Horticultural Sciences Department

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Dr. Jeffrey K. Brecht

Publications | Postharvest Lab and Staff | Links, Affiliations, and Honors

Postharvest Physiologist

University of Florida Research Foundation Professor
Horticultural Sciences Department
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida

PO Box 110690
1217 Fifield Hall
Gainesville, Florida 32611-0690
352-392-5653 Fax

My primary responsibilities involve instruction, research and extension in the area of postharvest physiology and horticulture of vegetables and fruits and administration of the UF/IFAS Center for Food Distribution & Retailing. 

Instructional responsibilities include teaching a postharvest horticulture course (HOS5085) for beginning graduate students and advanced undergraduates as well as participation in graduate student training and supervision. 

The responsibilities of the extension program involve demonstration research showing the effects of various postharvest procedures on maintenance of product quality, and extending postharvest information through presentations at extension and industry meetings.


  • Ph.D.               Plant Physiology            1984               University of California, Davis, CA 95616

Dissertation: Ripening and Regulation of Ethylene Production in Nectarines.

  •  B.A.                 Biology                            1979                 Whittier College, Whittier, CA 90601


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 to present.

Professor, Postharvest Physiology and Horticulture, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, 1995 to 2002.

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 – October 2007-April 2009. Managing 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.
USAID IDEA – October 2005. Evaluating production, harvesting, handling and processing of loroco in El Salvador.
US Dept. Education EU-US Cooperation Program – served as University of Florida leader of a six university consortium (Univ. of Calif., Davis; Texas A&M Univ.; Univ. Foggia, Italy; Univ. Cordoba, Spain; Univ. Thessaly, Greece) to develop a student exchange program and research collaboration – the Intenational Certificate in Postharvest Technology (ICPT), 2005-2008. The program has continued to the present through Memoranda of Agreements among the six institutions.
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.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Transportation Working Group (TPT-WG). Australia-New Zealand-U.S.-Canada joint project, conducting analysis and case studies of sea and air container track and trace technologies in the Pacific region for APEC, 2003-2004
Travelled to Mexico as part of a collaborative research project with Autonomous University of Queretero, Mexico, 2001.
Forum PRO LOGISTIK-Controlled Atmosphere, University of Applied Sciences, Heilbronn, Germany 1999 (invited presention: An overview of controlled atmosphere technology in the USA).
USDA FAS Technical Seminars: “Maintaining the Cold Chain: The Bottom Line,” Bangkok, Thailand and Manila, Philippines, 1999 (presenter)
Answering the Consumers’ Needs for Fresh and Convenient Foods Shortcourse, Instituto Inter-Universitário de Macau (IIUM) Macau, 1998 (presenter).
Cargo Systems/Pacific Shipper Asia-Pacific Refrigerated Trade ’98 Conference, San Francisco, Calif., 1998 (presenter).
USAID ATUT Mango Postharvest Shortcourse, Cairo, Egypt, 1998 (organizer and presenter).
Consulted in Egypt with scientists and gave presentations on controlled atmosphere shipping at Alexandria Univ., Alexandria and Ain Shams Univ., Cairo concerning collaborative research activites between Egypt and Florida, 1997.
Faculty development leave, University Laval, Quebec, Canada, 1997.
Quality and Safety Assurance in Fruits and Vegetables for Export Shortcourse, Cairo, Egypt, 1997 (organizer and presenter).
Acted as U.S. leader of a project, funded by JNICT, Portugal, as a collaboration between Univ. Catolica Portugal and Univ. of Florida: “A New Approach to Maintaining Fruit and Vegetable Quality After Harvest Using Perforation-Mediated Modified Atmosphere Packaging,” 1996-2002.
Postharvest Physiology/Technology and Chilling Injury Scientific Exchange to Peoples Republic of China, funded by USDA-OICD, 1995.
Reviewed postharvest USAID-supported (NARP) research activities at Alexandria University and at Ministry of Agriculture, Horticulture Research Center, Giza, Egypt, 1994.
Postharvest Technology Shortcourse, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Porto, Portugal, 1992-96 (organizer and lecturer).
Packaging Perishable Products for Export Shortcourse, Instituto Technologico de Costa Rica, Cartago, Costa Rica, 1991 (organizer and presenter).
Evaluation of postharvest handling systems for horticultural crops.  Univ. Center of Dschang, Cameroon, 1988 (USAID-funded project).