News & Events

News August 11, 2021

New Australian research project

Agriculture Victoria (Australia) just announced the launch of a project entitled ‘Building capacity in irradiation – pathways to export’.

The project is funded by the Hort Frontiers Asian Markets Fund (Project AM19002), part of the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative developed by Hort Innovation, a grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australia’s horticulture industry, whose primary function is creating value for horticulture growers and the whole supply chain.

The project will be delivered by an international research consortium led by Agriculture Victoria with support from Steritech, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, SA Research and Development Institute, Aerial (France), New Zealand Plant and Food Research, and Radservices (NZ).  The iia supported the participation of its members in the project.

Australia has been a leader in the development and application of phytosanitary irradiation for the past fifteen years, establishing common food standards with New Zealand and negotiating trade protocols to eight different export markets, including the USA, Vietnam and Thailand. Over the past five years, Australian domestic and export trade volumes using phytosanitary irradiation have tripled in volume. A growing list of crops including table grapes, mangoes and cherries have all had export success using irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment.

Last month, Food Standard Australia New Zealand permitted irradiation of all fruit and vegetables for phytosanitary purpose.

The research that will be conducted under this project intends to fill gaps in the knowledge of pest and disease mortality under irradiation, impacts on product quality and shelf life, and barriers to market access. The project is also designed to build industry and government capability, support strategic sharing of knowledge with our international trading partners, and promote acceptance of phytosanitary irradiation by our international trading partners.

For more information on the project, contact Martin Bluml, Portfolio Manager – Research and Innovation, Agriculture Victoria Research,

Picture: measuring persimmon respiration rate after X-ray irradiation (credit: Glenn Hale)