dr ilmi



Senior Deputy Director / Research Fellow
Food Technology Section


BSc Hon. - Agriculture (University of Peradeniya , 1992) - Second class upper

MPhil - Postharvest Biology and Technology ( University of Colombo, 2001)

PhD - Postharvest Biology and Technology (University of Colombo, 2008)

Postdoctoral (JSPS) Research Fellow (National Food Research Institute, Japan, 2010-2012)


Tel: +94 11 2797334 ; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Specialized Fields

Postharvest Pathology and Physiology of tropical fruits and vegetables; Postharvest technology related to harvest, handling of produce,  storage and transportation, Cold chain management, Supply chain management,

Minimal Processing Technology of Fruits and vegetables,

Food   Safety and Quality Management (GMP, HACCP, ISO 22000),

Food analytical techniques (chemical , physical, microbiological and Biochemical- antioxidant properties),

Postharvest Biotechnology (DNA, RNA Isolation, Gel Electrophoresis, PCR, qPCR, gene expression analysis etc.

Interest Areas       

Minimizing post harvest loss of fresh produce including methods of biological based methods for disease control and maintenance of quality. Development of protocols for storage and transportation of perishables e.g., for supermarkets, hotels and export. Food Processing and health food product development. Quality management in food industry (GMP, HACCP, ISO 22000 etc. )

Food Irradiation Technology, Emergency food development, Dairy Technology





Publications in indexed journals SCI and SCI expanded

  1. Hewajulige, I.G.N, Wilson Wijeratnam, RS., Wijesundera, R.L. C. and M. Abeysekere   2003.calcium concentration and chilling injury during low temperature storage of pineapple. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 83: 1451-1454
  2. R.S. Wilson Wijeratnam, I.G.N. Hewajuluge and N. Abeyratne 2005. Postharvest hot water treatment for the control of Thielaviopsis black rot of pineapple. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 36:3, 323-327
  3. Hewajulige, I.G.N, Wilson Wijeratnam, RS., and Wijesundera, R.L. C. 2006. Pre- harvest application of calcium to control black heart disorder in Mauritius pineapple during low temperature storage. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 86 (3): 420-424 .
  4. Hewajulige, I.G.N, Sultanbawa, Y., Wilson Wijeratnam, RS., and Wijesundera, R.L. C. 2009. Mode of action of chitosan coating on anthracnose disease control in papaya. Phytoparasitica . 37(5): 437-444. (SCI Journal)
  5. Thammawong M, Orikasa T., Umehara H, Hewajulege IGN, Kaneta T, Nakamura N, Ito Y., Nakano K.& Shiina T (2014). Modling of the respiration rate and gene expression patterns of cabbage in response to mechanical impact stress using a modified Weibull distribution. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 96, 118-127.
  6. Hewajulige, I.G.N, Sultanbawa, Y., Wilson Wijeratnam, RS., and Wijesundera, R.L. C. 2009. Effect of irradiated chitosan treatment on storage life of fruits of two commercially grown papaya (Carica papaya L.) varieties. Journal of National Science Foundation Sri Lanka. 37(1): 61-66 (SCI Journal – Expanded web)


