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Dr. Steven A. Sargent

Professor and Associate Chair

Mailing Address:
Fifield Hall
2550 Hull Road
PO Box 110690
Gainesville, Florida 32611

SAS ORCID: Steven Sargent (0000-0002-5540-7831) - ORCID

Office: 1211 Fifield Hall
Phone: (352) 273-4780

  • Areas of Research
    • Determine the impact of current and novel techniques and technologies on quality of fresh fruits and vegetables during harvest, handling and storage operations.
  • Teaching Responsibilities
    • HOS 5330 – Postharvest Technologies for Horticultural Crops
  • Educational Background
    • Ph.D., Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University 
    • M.S., Horticulture, Michigan State University 
    • B.S., Horticulture, Michigan State University 
  • Extension Program
    • Develop relevant extension materials based on results of my research program and new developments in the scientific literature.

    • Present to pertinent clientele groups.

  • International Program
    • Research Collaborations
      • Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation):
        • Embrapa Vegetables, Brasilia; Embrapa Instrumentation, São Carlos,
      • University of São Paulo, ESALQ campus, Piracicaba, Brazil
      • Federal University of Sergipe, Aracaju, Brazil
    • Language Proficiency
      • Fluent in Portuguese (Brazilian) and intermediate fluency in Spanish.
  • Work Experience
    • Language Proficiency
      • Fluent in Portuguese and intermediate fluency in Spanish.
    • Extension Collaborations
      • Emater-Federal District of Brasilia and Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
    • Research Collaborations
      • Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation): Embrapa Vegetables, Brasilia; Embrapa Instrumentation, São Carlos, Brazil
      • University of São Paulo, ESALQ campus, Piracicaba, Brazil
      • Federal University of Sergipe, Aracaju, Brazil
  • Honors and Awards
    • International Awards
      • Honorary Professor, 2010, Universidad del Santa, Food Technology Department, Chimbote, Peru
    • National Awards
      • Fellow, American Society for Horticultural Science. 2021
      • Extension Publication Award, Southern Region, American Society for Horticultural Science, 1999, 2003, and 2004
      • ESCOP/ACOP Leadership Program Participant, Experiment Station Committee on Organization & Policy. 2001
      • National Organization of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, 2001-2002 cohort
      • Educational Materials Award, Extension Division, American Society for Horticultural Science, 1999 and 2000
      • Most Outstanding Research Paper in Vegetable Crops, 1999, 2009, American Society for Horticultural Science
      • Ulysses P. Hedrick Award, 1999, American Pomological Society, 1st Place Paper, Montealegre, JC, Childers, NC, Sargent, SA, Barros, LM, Alves, RE
    • State Awards
      • Honorary Member, Florida State Horticulture Society, 2018
      • Researcher of the Year, 2010, Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association
      • The Presidential Gold Medal, 2002 and 2009, Florida State Horticulture Society
      • Best Paper Award, Florida State Horticulture Society, (2000, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008 Meetings)
    • University of Florida
      • International Educator of the Year, IFAS, Sr. Faculty Category, 2010, University of Florida International Center
      • Jim App Award for Outstanding Design Team, 2002, University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service
      • Faculty Development Leave, 1993 to 1994, University of Florida, Sabbatical year at Embrapa Food Technology Laboratory in Guaratiba, Brazil
  • Program Personnel
    • Adrian Berry, M.S., Biological Scientist IV
    • Merce Santana, Biological Scientist I
    • Sonya Stahl, Biological Scientist II
    • Dr. Raquel Miranda, Visiting Professor, Federal University of Ceará, Brazil

Selected Publications - Since 2017

App published:

The app, FoodTransport, was released in 2023. It provides shipping recommendations of fresh foods including fruits and vegetables and was published by UF/IFAS/IT for Android and IOS. This is based on the EDIS publication: Protecting Perishable Foods during Transport by Truck and Rail.

Books, Co-Authored

Authors Year Title / Description Publication
Brecht, J.K., S.A. Sargent, A.A. Kader, E.J. Mitcham, F. Maul, P.E. Brecht and O. Menocal. 2021 Mango Postharvest Best Management Practices Manual. Univ. of Fla. Horticultural Sciences Department, Gainesville. Publ. HS1185. 74 pp. (In English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole)
Brecht, J.K., S.A. Sargent, P.E. Brecht, J. Saenz and L. Rodowick.  2019 Protecting Perishable Foods During Transport by Truck and Rail. University of Florida. EDIS Publication HS-1328. 204 pp. 

