Meet Dirk Köpcke, Head of Fruit Quality and the Fruit Storage Department at the Chamber of Agriculture in Lower Saxony, Jork Fruit Growing Research Station

What is your expertise?

 “I specialise in fruit quality and fruit storage, which essentially involves everything related to the quality of fruit on the tree and after harvest. This also includes fertilisation, irrigation and drainage, harvest date forecasts and – of course – storage and post-storage of fruit.”


Why do you participate in the QCAP project?

 “Northern Germany produces and stores large quantities of apples and blueberries. Ensuring the best possible storage conditions reduces losses due to water loss, rot or physiological diseases. Until now, we've only been measuring and controlling the O2/CO2 concentration in the warehouse. Being able to continuously measure aroma volatiles in the warehouse, which is the QCAP project’s aim, will offer us new opportunities to further optimise storage and avoid losses.”


What is your most important challenge in this project?

 “The sensor must not only be able to measure various aroma volatiles; the system must also be practical and economical for warehouses. In addition, there is a lack of knowledge about which aroma volatiles can serve as indicators for which diseases.”

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