A search for a systematic method to bridge between pre-harvest, post-harvest, and consumer research aimed at increasing fruit consumption: The "Vasco da Gama" process

L. Bertschinger, L. Corelli-Grappadelli, M.P.M. Derkx, S. Hall, K. Kockerols, S.J. Sijtsema, S. Steiner, I.A. van der Lans, A.C.R. van Schaik, K.L. Zimmermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The goal of ISAFRUIT to increase fruit consumption has strong foundations in the new knowledge created by a multidisciplinary team of natural and social scientists addressing critical aspects of the multi-faceted fruit chain. Bridging the gap between disciplines proved to be a substantial challenge, as they have quite different languages, methods, and networks. In March 2008, ISAFRUIT launched an initiative to address this gap and named it the “Vasco da Gama process”, after the Portuguese explorer who, early in the 16th century, embarked in the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India and to bridge the gap between continents and cultures. ISAFRUIT’s process for bridging between research disciplines was to discover if the research conducted indeed contributed to increased fruit consumption in Europe. For this purpose, the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) method was applied. This includes the construction of a House of Quality (HoQ), which is a conceptual and graphical tool that presents the positive and negative relationships between technical quality traits, as studied and influenced by pre- and post-harvest experiments, and consumer-demand terms. This paper explains the methodology in greater detail. The first experience with this process showed that, even if scientists from different disciplines were keen to be involved, there was a need for a sustained effort to drive such a process. The process is still underway, and specific results will be published later
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-6
JournalJournal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology
Volume84
Issue number6 Isafruit Suppl
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • quality

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