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Dr. Postharvest Physiologist, Agriculture and Agri-Food; Canada
Dr. Toivonen received his BSc(Agr) and MSc from the University of Guelph in 1978 and 1980 and his PhD in Plant Stress Physiology from Simon Fraser University in 1985. He has been with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada since 1989 as a research scientist in postharvest physiology and storage of herb, vegetables, small fruits and tree fruits.
Dr. Toivonen led and collaborated on research projects resulting in the successful commercial introduction of fresh-cut apple slices. He has worked extensively on improving the postharvest handling of sweet cherries to ensure consistent storage and shipping quality (fruit and stems) and recently authored an industry guide for ensuring quality of sweet cherries.
He has also researched the potential for elevated temperature storage of chilling sensitive tree fruits, including "Sunrise" summer apples, peaches, apricots and nectarines, using 1-methylcyclopropene. More recently, Dr. Toivonen has extended his activities to evaluating newly released apple and sweet cherry selections and cultivars for postharvest storage potential and response to 1-methylcyclopropene. He is also working on application of new non-destructive technologies to assess apple maturity in the orchard.