Dr. Mohamed A. Ismail (0)

Inducted 2003


Florida Department of Citrus

Plant Physiologist

Postharvest Physiology

Citrus Utilization

Mechanical Harvesting

Citrus Peeling System

Florida Citrus Research and Education Center

CODEX Committee on Pesticides Residues

“Fresh-Cut” Fru


Born in Cairo, Egypt, Dr. Mohamed Ismail earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1959 from Cairo University, MS in Agriculture at Purdue University (1963) and Ph.D. from the University of Florida (1966). Dr. Mohamed Ismail, of Lake Alfred, Florida is most noted for his contributions to the fresh fruit industry through his research for the Florida Department of Citrus, Senior Research Scientist for the Florida Department of Citrus. Beginning his career with the Florida Department of Citrus as a chemist in flavor research, Ismail advanced to a plant physiologist in 1970 and went on to study postharvest physiology and citrus utilization.

In 1987 Ismail became Assistant Director of Scientific Research and later Director of the Florida Department of Citrus in 1995. He headed a 17-member postharvest research and mechanical harvesting team through 2001. Not long after he left the department to devote more time to research and commercial development of the citrus peeling system and fresh-cut market. Ismail subsequently became Senior Research Scientist and Professor for the Florida Department of Citrus at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida. His research has resulted in a U.S. patent for an automated citrus peeling machine, which is designed to enhance the citrus industry’s efforts to provide convenient “fresh-cut” fruit to consumers.

Dr. Ismail has authored and co-authored more than 125 scientific papers and articles and has won several awards for his works. His accomplishments include the development of a physical-chemical wastewater treatment for citrus packinghouses to reduce the levels of pollutants in effluent and the use of growth regulators on Florida’s navels and Minneola tangelos to extend shelf life. He developed optimum methods for safely shipping fresh grapefruit to Japan, thus helping to maintain Japan as an export market. His efforts were instrumental in the commercial application of cold treatment for quarantine purposes that reduced worker exposure to fumigants and he maintained the flow of Florida grapefruit to Japan during a crucial market crisis. Ismail also developed the first website for postharvest information on Florida citrus. He provided leadership in regulatory matters affecting the Florida citrus industry before national and international forums and served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the CODEX Committee on Pesticides Residues. Ismail’s also participated in global efforts to improve postharvest technology and quarantine treatments against citrus canker and tropical fruit flies.

He was a member of the American Society for Horticultural Science and the International Society for Citriculture. He was also a member of the Florida State Horticultural Society, serving as its vice president in 1981, secretary, president and chairman between 1981 and 1996. Ismail also served on numerous civic organizations, including the Lions Club and Toastmasters International. For two years, he served as chairman of the Polk County Schools Advisory Council. He was the recipient of many awards, including the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association’s “Annual Research Award” in 1983, and The Grower Magazine’s “Excellence in Research Award” in 1982. He also received the Governor’s Award for “Most Valuable and Distinguished Service to the State of Florida” from Governor Bob Graham.

Ismail and his wife, Fawzeya, live in Lake Alfred, Fla. and have three children, Luby, Esaam, and Hesham.