THE publication, by the Australian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, of a survey and scheme for research in refrigeration as applied to the preservation and transport of foodstuffs is a matter of importance at a time when attention is being focused on means of improving and extending export trade. The report has been prepared by Dr. J. R. Vickery, who is in charge of the newly created Section of Food Preservation. Information is particularly required as to the possibility of exporting beef in a chilled rather than frozen condition, and since there appears a considerable outlet in Great Britain for Australian bacon pigs, and good ham and bacon can be manufactured from frozen carcases, investigations are needed to determine the best methods of freezing, storing, and thawing them so that the curing process may be most successfully carried out. Fruit, particularly apples and pears, forms another large branch of Australia's export trade, but much loss is sustained annually through wastage during transport. Besides the need for more definite information as to the best type of storage conditions, knowledge is lacking as to where temperature and humidity are particularly important, and how far pre-picking factors such as orchard conditions and degree of maturity of the fruit, etc., may affect its subsequent storage life. The report concludes with recommendations for the establishment of two laboratories with attached cold storage facilities, at Brisbane and Melbourne, the former to study problems in meat export trade and in the transport of tropical fruits, and the latter to investigate the preservation and transport of non-tropical fruits.
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Food Preservation by Refrigeration. Nature 129, 610 (1932). https://doi.org/10.1038/129610a0