(Nov. 25) ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The International Fresh-cut Produce Association’s 16th Annual Conference and Exhibition is scheduled for April 3-5 in Tampa, Fla.

The event, which attracted 1,300 attendees last year in Los Angeles, will be in the Tampa Convention Center and the Marriott Waterside Hotel.

The conference will feature details on a recent survey that said that 71% of major restaurant chain operators interviewed buy fresh-cut vegetables and 18% buy fresh-cut fruit.

The conference will a offer trade show and educational workshops on new packaging technologies and creating the right processing facility and environment for fresh-cut produce. It also will feature a panel of experts addressing food safety issues such as import/exports, labeling, food security and other regulatory concerns.

Attendees also can sit in on IFPA’s Third Annual Science Symposium. The symposium will focus on the following four research reports:

  • Richard Linton of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., will report on gaseous applications of chlorine dioxide and ozone.

  • Peter Toivonen of Agriculture and AgriFood Canada will report on safety and quality issues for fresh-cut apples.

  • Jeff Brecht of the University of Florida, Gainesville, and Liz Baldwin of U.S. Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service will report on pretreating whole fruit such as apples, tomatoes and mangoes to extend shelf life and quality.

  • Trevor Suslow of the University of California-Davis, will report on a new multistate-funded research grant on enhancing microbial safety of fresh and fresh-cut melons. The symposium also will feature a poster session in which other researchers will include their findings.

Conference registration is $575 before Feb. 24 and $675 after that date for IFPA members. The cost is $675 before Feb. 24 and $775 after for nonmembers. Registration includes access to all events. One-day passes also are available. To register, call Reta Jones at (703) 299-6282, or e-mail her at rjones@fresh-cuts.org.