Horticultural Sciences Department

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Dr. Jeffrey K. Brecht

Office:1217 Fifield Hall
For more information, visit Dr. Brecht's website. 

University of Florida Research Foundation Professor

Areas of Research:

  • Postharvest Physiology
  • UF/IFAS Center for Food Distribution and Retailing

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., University of California, Davis, CA (1984)
  • B.S., Whittier College, Whittier, CA (1979)

Teaching Responsibilities

Extension Program

  • Demonstrating the effects of postharvest procedures on maintenance of product quality
  • Extension of postharvest information through presentations at extension and industry meetings


  • Director, UF/IFAS Research Center for Food Distribution & Retailing, University of Florida, (2004 to present)
  • University of Florida Research Foundation Professor, Postharvest Physiology and Horticulture, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida (2002-05 and 2008-11)
  • Professor, Postharvest Physiology and Horticulture, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida (1995 to present)
  • Associate Professor, Postharvest Physiology and Horticulture, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida (1989 to 1995)
  • Assistant Professor, Postharvest Physiology and Horticulture, Vegetable Crops Department, University of Florida (1984 to 1989)

International Experience

  • National Mango Board – August 2013-May 2017. Managing a multi-institution, multi-country project to determine the cause of the fruit disorder, corte negro, in collaboration with the mango exporters associations, FME (Ecuador) and APEM (Peru).
  • USAID Hort CRSP – July 2013-August 2014. Developing postharvest outreach and education materials for fruit & vegetable producers in Central America that target audiences at different levels of knowledge from subsistence to commercial producers and college students.
  • National Mango Board Outreach Programs in Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, and Peru; 2011-16.
  • National Mango Board – October 2007-April 2009. Managed a multi-institution, multi-country project to evaluate the mango distribution system from the producing countries (Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru) to the U.S. retail level, in collaboration with colleagues from University of California, Brazil, Guatemala and Mexico.
  • Instructor in International Workshops and Short Courses: Spain, Italy and Greece, 2005; Italy, 2007; Spain, 2008; Spain, 2009; Columbia, 2010; Spain, 2011; Spain and Germany, 2012
  • USAID IDEA – October 2005. Evaluating production, harvesting, handling and processing of loroco in El Salvador. 
  • USDA-FAS Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellows Program  - hosted and subsequently mentored over the next 2 years a young scientist from Ghana, 2004-2006
  • USAID AERI Institutional Capacity Building activities – Jan. and Sept.-Oct. 2004; Sept. 2005. Working with Faculties of Agriculture at six universities in Upper Egypt to reform and strengthen their curricula and teaching methods to better prepare graduates for careers; reviewing and overseeing horticulture grant projects.

Recent Honors and Awards

  • Honorary Member of the Florida State Horticultural Society, 2014
  • University of Florida Research Foundation Professor, 2008 (previously named in 2002)
  • Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 2006.
  • Outstanding Extension Materials Award, Video Category, ASHS, 2006, for "Worker Health and Hygiene Training Manual for Florida Produce Industry."

Program Personnel

  • Kim Cordasco, Senior Biologist
  • Dr. Mildred Makani, Postdoctoral Associate
  • Ferdous Chowdhury, Graduate Student
  • Craig Frey, Graduate Student
  • Zilfina Rubio, Graduate Student

Recent Publications

Book Chapters

  • Brecht, J.K. and E.M. Yahia. 2017. Harvesting and Postharvest Technology of Mango. In: Handbook of Mango Fruit:  Production, Postharvest Science, Processing Technology and Nutrition, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Co., Ames, Iowa (In press).
  • Hicks, J.R. and J.K. Brecht. 2017. Postharvest handling. In: A.P. Keinath, T.A. Zitter, and W. M. Wintermantel (eds.). Compendium of Cucurbit Diseases. APS Press, St. Paul, Minn. (In press)
  • Zheng, X. and J.K. Brecht. 2017. Pre-storage application of oxalic acid for fruits and vegetables. In: S. Pareek (ed.). Novel Postharvest Treatments of Fresh Produce. CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Boca Raton, FL. (In press)
  • Yahia, E.M. and J.K. Brecht. 2012. Tomatoes, p. 18-51. In: D. Rees, J.E. Orchard and G. Farrell (eds.). Crop post-harvest: Science and technology Volume 3: Perishables. Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
  • Aguilar, G. A., A. A. Kader, J. K. Brecht, and P. M. A. Toivonen. 2011. Fresh-cut tropical and sub-tropical fruit products, p. 381-418. In: E. M. Yahia (ed.). Postharvest biology & technology of tropical and sub-tropical fruits. Woodhead Publ., Ltd., Cambridge, UK
  • Simonne, A.H., C.N. Nunes and J.K. Brecht. 2011. Tomato and other Solanaceous fruits, p. 321-351. In: L. Terry (ed.). Health-promoting properties of fruits and vegetables. CABI, Wallingford, U.K.
  • Brecht, J.K. 2009. Vegetables, p. 445-461. In: E.M. Yahia (ed.). Modified and controlled atmospheres for the storage, transportation, and packaging of horticultural commodities. Taylor & Francis, London.
  • Brecht, J.K. and E.M. Yahia. 2009. Postharvest physiology, p. 484-528. In: R.E. Litz (ed.). The Mango, Botany, Production and Uses, 2nd ed., CABI, Wallingford, U.K.

