SFA provides technical expertise in the areas of post-harvest handling, packaging and quality assessment and assurance of vegetables. SFA has been largely active in the following areas:
- Improving the quality and extending the shelf life of vegetables in Singapore
- Increasing awareness of good quality vegetables and proper handling practices
- Strengthening the network of vegetable farmers, processors, traders and retailers
- Introducing and promoting cold chain management to the vegetable industry
SFA, together with various other external associations eg. the Singapore Fruits and Vegetables Importers and Exporters Association (SFVA), and makes continuous efforts to introduce new postharvest technologies to growers, importers and retailers to ensure a stable and adequate supply of safe, wholesome and fresh quality product for Singapore.
Research and development (R&D)
SFA carries out various R & D projects dealing with vegetable post-harvest technology. Some of the areas of research include:
- Establishing quality parameters for vegetables
- Developing packaging technology for shelf-life extension of vegetables
- Developing processing protocols for minimally processed vegetables
- Cooling techniques and cold chain management for vegetables
Transfer of technology
Training courses and seminars on vegetable post-harvest technology are conducted for the local vegetable industry so as to upgrade their knowledge and skills. We conduct various types of training courses and seminars in Vegetables Post-Harvest Technology such as:
- Introduction of Post-harvest of Fruits and Vegetables (for farmers and /or packers)
- Post-harvest Handling of Fruits and Vegetables (supermarkets personnel)
- Pre-cooling of Leafy Vegetables (vacuum cooling and/or forced-air cooling)
- Minimally Processed Fresh Produce/Freshcut Processing
SFA also conducts courses on vegetable post-harvest technology for other countries so as to transfer technology, share information and knowledge as well as establish valuable networks with the technical institutions and personnel in other countries.
SFA is able to provide consultancy and technical assistance in vegetable processing and product development, ie Sensory Evaluation trials, to interested companies.
Post-Harvest Technology for Fish
Being strategically positioned in the midst of the major fishing countries in Southeast Asia, Singapore sees the opportunity to develop and expand its seafood processing industry. The industry has upgraded into a highly automated and high capacity fish product manufacturing business, catering for both domestic demand and export to the US, EU and Australia.
Since the late 1970s, AVA has been instrumental in turning the fish processing industry from a predominantly domestic, labour intensive, backyard industry into a mechanised and later automated, modern one that is growing in its export markets. This success is the result of years of working closely with and providing training to the industry as well as upgrading the skill-set through the introduction of Japanese technology adapted to suit the local industry. The use of alternate raw materials as well as mechanisation and the development of value-added products have also contributed to this success.
Notable among the contributions of AVA to the industry was introducing the concept of HACCP to the seafood processing industry, and assisting individual manufacturers to develop their own HACCP programmes. AVA also played a key role in assisting the local fish processors to set up the Seafood Industries Association, Singapore (SIAS). The SIAS represents the seafood processing, manufacturing and trading companies in Singapore. With the transition of AVA to SFA, SFA will continue to work closely with SIAS, SFMA (Singapore Food Manufacturers' Association) and other government agencies to upgrade the local fish processing industry.
With an aim to aid the local fish processing industry, SFA has been largely active in the following areas:
- Assisting the aquaculture industry in promoting the utilisation of farmed fish through product development
- Assisting the fish processing industry to develop HACCP systems
- Assisting the fish processing industry in developing value-added products
The Post-Harvest Technology Centre (PHTC) is also the Collaborating Centre for the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC)’s Marine Fisheries Research Department (MFRD) programme on fisheries post-harvest technology. SEAFDEC is a regional inter-governmental organization of which Singapore is a member country. The MFRD programme aims to promote, undertake and co-ordinate research and development on fisheries post-harvest technology, including the processing, handling, preservation and quality assessment of fish and fish products, and transfer such technology to the region through training courses, seminars and workshops.
Currently, there are two projects under the MFRD programme which are being implemented by PHTC:
- Chemicals and Drug Residues in Fish and Fish Products in Southeast Asia – Biotoxins (ASP, AZA and BTX) and Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in the ASEAN region;
- Traceability Systems for Aquaculture Products in ASEAN region.
Research and development (R&D)
The SFA carries out R&D in fisheries post-harvest technology. Some of the areas of research include:
- Developing value-added fish products from marine and aquacultured fish species (smoked fish, half-shelled frozen mussel)
- Developing GMP for fishball and fishcake, battered and breaded fish and chicken products etc
- Developing standard and quality testing methods for fishball and fishcake
- Developing value addded mussel sauce from mussel broth (i.e. a by-product of cooked frozen half-shell mussel processing)
- Developing good handling practices and techniques for seafood
Transfer of technology
SFA organises study trips for industry members so that they can upgrade their knowledge and skills as well as establish valuable networks with seafood industries in other countries.
SFA also organises seminars and workshops on HACCP as well as fish processing and product development for the local seafood industry.
SFA is able to provide consultancy and technical assistance in fish processing, product development and sensory evaluations, to interested companies.