Dr. Baldwin started her career as a postdoc with ARS in Athens, GA as a Research Associate, Research Plant Physiologist. She then transferred to a permanent position in at the Citrus & Subtropical Products Laboratory in Winter Haven, FL as a Research Horticulturist, where she eventually became Research Leader and Location Coordinator. The lab was relocated in 2011 to the Horticultural Research Laboratory in Ft. Pierce, FL where Dr. Baldwin is now Research Leader of the Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Unit. She works in the area of postharvest fruit physiology and food science, with emphasis in applied and basic problems related to fresh or processed fruit product storage, ripening and flavor.
Summary of lecture
Effect of citrus greening or huanglongbing (HLB) disease on orange juice volatile and non-volatile compounds that affect aroma and taste as well as disease management strategies for flavor, fruit decay and drop
Huanglongbing (HLB) disease has decimated citrus production worldwide and is currently impacting the Florida citrus industry. Florida production has fallen from 250 million boxes of citrus fruit per year, to 81.5 this past season. In Florida, 90% of the fruit are juiced with about 10% of the industry being in fresh fruit. Further impacts of HLB are the increased costs of production to combat the disease, which has also resulted in lost acreage, closure of many packinghouses and several juice processing plants. In addition, HLB disease results in off-flavor of orange juice due to decreased sugars, sometimes increased acids and increased levels of bitter limonoids and astringent flavonoids. The aroma volatile profile of the juice and the essential oil by-product is also altered, favoring terpenoid compounds at the expense of aldehyde and ester top notes. Flavor management strategies for processors are being developed to predict quality of incoming fruit juice, such as use of electronic tongue and qPCR to detect the pathogen. Efforts are continuing to identify other off-flavor compounds and to develop methods to mitigate their off-flavor effects. The foliar nutritional sprays, used by growers to mitigate disease symptoms on trees, was investigated for effects on juice quality, although no consistent results were found. Interaction of HLB with other fungal pathogens was also studied for effect on postharvest fruit decay and their contribution to HLB pre-harvest fruit drop.