Southern Arava R&D – Postharvest research


  • Enhance the shelf life, quality and nutritive value of locally grown horticultural crops and their products.
  • Reduce postharvest losses and solve specific post harvest problems in locally grown horticultural crops during storage and distribution in domestic and export markets.
  • Evaluate the health promoting properties of locally grown horticultural crops.

Research Staff

Research leader – Dr. Hamutal Borochov-Neori.

  • Laboratory manager – Sylvie Judeinstein.
  • Research assistants – Dr. Bela Luzki, Yaara Danino.

Current Research Projects

  • Long term quality storage of "wet" Medjool date fruits.
  • Production of high quality "wet" Medjool dates from partially ripe fruits.
  • Health-promoting ingredients and anti-atherogenic properties of date fruits.
  • Cultivar and seasonal variations in pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit quality.
  • Effects of irrigation regime on pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit quality.
  • Health-promoting ingredients and bio-activities of marula (Sclerocarrya birrea subsp. caffra) fruit extracts.

Research Facilities and Equipment

The Postharvest Research Division of the Southern Arava R&D accommodates well equipped facilities for (a) fruit quality, chemistry and biochemistry studies, (b) fruit minimal processing, including microbiological monitoring, and (c) date fruit ripening.

Laboratory equipment includes: HPLC system (Merk Hitachi LaChrom) equipped with Pump L7100, Column oven L7350, Mixer-degasser L-7614, Manual Injector. Rheodyne, RI Detector (Merk, LaChrom, L-7490) and Multi wave length Detector (Jasco MD-2010 Plus), interface (Jasco LC-Net II / ADC) and scientific software (EZChrom Elite Client/Server version 3.1.6 build; Liquid Scintillation Analyzer (1600 TR, TRI-CARB, PACKARD); UV/VIS Spectrophotometer (SHIMADZU, UV–1650PC); Chromameter equipped with a glass light projection tube (Minolta CR-300 and CR-A33e); Refrigerated High-Speed Centrifuges (Sorvall Instruments, RC5C) with a variety of angular and horizontal rotors; Speed Vac centrifuge (GeneVac, miVac Duo Concentrator); Desktop centrifuges of different sizes, velocities and capacities; Freeze Drier (VirTis SP SCIENTIFIC, SENTRY 2.0) Water distillatory system (Corning, Mega-Pure® System, MP-6A); Ice flaker (Eurfrigor ICE MAKERS, ES 50); Omni Mixer (OCI Instruments); Hard fruit juice extractors (Magimix, Le Duo); Liquid nitrogen storage containers (Taylor-Wharton, 34XT and 10LD); pH Meters (Corning 140); Conductometers (Metrohm 644 and El-Hamma InstrumentsTH-2400); Hand-held refractometers (Atago, Model ATC-1E, Japan, Brix 0-32%); Analytical (Mettler AE 50 and OHAUS AS120) and semi-analytical (BOECO, BPB Series and OHAUS Adventurer™) balances; Freezers (down to -50ºC); Refrigerators; Incubators; Air-circulating ovens; Cooling bath (HETO Lab Equipment AS, Type CB 11); Shaking water bath (Julabo, SW 20 and 20C); Bath sonicator (Bandlin SONOREX Super RK103H); Desiccators; Heating and stirring plates; Vortex mixing units and other small basic equipment.

The minimal processing facility includes low- and high-risk rooms, and is equipped a modified-atmosphere packaging apparatus, a laminar flow hood, an autoclave and incubators The date fruit ripening facilities include a climate controlled room and a temperature controlled tunnel.

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