Enhanced Preservation of Fruits Using Nanotechnology (CIFSRF Phase 2)

Poor handling of fruit results in post-harvest losses of nearly 40% in tropical countries. This project aims to extend the harvest and improve fruit quality and shelf life. It builds on an earlier Canadian International Food Security Research Fund project, which demonstrated that hexanal (a widely used biochemical compound) can be a successful tool for addressing the problem. Advancing science, enhancing fruit life The project uses cutting-edge science to extend and optimize the use of hexanal for pre- and post-harvest applications to other commercial fruits, such as bananas, papaya, and citrus. Researchers will improve packaging systems for transporting fruit using hexanal impregnated bionanoparticles and biowax dip treatments. The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India, the Industrial Technology Institute in Sri Lanka, and the University of Guelph in Canada will work with research institutions in the West Indies, Kenya, and Tanzania to generate new knowledge on innovations with hexanal sprays, biowax, and nanopackaging materials. They will also look at opportunities for commercializing the technologies at scale. Taking new technologies to market Research on scaling up will identify suitable, practical methods for wide-scale adoption and market entry. Options include: -producing nanofibre matrices for commercial use -applying the technologies to larger volumes of fruits -packaging for different market requirements -extending the lessons from mangoes to other tropical fruits The use of green nanotechnologies from biowastes, instead of metal- or carbon-based nanoparticles, is environmentally sustainable and lowers production costs. Improving lives and livelihoods The project is expected to significantly reduce post-harvest losses, improving incomes and livelihoods for smallholder fruit farmers living in the five target countries. It is also expected to lead to new economic opportunities for women farmers engaged in post-harvest operations. This project is funded under the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF), a program of IDRC undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD).

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Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, July 11, 2014


40 months

IDRC Officer

Kevin Tiessen

Total funding

CA$ 4,208,446


India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies, Canada, North of Sahara, South of Sahara


Canadian International Food Security Research Fund

Project Leader

Dr. Jayasankar Subramanian


University of Guelph

Institution Country


Institution Website


Project Leader

Dr. Kizhaeral Sevathapandian Subramanian


Tamil Nadu Agricultural University

Institution Country


Institution Website


Project Leader

Dr. Ilmi Hewajulige


Industrial Technology Institute

Institution Country

Sri Lanka

Institution Website