Refereed Journal Articles

  • Daniels, M., A.H. Simonne, S. Jensen, D. Diehl, K.P. Shelnutt, C. Bruhn, J.K. Brecht, A.F. Wysocki, R. Cook, and E. Mitcham. 2017. Consumer perceptions of quality and price of high-value specialty crops in supermarkets in the United States: Lessons for producers, handlers and educators. Acta Hort. (In press)
  • Brecht, J.K., M.C.N. Nunes, J.P. Émond, I. Uysal, J. Wells, and J. Saenz. 2016. Reducing strawberry waste and losses in the postharvest supply chain via intelligent distribution management. Acta Hort. 1120:253-259.
  • Deltsidis, A.I., E.A. Baldwin, J. Bai, and J.K. Brecht. 2016. Tomato chilling injury threshold defined by the volatile profiles of pink harvested tomato fruit. Acta Hort. 1120:143-149.
  • Djidonou, D., A.H. Simonne, K.E. Koch, J.K. Brecht, and X. Zhao. 2016. Nutritional quality of field-grown tomato fruit as affected by grafting with interspecific hybrid rootstocks. HortScience 51:1618-1624.
  • Pliakoni, E.D., D.J. Huber, S.A. Sargent, and J.K. Brecht. 2016. Using chlorophyll senescence as an indicator of brown stain (CO2 injury) in lettuce. Acta Hort. 1120:151-156.
  • Tsouvaltzis, P. and J.K. Brecht. 2016. Inhibition of enzymatic browning of fresh-cut potato by immersion in citric acid is not solely due to pH reduction of the solution. J. Food Proc. Pres. doi:10.1111/jfpp.12829
  • Zhu, Y., J. Yu, J.K. Brecht, T. Jiang, and X. Zheng. 2016. Pre-harvest application of oxalic acid increases quality and resistance to Penicillium expansum in kiwifruit during postharvest storage. Food Chemistry 190:537-543.
  • Deltsidis A.I., E.D. Pliakoni, E.A. Baldwin, J. Bai, A. Plotto, and J.K. Brecht. 2015. Tomato flavor changes at chilling and non-chilling temperatures as influenced by controlled atmospheres. Acta Hort. 1071:703-709.
  • Diehl, D.C., N.L. Sloan, J.K. Brecht, and E.A. Mitcham. 2015. What factors do retailers value when purchasing fruits?  Perceptions of produce industry professionals. J. Food Dist. Res. 46:81-91.
  • Li, P., X. Zheng, M.G.F. Chowdhury, K. Cordasco, and J.K. Brecht. 2015. Pre-storage application of oxalic acid to alleviate chilling injury in mango fruit. HortScience 50:1795-1800. (Also published in Proc. Florida State Hort. Soc. 128:190-195)
  • Olmstead, M., Zotarelli, L., Brecht, J. and Ross, M. 2015. Impact of nitrogen on vegetative growh of mature peach trees in a subtropical climate. Acta Hortic. 1084:459-464
  • Osuna-Garcia, J.A., J.K. Brecht, D.J. Huber, and Y. Nolasco-Gonzalez. 2015. Aqueous 1-methylcyclopropene to delay ripening of ‘Kent’ mango with or without quarantine hot water treatment. HortScience 25:349-357.
  • Pliakoni, E.D., A.I. Deltsidis, and J.K. Brecht. 2015. Physical and biochemical changes in broccoli that may assist in decision-making related to international marine transport in air or CA/MA. Acta Hortic. 1071:651-657.
  • Riad, G.S. and J.K. Brecht. 2015. Validation of a two-level MAP system in commercial strawberry distribution and simulated retail handling. Acta Hortic. 1071:613-618.
  • Tsouvaltzis, P., J.K. Brecht, and D.J. Huber. 2015. Reduced pO2 better maintains visual quality, fresh weight, and antioxidant content of bunched radish (Raphanus sativus L.) than air storage. Acta Hortic. 1071:187-193.
  • Wang, L., E.A. Baldwin, W. Zhao, A. Plotto, X. Sun, Z. Wang, J. Brecht, J. Bai, and Z. Yu. 2015. Suppression of volatile production in tomato fruit exposed to chilling temperature and alleviation of chilling injury by a pre-chilling heat treatment. LWT-Food Science and Technology 62:115-121.
  • Pereira, M.E.C., S.A. Sargent, C.A. Sims, D.J. Huber, J.H. Crane, and J.K. Brecht. 2014. Ripening and sensory analysis of Guatemalan-West Indian hybrid avocado following ethylene pretreatment and/or exposure to gaseous or aqueous 1-methylcyclopropene. Postharv. Biol. Technol. 92:121-127.
