Technical Sections VI

Section VI: Bioprocesses


Postharvest Technology and Process Engineering

Advance of engineering and technology in post-harvest and agri-food processing with particular focus on properties of products, unit operations, equipment, process control and traceability in respect to ensure the high quality and safety of food.


Chair: Dr. Oliver K. Shlueter
Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy (ATB), Max-Eyth-Allee 100, D-14469 Potsdam, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0) 331 5699-613
Vice Chair: Alaa El-Din Bekhit
Department of Food Science, University of Otago, Gregory Building, Leith Walk, PO Box 56, Dunedin, 9054, New Zealand
Tel.: ++64 3 479 4994
Secretary: Dr. Akindele Folarin Alonge
Department of Agricultural & Food Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Uyo, P. M. B 1017, Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria 52003.
Tel.: +23 48033603462
Dr. Laszlo Baranyai
Department of Physics and Control,
Szent Istvan University
Somloi u. 14-16, Budapest 1118, Hungary

Tel.: +36(1)305-7205
Prof. Servet Gulum Sumnu
Department of Food Engineering, Middle East Technical University, 06531 Ankara, Turkey
Tel.: +90-312-2105628
Prof. Michael Ngadi
Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Macdonald Campus, 21,111 Lakeshore Road, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada H9X 3V9
Tel.: +1- 514-398-7779
Dr. Jersey Weres
Poznan University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Bioengineering, Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Department of Applied Informatics, Wojska Polskiego 28, 60-637 Poznan, Poland

Tel: +48 61 848 7158

Dr. Yukiharu Ogawa
Bioresource Science Course, Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University

Tel:  +81-47-308-8848
Dr. Yong He
Zhejiang University College of Biosystems Eng. And Food Science, 866 Yuhangtang Rd. Hangzhou 310058 P. R. China
Tel.: +86 571-88982143
Dr. Jose Blasco-Ivars
Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Agrarias (IVIA), CV-315, km 10,7 – 46113 Moncada, Valencia, Spain

Dr. Adam Ekielski
Warsaw University Of Life Sciences, sggw, Department of Production Management and Engineering
Dr. Olaniyi A. Fawole 
Department of Horticultural Science, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Tel.:  +27 21 808 4068

Honorary Chairs:

Prof. Da-Wen Sun
Food Refrigeration & Computerised Food Technology, National University of Ireland, Dublin (University College Dublin), ariculture & Food Science Centre, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
Tel.: +353 1 7167342
Prof. Jozef Grochowicz
University of Hotel Management, Catering Industry and Tourism, Chodakowska 50, 03-816 Warsaw, Poland
Tel.: +48 22 786 3233
Prof. Umezuruike Linus Opara
Faculty of AgriSciences, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa、P.O.Box X1, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
Tel.: +27 21 808 4064,
Prof. Prof. Shujun Li
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Mechanization Sciences (CAAMS), No. 1 Beishatan, Deshengmen Wai Beijing, 100083 ChinaTel.:
Tel.: +86 10 64882219
Prof. Dr. Amauri Rosenthal
UEMBRAPA Food Technology Rio de Janeiro, Av. das Américas, 29501, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, BrazilTel.: +55 21 4107441
Email: amauri.rosenthal@embrapa.

Mission, Objectives, Scope and Activities


The mission of CIGR Section VI is to advance and promote the application of engineering principles and technologies in postharvest handling and processing of agrifood products. It is devoted to follow the trends, promote the advancement and enhance the dissemination and transfer of technology in postharvest handling and processing at a global scale.


The objectives of CIGR Section VI are to:

  • provide a global platform for engineers and other practitioners working in the areas of postharvest and processing;
  • enhance international experiences, exchange and co-operation, for the advancement of knowledge in this area, world-wide;
  • stimulate participation in CIGR activities, including Congresses and Conferences;
  • identify and define existing and new areas for research and /or technology transfer;
  • advance engineering knowledge for quality and safety assurance of food products.

With growing threat of food insecurity, especially in the least developed regions, the importance of agrifood process engineering has heightened in recent times. A fundamental basis of this area of knowledge is to bring together physical sciences with knowledge on product physiology and properties, in order to develop new techniques for quality recognition, maintain quality and reduce food losses and waste. Although significant advances in field production technologies have been made during the last century, contributing to improved yields and productivity, the prevailing high incidence of postharvest losses and waste due to lack of appropriate postharvest handling, storage and processing remains a global challenge towards assuring food and nutrition security. Solution to this challenge requires the concerted efforts by agricultural and biosystems engineers and other stakeholders to develop cost-effective and sustainable solutions through the advancement of research and innovation.

