Improved Method of Processing Papayas for Food Safety and Quality

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 2006-00264
Amount: $350,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
113 KUAWA ST, Hilo, HI, 96720
DUNS: 183567549
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Rodney Yonemura
 (808) 345-4217
Business Contact
 Rodney Yonemura
Title: President
Phone: (808) 345-4217
Research Institution
Papaya is a major fruit commodity in Hawaii with over 28 million pounds utilized in 2006. 26.6 million pounds of the harvested papaya are used for fresh utilization and 2.3 million pounds for processed utilization. Processed utilization is currently for aseptic puree produced by a single processor. Additional processing of papaya would be valuable because there are an estimated 3.5 million pounds of culls that can be utilized annually. If not processed into puree, there is no income to the farmer and the packinghouse must dispose of the culls by discarding them, giving them away for livestock feed, or selling them in bulk to a broker for local utilization. The purpose of this project is to utilize these culled papayas and produce a consistently high quality, nutritional Individual Quick Frozen (IQF) product with increased food safety and sufficient stability to retain its value during frozen storage. Utilization of papaya culls would greatly benefit the Hawaii papaya industry and improve the economy of the state's rural communities. Successful project completion will result in a sound, proven concept for processing culled papayas into an IFQ product. This will ensure the microbial security of the product, eliminate the need for quarantine treatment, and preserve fruit quality. An IQF product would provide the industry another avenue to the export market rather than having the culls discarded or sold in the local market. This would allow the industry to establish a niche and compete in the $300 million frozen fruit market.

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

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