Improved Method of Processing Papayas for Food Safety and Quality

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2006-33610-16774
Agency Tracking Number: 2006-00264
Amount: $79,700.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
113 Kuawa Street, Hilo, HI, 96720
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Rodney Yonemura
 Vice President
 (808) 964-5278
Business Contact
 Toshihisa Aoki
Title: President
Phone: (808) 961-5580
Research Institution
Papaya is a major commodity in Hawaii. The Big Island accounted for about 35.7 million of harvested papaya for fresh utilization and 1.8 million pounds for processed utilization. Additional processed utilization of papaya would be valuable to the industry because culls average 30 percent of total harvested papayas. It is estimated the culls that can be processed annually from the independent packinghouses would be over 4 million pounds. Utilization of these papayas would greatly benefit the packinghouses and in turn produce additional farm gate and improve the economy of the state's rural communities. The purpose of this project is to prove the feasibility of a processing concept, incorporating ozone and heat treatment anti-microbial technologies along with flash freezing, that not only addresses food safety, but also enhances the quality and flavor of the fruit. The project focuses on reducing the microbial counts and enzymatic actions as well as eliminating any freezing problems due to the high amount of "bound" water in papayas. Bound water remains unfrozen until temperatures are below minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Improper freezing of papayas causes a watery, soft product of poor quality.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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