Eugene M. Kupferman
Dr. Kupferman serves as Extension Horticulturist and Postharvest Specialist in Tree Fruits for WSU. His role is to serve as a liaison between industry and researchers and to further cooperation among scientists and extension personnel. He is a faculty member in WSU's Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture.
Being responsible for is bringing up-to-the-minute information about fruit quality, maturity, handling and storage to the postharvest industry, Dr. Kupferman presents information at extension and industry meetings and through the media or newsletters. For example, he has developed the Tree Fruit Postharvest Journal to communicate with the industry on a regular basis. The journal is received by every packinghouse manager and by postharvest research and extension workers throughout the world. He has also created the Washington Tree Fruit Postharvest Conference which attracts 500 people annually to its educational program and trade show. Topics of interest to growers are presented in timely articles published in the Good Fruit Grower, an industry publication.
An increasingly large volume of apples and pears grown in Washington State is stored in controlled atmosphere (CA) to allow for marketing on a year-round basis. New varieties of apples, pears and cherries planted within the last few years have generated a need for new information. In cooperation with other researchers, Dr. Kupferman has focused on research of an applied nature. Following are some examples of the type of research conducted.
His cherry handling research and educational programs have resulted in an increased awareness of the importance of temperature in conserving fruit quality. Warehouses have installed hydrocoolers and instituted forced-air cooling to more rapidly reduce fruit temperature. Applied research has led to improvements in the lighting above cherry sorting tables.
Dr. Kupferman has been involved with the scientific aspects of the Apple Maturity Program. His research on apple handling investigates methods to retain fruit quality through proper maturity, proper chemical treatment and bruise reduction. Chemical reduction and appropriate chemical use are important components of his research.
The Anjou pear industry has lost $1.4-1.8 million in product and repacking costs each year from disorders, chemical marking or decay. Research and studies of industry practices are underway to delineate reasons for these losses. Other pear research includes defining parameters for successful packing and marketing of pears in trays rather than individual hand wrapping of each fruit.