WESLACO — Improving fruits and vegetables grown in Texas will be the topic for a two day meeting of the Texas A&M Vegetable Improvement Center. Membership will tour area fruit and vegetable entities and hear updates on research in progress.
March 8 will open the meeting with a day of tours, according to Dr. Leonard Pike, director of the Vegetable Improvement Center which is headquartered in College Station. Participants will visit with Dr. Bhimu Patil, assistant professor of horticulture, at the Texas A&M-Kingsville Citrus Center; Robert Martin, vice president of operations at Rio Queen Citrus in Mission; Jimmy Bassetti, president of J&D Produce in Edinburg; and Jim Gerssinger Jr., manager of Valley Onions in McAllen.
On March 9, the group will return to the Citrus Center for various presentations. “Right on Target” is the topic for Tori Jager, director of research and development at Northwest Naturals. S. Sefa Koseoglu, head of the separation sciences program at Food Protein Research and Development Center, will discuss fruit juice processing by membrane technology. Larry Baker, director of root and bulb research at Seminis Vegetable Seeds, will talk about his companys efforts in vegetable improvement.
Onion juice extraction methods will be discussed by Brian Hamilton, VIC research associate. Kil Sun You, VIC associate professor, will describe an automated system for pyruvic acid analysis. Pike will conduct the annual membership meeting and provide the VIC annual report.
Optional tours of Plantation Produce in Mission and Star Produce in Rio Grande City will be offered on March. 10.