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Queens Anniversary Prizes 2015

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Dr Marcin Glowacz

Postharvest Technologist
BSc, MSc, PGCert, PhD
Food and Markets Department
Natural Resources Institute

Biography

Dr Marcin Glowacz joined the University of Greenwich in February 2013. He was previously conducting research at Harper Adams University, where he obtained his PhD (the work supervised by Jim Monaghan). In his work he studied the effects of temperature and light conditions during storage on the quality changes of baby leaf spinach. Furthermore, Dr Glowacz was looking to understand, whether and which treatments prior to storage can potentially be used by the industry to extend the shelf-life of fresh produce. He has vast experience in plant physiology and biochemistry and is familiar with number of analytical techniques, e.g. HPLC and GC analyses, spectrophotometry and quality evaluation.

Dr Glowacz is interested in plant responses to environmental stresses (abiotic and biotic) and food science - quality of fruit and vegetables. He has published his work in high quality, well-recognized journals, e.g. New Phytologist and Postharvest Biology and Technology. The focus of his current research is on finding ways to improve the fresh produce quality and/or to extend its shelf-life. The research in which Dr Glowacz is investigating the effects of ozone exposure on fresh produce quality is currently being carried on at Natural Resources Institute and as part of the Produce Quality Centre (collaboration between NRI and East Malling Research) in collaboration with commercial partners such as Thanet Earth and Mack Multiples.

Research/Scholarly Interests

Dr Glowacz's area of interest is in developing innovative technologies for the food industry. In the past Dr Glowacz has been involved in research aiming to improve tomato plant resistance to diseases. More recently, he has been collaborating with the fresh produce industry (PDM Ltd, Thanet Earth and Mack Multiples) in a search for ways to improve fresh produce quality and extend shelf-life via either implementing treatments prior to storage or optimising storage conditions, thus finding where within the supply chain, improvements can be made. Fresh produce has been recognised as a healthy food, thus there is increasing consumer demand for fresh fruit and vegetables. Their shelf-life, however, is relatively short and is limited by microbial contamination or visual, textural and nutritional quality loss. Thus, new techniques for food shelf-life extension are highly demanded by the industry. Dr Glowacz has recently been investigating the possibility of using ozone for quality improvement of cucumbers and courgettes with promising results.

Current and Previous Funded Research Projects

"Developing the use of ozone to extend shelf-life and improve quality of fresh produce" (HEIF-NRI-05/12)

Ozone (O3) has been used by the industry as an antimicrobial agent for a number of years because in contrast to other sanitizers it does not leave chemical residues on the surface of fresh produce. In recent years, however, there is an increasing interest in the use of ozone not only as a sanitizer but also as a method to improve fresh produce quality (appearance, texture and/or nutritional content).

The aim of the research is to investigate the effect of ozone exposure on fresh produce quality. The work has been carried out using cucumbers, courgettes and peppers as produce of interest with very promising results. Future research will focus on understanding the exact mechanisms of ozone action. For this purpose more detailed analytical techniques will be employed, e.g. NMR and MS analyses.

Responsibilities within the University

  • Research

Selected Publications

Recent Conference Presentations

  • SEB Symposium: Oxidative stress & cell death in plants, 26-28 June 2013, Florence, ITALY; "Oxidative stress during the storage of cucumbers in ozone-enriched air"
  • SHE 2012, 2nd Symposium on Horticulture in Europe, 1-5 July 2012, Angers, FRANCE; "Influence of temperature and light exposure during storage on quality changes of spinach leaves"
  • ISHS, II International Conference on Quality Management of Fresh Cut Produce Convenience Food for a Tasteful Life, 17-21 July 2011, Torino, ITALY; "Hot water treatment after harvest preserves nutritional quality of spinach during storage"

External Recognition

  • Member of Society for Experimental Biology

Contact Information

Dr Marcin Glowacz

Natural Resources Institute

University of Greenwich

Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4 4TB, United Kingdom.

Tel: +44 (0)1634 883564

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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