Agricultural & Nutritional Sciences
Prof Korsten is currently the Co-Director within the Department of Science and Technology, Centre of Excellence Food Security. She is also responsible for the food safety and regulatory control programmes within the DST Centre of Excellence Food Security. She is a chief editor of Crop Protection and is chairing the International Society for Plant Pathology Task Force on Global Food Security. Prof Korsten has focused her research mainly on complementary fields of postharvest technology and food safety as related to international trade in fresh produce. She has been able to establish research teams in food safety, postharvest pathology, biocontrol and mushroom and fruit health. As a team they have been able to develop several innovative technologies to reduce diseases and prevent product contamination. The value of her research programmes can best be illustrated by sustainable industry financial support. She has been able to attract extensive national and international long term funding such as the Water Research Commission solicited research projects “An investigation into the link between water quality and microbiological safety of fruit and vegetables from the farming to the processing stages of production and marketing” and “Evaluation of the risks associated with the use of rain water harvested from roof-tops for domestic use and homestead food gardens, and groundwater for domestic use and livestock watering” as well as the 7th EU Framework project “Impact of climate change and globalization on safety of fresh produce – governing a supply chain of uncompromised food sovereignty. Current projects include the third WRC project
Prof Korsten has also developed one of the first biocontrol products in South Africa in 1992 that was patented, registered and commercialized and is still used in the fruit industry. An alternative mushroom casing material has also been developed by her team using waste products that has since been licensed for commercial production.