvest treatments to regulate senescence
  • Maintaining and developing new end-point treatments for market access
  • Reducing energy costs in cold storage
  • Reducing waste
  • Value-adding, fresh cuts and minimal processing

Current projects

  • Australian citrus postharvest science program
  • Improved postharvest market access treatments for horticultural commodities
  • Improving the cost competitiveness of Australian horticulture exports by validating alternative temperature monitoring systems
  • Innovative cold plasma for horticultural industries
  • New end-point treatment solutions to control fruit fly
  • Review of international best practice for postharvest management of cherries

The main funding agencies are Horticulture Innovation and ACIAR.

Research facilities at NSW Department of Primary Industries, Centre of Excellence for Horticulture Market Access:

Storage experiments on bags of oranges
Various vegetables treated by low pressure device
Postharvest treatments being done by lab technicians
Temperature probes in oranges
Oranges infested by Queensland fruit fly
Storage barrels in a temperature controlled environment
Storage experiments on bags of oranges
Various vegetables treated by low pressure device
Postharvest treatments being done by lab technicians
Temperature probes in oranges
Oranges infested by Queensland fruit fly
Storage barrels in a temperature controlled environment