  • Tsouvaltzis, P. and J.K. Brecht. 2014. Changes in quality and antioxidant enzyme activities of bunched and topped radish (Raphanus sativus L.) plants during storage at 5 or 10C. J. Food Qual. 37: 157-167.
  • Dea, S., J.K. Brecht, M.C.N. Nunes, and E.A. Baldwin. 2013. Optimal ripeness stage for processing mangoes into fresh-cut slices. HortTechnology 23:12-23.
  • Diehl, D., N. Sloan, C. Bruhn, A. Simonne, J.K. Brecht, and E.A. Mitcham. 2013. Exploring produce industry attitudes: Relationships between postharvest handling, fruit flavor, and consumer purchasing. HortTechnology 23:642-650.
  • Barrett, C.E., X. Zhao, C.A. Sims, J.K. Brecht, E.Q. Dreyer, and Z. Gao. 2012. Fruit composition and sensory attributes of organic heirloom tomatoes as affected by grafting. HortTechnology 22:804-809.
  • Biswas, P., A.R. East, J.K. Brecht, E.W. Hewett, and J.A. Heyes. 2012. Intermittent warming during low temperature storage reduces tomato chilling injury. Postharvest Biology and Technology 74:71-78.
  • Deltsidis, A., P. Tsouvaltzis, and J. Brecht. 2012. Wound-induced respiration and ethylene production in fresh cut Romaine lettuce. Acta Hortic. 934:613-618.
  • Kao, M.W.S., J.K. Brecht, and D.J. Huber. 2012. Pre-storage conditioning of NMF peaches using directed heat stress alone or combined with 1-MCP to maintain appealing sensory characteristics during postharvest handling. Acta Hortic. 934:1091-1096.
  • Kao, M.W.S., J.K. Brecht, J.G. Williamson, and D.J. Huber. 2012. Ripening development and quality of melting and non-melting flesh peach cultivars. HortScience 47:879-885.
  • Loayza, F.E., A. Plotto, E.A. Baldwin, and J.K. Brecht. 2012. Evaluation of the impact of hot water treatment on the sensory quality of fresh tomatoes. Acta Hortic. 934:1305-1311.
  • Macnish, A.J., M.S. Padda, F. Pupin, P.I. Tsouvaltzis, A.I. Deltsidis, C.A. Sims, J.K. Brecht, and E.J. Mitcham. 2012. Comparison of pallet cover systems to maintain strawberry fruit quality during transport. HortTechnology 22:493-501.
  • Nunes, M.C.N., A.M.M.B. Morais, J.K. Brecht, S.A. Sargent, J.A. Bartz, R.A. Allen, J.H. Lee, D.M. Pires, and J. Pittet-Moore. 2012. Development of Botrytis rot in stored strawberries as affected by ripeness, temperature and atmosphere. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 125:287-295.
  • Bai, J., E.A. Baldwin, Y. Imahori, I. Kostenyuk, J. Burns, and J.K. Brecht. 2011. Chilling and heating may regulate C6 volatile aroma production by different mechanisms in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit. Postharvest Biol. Technol. 60:111-120.
  • Pelletier, W., J.K. Brecht, M.C.N. Nunes, and J.-P. Émond. 2011. Quality of strawberries shipped by truck from California to Florida as influenced by postharvest temperature management practices. HortTechnology 21:482-493.
  • Tsouvaltzis, P., A.I. Deltsidis, and J.K. Brecht. 2011. Hot water treatment and pre-processing storage reduce browning development in fresh-cut potato slices. HortScience 46:1282-1286.
  • Brecht, J.K., A.Z. Tulio, K. Cherukuri, M.C.N. Nunes, and A.H. Simonne. 2010. Cultivar variability in the response of tomato fruit lycopene synthesis and antioxidant potential to a brief postharvest heat stress. Acta Hortic. 877:1205-1214.
  • Dea, S., J.K. Brecht, M.C.N. Nunes, and E.A. Baldwin. 2010. Occurrence of chilling injury in fresh-cut ‘Kent’ mangoes. Postharvest Biol. Technol. 57:61-71.
  • Dea, S., J.K. Brecht, M.C.N. Nunes, and E.A. Baldwin. 2010. Quality of fresh-cut ‘Kent’ mango slices prepared from hot water or non hot water treated fruit. Postharvest Biol. Technol. 56:171-180.
  • Dea, S., Brecht, J.K., Nunes, C.N., and Émond, J.P. 2010. Modified atmosphere packaging for fresh‐cut ‘Kent’ mango under common retail display conditions. Proc. Fla. State. Hort. Soc. 123: 278–289.
  • Yahia, E.M., G. Soto-Zamora, J.K. Brecht, and A. Gardea. 2010. The effects of postharvest hot air treatments in low O2 atmosphere on the quality and antioxidant levels in tomato fruit. Acta Hortic. 857:425-432.