On the other hand, the issues of quality and safety of food products has evolved into a high priority in many markets, particularly in the developed regions. Assuring food food quality and safety requires concerted efforts and investments in research and technology transfer to advance the traditional sciences and technologies, and also broaden the areas of knowledge in agrifood processing, especially the use of novel technologies for sensing and communication.


The scope of CIGR Section VI activities includes agricultural, food and other processes in the handling and utilisation of biomaterials. The different areas covered in Section VI are defined with the following keywords:

  • postharvest handling;
  • drying and related preservation methods;
  • cooling and storage;
  • packaging and transportation;
  • quality, safety and traceability;
  • processing and value-addition;
  • sustainability of food and other biomaterials such as grains, root crops, fruit and vegetables, milk and dairy products, ready-to-eat meals, bakery products, meat, egg and egg products.

Topics covered in these areas include:

  • Physical properties of materials;
  • Non-destructive sensors, sensing technologies automation of processes;
  • Storage, and product quality loss, relationships to environmental conditions, especially in the tropics and sub-tropics;
  • Food safety, security and defense;
  • Decision-aid tools, simulation and modeling of processes;
  • Innovative and emerging food processing technologies;
  • Shipping and transportation of food commodities;
  • Packaging, including modified atmosphere and smart packaging;
  • Process management and optimization;
  • Supply chain innovation, track and trace;
  • Food losses and wastes, treatment and management;
  • Information technologies and development of expert systems for bioprocess optimization.

Specific topics related to Agrifood Processing Engineering include characterising and predicting the functional properties of products, design and control of equipment, design and control of bioprocesses, and the engineering design and implementation of processing plants.


To achieve its mission and objectives, CIGR Section VI promotes and engages in a wide range of regular programmes under the auspices of the CIGR as well specifically developed activities. The range of activities undertaken by CIGR Section VI includes:

  • organising seminars, workshops or conferences connected with the objectives of CIGR-Section VI,
  • cooperating with CIGR Working Groups that deal with the activities of CIGR Section VI,
  • cooperating with the CIGR Journal by contributing and reviewing papers,
  • developing cooperation and contacts with similar international organizations,
  • advancing the broader mission and objectives of the CIGR through sponsoring and cooperation other conferences and related scientific activities in the areas of postharvest technology and food process engineering.

CIGR Section VI Board Meetings held during CIGR World Congresses and CIGR Section VI International Technical Symposium.

CIGR Section VI International Symposium Series

Besides contributions at CIGR Congresses and CIGR International Conferences, CIGR Section VI organises a regular CIGR Section VI International Symposium as a global platform to the networking and dissemination of research activities in the areas of postharvest technology and process engineering. So far, successful International Symposia has been held in Asia, Europe, and South America, and the next event will be held in Africa in 25-28 November 2012. The following is a list of past and planned Symposium in the series:

  • 1st International Symposium on “Bioproducts Processing and Food Safety”, 11-14 October 2004, Beijing, China.
  • 2nd International Symposium on “Future of Food Engineering”, 26-28 April, Warsaw, Poland.
  • 3rd International Symposium on “Food and Agricultural Products: Processing and Innovations”, 24-26 September 2007, Naples, Italy.
  • 4th International Symposium on “Food and Bioprocess Technology”, 31 August - 4 September 2008, Iguassu Falls City, Brazil.
  • 5th International Symposium on “Food Processing, Monitoring Technology in Bioprocesses and Food Quality Management”, 31 August - 2 September 2009, Potsdam, Germany.
  • 6th International Symposium on “Towards a Sustainable Food Chain: Food Process, Bioprocessing and Food Quality Management”, 18-20 April 2011, Nantes, France.
  • 7th International Symposium on “Postharvest Technology and AgriFood Processing: Innovating the Food Value Chain”, 25-28 November 2012, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Collaboration with CIGR Working Groups

CIGR Section VI members play active roles in the activities of two CIGR Working Groups, namely:

Image Analysis for Agricultural Processesand Products Working Group



  • To meet recent demands on process monitoring in agricultural production, during storage and processing of raw material
  • To develop objective, sensitive, and reliable optical tools for receiving analytical data in a non-destructive way.

Food Safety Working Group


  • Gathering, generating and disseminating information on predicting and monitoring the behaviour and fate of emerging biological and chemical hazard
  • Divulging advances on risk assessment and risk-benefit evaluation
  • Disseminating information on tools, preservation practices and processes to ensure safety along the food chain
  • Understanding and addressing consumer concerns with food safety issues