Refereed Journal Articles (since 2017)

Authors Year Title / Description Publication
Belisle, C.E., G.V. Sandoya, S.A. Sargent and G.F. Kreutz.  2023 Lettuce Germplasm in Humid Subtropical Environments Tolerant to Postharvest Development of Pink Rib Disorder. J. American Soc. Hort. Sci. 148:179-189. (cover article)
Belisle, C.E., S.A. Sargent, G.V. Sandoya, J.K. Brecht, R. Dai, B. Askey, Z. Le, M. Lin and J. Kim.  2023 Melatonin reduces pink rib discoloration in wounded lettuce midribs.  Postharvest Biology & Technology Vol. 109.
Theodore, C., S.A. Sargent, J.K. Brecht, L. Zotarelli and A.D. Berry.  2022 Comparison of Three Cooling Methods (Hydrocooling, Forced-Air Cooling and Slush Icing) and Plastic Overwrap on Broccoli Quality during Simulated Commercial Handling.  Agriculture 12, 1272.
Krupek, F.S., L. Zotarelli, S.A. Sargent, D. Rowland and P.J. Dittmar.  2022 Vine Desiccation Timing Strategies for Enhanced Harvest and Storage Quality of Early-Maturing Potato Cultivars.  Potato Research 65:829-851.
Zhang, C., Hoogenboom, G., Ritenour, M.A., Alam-Eldein, S.M., Muñoz-Carpena, R. and Sargent, S.A. 2022 Modeling the relationship between air temperature and grapefruit quality traits. 

J Sci Food Agric.

Wang, Y., G. Maltais-Landry, B. Rathinasabapathi, S.A. Sargent and G. Liu. 2021 Growth and yield responses of pot-grown long bean and luffa to nitrogen rates.  Agriculture 11:1145.
Razali, N.A., S.A. Sargent, C.A. Sims, J.K. Brecht, A.D. Berry and G. Cheng.  2021 Potential of postharvest coatings to maintain freshness of red-fleshed pitaya (Hylocereus costaricensis).  Agriculture 11:892.
Belisle, C.E., S.A. Sargent, J.K. Brecht, G.V. Sandoya and C.A. Sims.  2021 Accelerated shelf-life testing to predict quality loss in Romaine-type lettuce.

HortTechnology 31(4):490-499.

Sargent, S.A., F. Takeda, J.G. Williamson and A.D. Berry.  2021 Harvest of southern highbush blueberry with a modified, over-the-row mechanical harvester: use of soft-catch surfaces to minimize impact bruising. 

Agronomy 11:1412.

Krupek, F.S., P.J. Dittmar, S.A. Sargent and L. Zotarelli. 2021  Impact of early potato desiccation method on crop growth, skinning injury, and storage quality maintenance.

Am. J. Potato Res. 98, 218–231.

Bender, R.J., J.K. Brecht and S.A. Sargent. 2021 Low storage temperature for tree ripe mangoes under controlled atmospheres with elevated CO2 concentrations.

Journal of the Science of Food & Agriculture 101(3):1161-1166. DOI 10.1002/jsfa.10727

Bender, R.J., J.K. Brecht, and S.A. Sargent.  2021 Reduced ethylene synthesis of mangoes under high CO2 atmosphere storage. Acta Scientiarum-Agronomy 43(1), e51540.
Makani, M.N., L. Zotarelli, S.A. Sargent, D.J. Huber and C.A. Sims.  2020 Nitrogen Fertilizer Rate Affects Yield and Tuber Quality of Drip-Irrigated Tablestock Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) Grown under Subtropical Conditions.

American Journal of Potato Research 97:605-614.

Loayza, F.E., J.K. Brecht, S.A. Sargent and C.A. Sims.  2020 Physiological response of mature green tomatoes to treatment with ethylene at high temperature. 

HortTechnology 30(6):773-780.

