VLS is a Te Puke-based testing laboratory accredited to the ISO 17025 international standard for testing laboratories for its kiwifruit maturity testing services. Located in the former Te Puke dairy factory laboratories, VLS conducts more than 10,000 fruit maturity tests each kiwifruit season, pest monitors for kiwifruit and avocado, maintains fruit libraries to monitor product conditioning, and provides an independent coolstore testing service for more than half of the kiwifruit industry.
In 2011, VLS commissioned the development of rapid and reliable Psa PRESENCE and Psa ISOLATE tests. The new test can let orchardists know within 48 hours if the disease has been detected, and confirm if the strain is Psa V or LV. Before VLS developed the test, growers had to wait more than two weeks for a test result to determine the strain of the disease. The VLS testing processes have been independently verified and are now commercially available to orchardists.
Pseudomonas Syringae pv. Actinidiae (Psa) is a bacterial kiwifruit vine disease first detected in New Zealand in November 2010. The virulent Psa – V strain has been known to cause rapid kiwifruit vine death and has been detected in the Te Puke and Pukehina regions.
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