Aimei Wang

Videnskabelig assistent

Aimei Wang
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PhD project: Biological markers for early warning of food losses

University: Aarhus University

Department: Department of Food Science

Supervisor: Merete Edelenbos, PhD, Associate Professor

Project supervisor: Merete Edelenbos, PhD, Associate Professor

Project co-supervisor: Anders Johansen, PhD, Senior Scientist

Project term: 1 October 2014 - 30 September 2017

Master’s degree: MSc. in Food Nutrition and Hygiene - School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, China.



Global loss and waste of fruits and vegetables is estimated to be 44% of the total production. Fresh produce is mainly lost after harvest due to lack of knowledge-based storage-management systems that can be used for optimization of harvesting, handling, curing, drying and storage of the variable qualities of harvested fresh produce. More advanced quality-assurance systems are therefore needed to minimise the high risks of losses in long-term storage of organic and conventional fresh produce especially towards the end of the storage period.


Aim of the project

1. To develop test systems to monitor biological marker signals emitted from fresh produce, spoilage microorganisms; and produce-microbial interactions. 

2. To elucidate the effects of harvesting, curing, drying and postharvest storage on formation of biological marker signals, product quality, level of spoilage and postharvest losses.

3. To evaluate the potential of using biological marker signals for early warning of losses.


Research outline

A test system will be developed for fast and reliable monitoring of microclimate changes in the close vicinity of produce. VOC profiling of microorganisms will be performed at AU-ENVS using pure cultures of selected spoilage fungi.Airborne spores/hyphae fragments will be sampled at AU-DFS during storage of natural infected onions. A test system will be developed for sampling of VOCs from healthy and spoiled onions/carrots during storage. Results will be treated by multivariate data analysis to identify the most promising marker tools to forecast early spoilage/decay on fresh produce.


Partners of collaboration:

Department of Food Science, Aarhus University; Department of Enviromental Science , Aarhus University; AgroTech A/S; Plant Research International as part of Wageningen University and Research Centre; Bejo Zaden BV; SeedCom A/S; Gyldensteen; Axel Månsson A/S; Bøje Skytte Brogaard;Hallum Trading ApS; Airvention ApS.

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