Sargent, S.A., F. Takeda, J.G. Williamson and A.D. Berry. 2020 Harvest of Southern Highbush Blueberry with a Modified, Over-The-Row Mechanical Harvester: Use of Handheld Shakers and Soft Catch Surfaces. Agriculture 10(1), 4; DOI:10.3390/agriculture10010004.
Brecht, J.K., S.A. Sargent, P.E. Brecht, J. Saenz and L. Rodowick. 2019 Protecting Perishable Foods During Transport by Truck and Rail. University of Florida. EDIS Publication HS-1328. 204 pp.
De, J.,  A. Sreedharan, Y. Li, A. Gutierrez, J.K. Brecht, S.A. Sargent, K.R. Schneider. 2019 Comparing the Efficacy of Postharvest Cooling Methods to Enhance Fruit Quality and Reduce Salmonella in Artificially Inoculated Southern Highbush Blueberry. HortTechnology 29:(3) 314-319. DOI:10.21273/hortTech04238-19.
Lon Kan, E.E., S.A. Sargent, D.J. Cantliffe, A.D. Berry and N.L. Shaw. 2019 Harvest Maturity and Storage Temperature Affect Postharvest Quality of ‘Wanda’ Datil Hot Pepper Grown Under Protected Culture. HortTechnology 29(4):402-407. DOI:10.21273/HORTTECH04328-19.
Carnelossi, M.A.G., E.O.A. Sena, A.D. Berry and S.A. Sargent. 2019 Effect of forced-air cooling, hydrocooling, or their combination on fruit quality of two southern highbush blueberry cultivars. HortScience 54(1):136-142. DOI:10.21273/HORTSCI13181-18.
Sena, E.O.A., P.S.O. da Silva, H.G.S. de Araujo, M.C.A. Batista, P.N. Matos, S.A. Sargent, L.F.G. Oliveira Junior and M.A.G. Carnelossi. 2019 Postharvest quality of cashew apple after hydrocooling and cold room. Postharvest Biology & Technology 155:65-71.
Pinto, P.M., P.C. Spricigo, S.R. da Silva, S.A. Sargent, A.P. Jacomino. 2018 Effect of 1-MCP and low temperature storage on postharvest conservation of camu-camu. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 40:205. DOI:10.1007/s11738-018-2768-7.
Suthar, R.G., C. Wang, M.C.N. Nunes, J. Chen, S.A. Sargent, R.A. Bucklin and B. Gao. 2018 Bamboo biochar pyrolyzed at low temperature improves tomato plant growth and fruit quality. Agriculture 8:153-155. DOI:10.3390/agriculture8100153
Ferreira, M.D., P. C. Spricigo and S.A. Sargent.  2017 Ch. 3. (Harvest and Packing). Pp. 67-85. 

In, Ferreira, M.D. (ed.), (Postharvest Instrumentation for Fruits and Vegetables).
Original title: Instrumentação Pós-Colheita em Frutas e Hortaliças. Embrapa, Brasilia DF, Brazil. 284 pp.

Makani, M.N., S.A. Sargent, L. Zotarelli, D.J. Huber and C.A. Sims.  2017 Harvest Interval Has Greater Effect on Periderm Maturity and Storage Quality of Early-maturing, Tablestock Potato than Nitrogen Rate. HortScience 52:1390-1395.
Hagan, L.L., Johnson, P. N. T., Sargent, S.A., Huber, D.J. and A. Berry A.  2017 1-methylcyclopropene treatment and storage conditions delay the ripening of plantain fruit while maintaining sensory characteristics of ampesi, the boiled food product. International Food Research Journal 24(2):630-636.
Takeda, F., W.Q. Yang, C. Li, A. Freivalds, K. Sung, R. Xu, B. Hu, J. Williamson and S. Sargent.  2017 Applying New Technologies to Transform Blueberry Harvesting. Agronomy 7(2):33; DOI:10.3390/agronomy7020033.

Non-refereed Publications (since 2017)

Authors Year Title / Description Publication
Sargent, S.A., M.T. A. Santana, C. Theodore, L. Zotarelli, J.K. Brecht and A.D. Berry.  2023 Handling Florida Broccoli: From Harvest to Shipping Operations.  University of Florida/IFAS Extension, Horticultural Sciences Department. HS1453.
Brecht, J.K., S.A. Sargent, N. Ristow, J.A. Osuna García, and S. Singh.


Demonstrating modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) feasibility for mango export. Acta Horticulturae (ISHS CAMA2021 Symposium) (in press since 2022)
Pliakoni, E., D.J. Huber, S.A. Sargent, and J.K. Brecht. 2022 Use of two different MAP systems for extension of shelf like of romaine lettuce. 

