NRI’s team at the Produce Quality Centre seeks to support members of the UK fresh produce supply chain by providing the facilities and expertise to carry out impartial honest scientific analysis.
Established in 2011, the Produce Quality Centre was set up to investigate postharvest storage strategies to maximise the quality and shelf life of British fruits and vegetables. The centre is a collaboration between two leading crop science institutes, the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), part of the University of Greenwich and NIAB EMR. The centre benefits from the legacy of both institutes; NRI’s 125 years of global food supply chain experience combined with NIAB EMR’s cutting edge research in fruit breeding, genetics and agronomy. The centre has gained a reputation for understanding the specific needs of British growers and suppliers, providing honest impartial support to reduce financial, environmental and food waste. Located in the north of Kent, we are well situated to support fruit producers, arable farmers, marketing organisations and importers in the South East and East of England.
We have facilities for environmental control that enable us to simulate supply chain environments such as the UK based chain management, sea-freight and less controlled ambient conditions. We offer industry standard quality assessment; texture and colour, sugars, acids, and starch assessment, as well as more detailed analysis of respiratory characteristics, ethylene evolution, and plant volatile analysis as required.
In addition, the centre benefits from a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities across the University of Greenwich and NIAB EMR including; food product analysis, plant pathology, chemical analysis by NMR, LC and GC MS, sensory evaluation, confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, molecular biology, storage microbiology and food safety.
Scientists at the Produce Quality Centre have a passion for applying plant science to practical situations. We focus on understanding the practical needs of individual organisations when implementing technological solutions. We look to maximise the length of storage and quality of fresh produce by understanding both the unique supply chain practises and applying our in-depth knowledge of plant physiology. As such we can work with industry to find innovative solutions and offer advice on storage, retail shelf life and increase valorisation with new product development.
We work directly within factories, farms, packhouses, and film providers to greater understand challenges and implement practical changes. Our success with industry focused government research funding opportunities, allows us to provide industries in the sector with advances in research that are financially viable.