Course overview

This module will explore the postharvest chain for fresh produce, introducing you to the issues surrounding the maintenance of quality of this area of the food supply chain. Through three days of campus workshops at the University of Reading, you will be introduced to the science behind the common challenges facing producers, including temperature, atmosphere, and contamination risks. In addition, you will also explore concepts such as the influence of agronomy, the different biological factors stemming from different crop species, and the biotic and abiotic quality problems faced by fresh crops. With all of these issues in mind, you will then explore the processes and controls implemented to mitigate or eliminate these dangers to food quality after harvesting.

This module is availabe for CPD (£1400) or for credit (£1650).. Modules taken as CPD can later be converted to credit for a fee of £250.  
After completing the module you will have a robust understanding of the science behind the challenges, and solutions, to problems in maintaining quality for fresh produce, as well as a detailed appreciation for different technological solutions. As a result, you will be able to identify risk areas in a supply chain, to select appropriate solutions to those risks, and to develop solutions when the supply chain breaks down. This module has a broad range of applicability for anyone working with fresh produce, including growers, food processors, and retailers looking to improve their knowledge about maintaining postharvest food quality.

Contact Name for Enquiries: Cathy Crips and Craig Farrell

Email address:

Telephone Number: 0118 378 8722 or 0118 378 7746


Course Speakers:

Professor Carol Wagstaff (Associate Professor in Crop Quality for Health, University of Reading)

Dr Jim Monaghan (Director of the Fresh Produce Research Centre, Harper Adams University)

Dr Ana Allande (Senior Researcher, Spanish National Research Council)

Simon Matthews (Director, AgriCoat NatureSeal)

Eric Duncan (Head of Food Science, Coveris High Performance Packaging)

Dr Angel Medina Vaya (Lecturer in Food Mycology, Cranfield University)

David Barney (Managing Director, Geo Fresh)


Learning outcomes

By completing this course participants will gain:

  • An appreciation of where the quality of fresh produce is at risk in a supply chain
  • An understanding of the influence of agronomy on postharvest quality
  • A knowledge of the biological basis of factors determining fresh produce quality and how to manipulate them in different crop species
  • The ability to identify and control biotic and abiotic quality problems in fresh produce crops
  • An understanding of the sources of microbiological, pest and disease contamination on fresh produce and how they can be contained
  • The ability to select appropriate technologies for extending shelf life and reducing biological degradation of the crop
Additional Course Information

Areas covered will include:

  • Risk in fresh produce supply chains
  • The influence of agronomy on postharvest quality
  • Biotic and abiotic quality problems in fresh produce crops
  • Sources of microbiological, pest and disease contamination
  • Technologies for extending shelf life and reducing biological degredation

    Key facts

    Course Dates
    5 Days campus workshops
    Entry Requirements
    Graduate level or relevant experience
    Fee info
    Discounts available for multiple bookings
    CQFW Level
    Course Provider
    University Of Reading
    Provider Reference Number
    Course Arrangements
    Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
    Course Location
    University of Reading
    AFTP Cohort
    Course Logistics
    Delivered via five days of intensive campus workshops consisting of seminars, presentations, site visits, and practical sessions. The course is awarded 20 academic credits where participants successfully complete the formative assessment requirements of the course.
    My AFTP training course has given me greater confidence day-to-day and more insight into the impact of new techniques and technologies.
    Andy Russell - Fresh Produce Technologist, Bakkavor

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