Acta Horticulturae (ISHS CAMA2021 Symposium) (in press since 2022)

Sams, C., S. Sargent, J. Davis, C.W. Callahan, J. Eccleston, T. Bjorkman. 2022 Cooling methods for broccoli: a guide for eastern growers. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. PB 1904. 18 pp.
Lee, J.A., J.K. Brecht, S. Castro-Wallace, F.M. Donovan, J.A. Hogan, T. Liu, G.D. Massa, S.A. Sargent, A.M. Settles, N.K. Singh, Y.-A. Velez Justiniano and K. Venkateswara.  2021 A white paper submitted to the Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences Research in Space 2023-2032.


Morgan, M., J.K. Brecht, S.A. Sargent, and J. Crane. 2021  Ripening inhibition and quality of selected tropical fruits in relation to 1-MCP controlled release technology from Hazel Technologies.  Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 134:161-163.
Mussoline, W., Sargent, S., England, G. and Christensen, C.  2021 Harvest yields for Brussels sprouts cultivar trials in northeast Florida.

Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 134: 113-115.

Santana, M., Sargent, S., Berry, A. Dinkins, D., Mussoline, W. and Liu, G.  2021 Determining optimal handling conditions and shelf life for orange- and purple-fleshed sweetpotatoes: preliminary studies.  Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 134: 177.
Santiago, J.M., Guzman, S. Kadyampakeni, D.M., Williamson, J.G., Sargent, S.A., Ferrarezi and Rossi, L.  2021

Fertilizer inputs affect grapefruit root health. 

Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 134: 83.
Takeda, F. and S. A. Sargent.  2020 Machine harvesting of blueberries for the fresh market.

VSCNews 3(7):12-13.

Liu, G., X. Fu, L. Zotarelli, S.A. Sargent, K.W. Migliaccio, Y. Li.  2020 How to fertigate plant vines via center pivots for commercial potato production in Florida.

HS1361, EDIS.

Kou, J., J. Zhang, T. Zhong, J. K. Brecht, S.A. Sargent, A. Plotto, J. Bai, X. Sun, and M.A. Ritenour.   2019 Control of strawberry postharvest decay caused by Botrytis cinerea and Rhizopus stolonifer using essential oils (carvacrol and thymol).  Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 132: (In Press).
Belisle, C.E., S.A. Sargent, J.K. Brecht, A.D. Berry. 2018 Trimming sweetcorn shanks better maintains total sugars and water content of kernels during storage. 

Proc. Florida State Horticulture Society. 131:189-192.

Berry, A.D., S.A. Sargent, C.E. Belisle.  2018 Hydrocooling extends quality and shelf life of Asian vegetables. 

Proc. Florida State Horticulture Society 131:178-182.

Brecht, J.K. and S.A. Sargent. 2018 Tips for tuning up packing and cooling facilities.

VSC News 1(9):6-7.

Tamashiro, T., S.A. Sargent and A.D. Berry.  2018 Quality evaluation of strawberry bruised by simulated drop heights. 

Proc. Florida State Horticulture Society 131:171-177.

Krupek, F.S.G, S. Sargent, P.J. Dittmar, L. Zotarelli.  2018 Seed piece spacing adjustment for Florida chipping potatoes. 

HS1337, 5/2018. EDIS 2018 (5).

Razali, N.A., S.A. Sargent, A.D. Berry and J.K. Brecht.  2017 Harvest Maturity Affects Fruit Quality and Postharvest Behavior of Red-Fleshed Pitaya Fruit (Hylocereus costaricensis). 

Proc. Florida State Horticulture Society 130:185-190.

Fu, X., G. Liu, L. Zotarelli, S. Sargent, C. Snodgrass, and A. Jones.  2017 Fertigation for Florida’s Commercial Potato Production. 

Proc. Florida State Horticulture Society 130: 116-117.

Cui, Yuqi, M. Doron, G. Liu, L. Zotarelli, S. Sargent, D. Dinkins, and D. Johns.  2017 Optimization of phosphorus rates for potato (Solanum tuberosum l.) production in northeast Florida: A One-year, On-farm Case Study.

Proc. Florida State Horticulture Society. 130: 155-157. 

Sargent, S.A., A.D. Berry, J.K. Brecht, M. Santana, S. Zhang, N. Ristow. 2017 Studies on quality of southern highbush blueberry cultivars: effects of pulp temperature, impact and hydrocooling. XI Intl. Vaccinium Symposium. 

April 10-14, 2016. Orlando, FL. ACTA Horticulturae 1180:497-502. DOI 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1180.70