Dr. Adel Kader, professor emeritus of postharvest physiology at the University of California, Davis, died December 10. He was 71. He retired in 2007 after a 35-year career at UC-Davis, and continued work as a consultant.
Kader researched preservation of flavor and nutritional quality of intact and fresh-cut fruits. He published more than 230 technical publications and edited and co-authored a book titled Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops.
In 1998, he launched the postharvest Web site, http://postharvest.ucdavis.edu, which has become a primary source of postharvest information worldwide.
Originally from Cairo, Egypt, Kader came to the United States in 1961 for graduate studies. He returned to work in Egypt before joining the UC-Davis faculty in 1972. He became a U.S. citizen in 1976.
Kader came to UC-Davis as a premedical student, but became more interested in plant biology and transferred to the College of Agriculture.
“By my second year, I became very interested in postharvest biology and the potential for increasing food availability by reducing postharvest losses,” he said in an interview at the time of his retirement.
He became known as an advocate for good flavor in fruit crops marketed to consumers.
He led the UC Postharvest Biology and Technology Program, coordinating teaching, research, and extension activities. He was active in professional societies and conferences for postharvest scientists.
In 1979, he and his colleagues began offering the annual two-week Postharvest Technology Short Course. The 35th annual field trip and lecture will be held June 17–28 in 2013.