         Publications in other international peer reviewed journals

  1. Wilson Wijeratnam, R. S., Abeyesekere, M. and Hewajulige, I. G. N. 1997. Studies on the controlled atmospheric storage of Mauritius variety pineapple. Acta Horticulture, 425: 581-586
  2. R.S. Wilson Wijeratnam, I.G.N. Hewajulige, R.L.C. Wijesundera, M. Abeysekere. 2006. Fruit calcium concentration and chilling injury during low temperature storage of pineapple. Acta Horticulturae, 702: 203-208.
  3. R. S. Wilson Wijeratnam, I.G.N. Hewajulige and M. G.D.S. Perera, 2006. The control of Black Rot disease and the application of novel wax formulation for extending storage life of pineapple. Acta Horticulturae, 185-189..
  4. R.S. Wilson Wijeratnam, V. Jeyachandran, K. Karunanithy, I.G.N. Hewajulige and M.G.D.S. Perera. 2006. Extending storage life of King Coconut, Cocos nucifera var,auranta. Acta Horticulturae, 712 : 407-411.
  5. I. G. N. Hewajulige, D. Sivakumar., Y. Sultanbawa , R.S. Wilson Wijeratnam and R.L.C. Wijesundera. 2007. Effect of Chitosan Coating on the control of anthracnose and  overall quality retention of papaya (Carica papaya L.) during storage. Acta Horticulturae, 740, 245-250
  6. Hewajulige, I.G.N, Perera M.G.D.S. and Wilson Wijeratnam, RS. 2009. Efficacy of irradiated chitosan in controlling papaya anthracnose relative to other recommended postharvest treatments. Acta Horticuturae, 837: 199-204.
  7. Apinya Chudhangkura, Ilmi G.N. Hewajulge and Takeo Shiina. 2011. Quality of minimally processed pumpkin under selected modified atmosphere packaging. Agriculture Science Journal, 42:1, 639-642 (in Thai language).
  8. Thammawong M, Hewajulege IGN, Kaneta T, Nakamura N, Ito Y & Shiina T (2012) The calmodulin-encoding gene BoCam1: A sensitive wound-responsive gene in cabbage. Food Preservation Science, 38:5, 277-283.
  9. Hewajulige, I.G.N., Wilson Wijeratnam, R.S., Perera, M.G.D.S. and Fernando, S.A. (2015). Extending storage life of commercially important tropical fruits using bio-waxes. Acta Horticuturae , 1091:283-289
  10. S.G.L.I. Nuwanthi, S.S.K. Madage, I.G.N. Hewajulige, R.G.S. Wijesekera (2016).Comparative study on organoleptic, microbiological and chemical qualities of dried fish, Goldstripe Sardinella(Sardinella gibbosa) with low salt levels and spices, Procedia Food Science, 6. pp 356 – 361.
  11. Milani, M.D.Y., Samarawickrama, D.S., Wijeratnam, R.S.W. and Hewajulige, I.G.N. (2018). Production and commercialization of eco friendly packaging material for transportation of fruits and vegetable. IV International Conference on Postharvest and Quality Management of Horticultural Products of Interest for Tropical Regions. Acta Horticulturae. (In Press)
  12. I. G. N. Hewajulige, R.S. Wilson Wijeratnam, M.M.N.P Gunesekara1, R.M.S.I Gunethilaka, M.G.D.S. Perera, G. Paliyath and S. Jayasankar (2018). Pre-harvest ‘Tree Fresh’ spray treatment reduces disease incidence and extends the harvesting season of Mango var. TJC grown in Sri Lanka, Acta Horticulturae. (In Press).
  13. R. S. Wilson Wijeratnam, K. Fernando, I.G.N. Hewajulige (2018). Models Adopted for Commercializing new Postharvest Technology for minimizing post harvest loss of Fruits in Sri Lanka. Acta Horticulturae. (In Press).
  14. M.M.N.P Gunesekara,   R.S. Wilson Wijeratnam,   M.G.D.S. Perera,  I G N Hewajulige. G. Paliyath and S. Jayasankar (2018). Extending storage life of Mango (Mangifera indica L.) using a new edible wax formulation incorporated with hexanal and cinnamon bark oil, Tropical Agriculture. (In Press).
  15. D. S. Samarawickrama1, M.D.Y. Milani1, P.S.D. Perera1, H.D. Weeratunge, R.S.Wijeratnam, D.P. Dissanayake, I.G.N. Hewajulige,L-T. Lim, G. Paliyath and J. Subramanian, (2018). A hexanal incorporated composite material(HICM) made of banana fibre and polymers extends storage life of mango fruit, Tropical Agriculture. (In Press)


     Invited Review paper in international journal:

Ilmi G.N. Hewajulige, Shanthi Wilson Wijeratnam. 2010. Alternative Postharvest to Control Anthracnose Disease in Papaya during Storage. In: Sivakumar D. (Ed.) New trends in Postharvest Management of Fresh Produce ll. Fresh Produce 4 (Special Issue ), 15-20.

                  Publications in local peer reviewed journals

           I.G.N. Hewajulige, D. Sivakumar., Y. Sultanbawa , R.S. Wilson Wijeratnam and R.L.C.


          Wijesundera.2006. Effect of Chitosan Coating Postharvest life of Papaya (Carica papaya L.)


          var. Rathna grown in Sri Lanka. Tropical Agricultural Research Vol. 18, 135-142.


Text Books & chapters in books

  1. Ilmi Hewajulige (2012). Anthracnose and storage life of papaya using chitosan. Lab Lambert Academic Publishing, Deutschland, Germany (Book)
  2. Hewajulige I.G.N., Wilson Wijeratnam R.S., Shiina T. (2014) Book chapter on Chitosan, a potential antifungal compound to control anthracnose disease in papaya in Biological Controls for Preventing Food Deterioration, Neeta Sharma (ed.). Wileys Blackwell, UK.
  1. Hewajulige I. G. N. and R.L.C. Wijesundera (2014).“Thieviopsis paradoxa, Thieviopsis basicola” in Postharvest Decay, Control Strategies , Silvia Bautista Banos (ed). Elsevier, USA
  2. Hewajulige I.G.N., Dhekney S.A. (2016) Papayas. In: Caballero, B., Finglas, P., and Toldrá, F. (eds.) The Encyclopedia of Food and Health vol. 4, pp. 209-212. Oxford: Academic Press.
  3. Hewajulige, I.G.N., Samarajeewa, U., 2016. Food Regulations and Enforcement in Sri Lanka. Reference Module in Food Sciences. Elsevier, pp. 1–7. doi:                                    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-100596-5.21161-X
  4. Hewajulige, Ilmi Ganga Namali Ramola Shanthi Wilson Wijeratnam and Margaret Jesang Hutchinson (2018). Papaya. In: Postharvest Biology and NanoTechnology, Eds: G. Paliyath, Subramanian J, Loong-Tak L., Handa A., Mattoo A. Elsevier (in Press).

Major Projects Undertaken

       Competitive International Grants

Principal Investigator, IDRC project (2014-2018)   -Enhancing preservation of fruits using Nano Technology (Collaborative project with India, Canada, Kenya, Tanzania and Trinidad.

 Co-researcher, IDRC funded project (2012-2014)- Enhanced preservation of fruits in South Asia. (Collaborative project with India and Canada)

 Co-researcher, USAID Hort CRISP ( 2010-2011), Biological based Postharvest quality maintenance and diseases control for Mango and Papaya.

 Co-researcher, JSPS funded project (2010-2012)- Optimization of Chitosan coating for papaya based on Biotic and Abiotic effects (Collaborative   project with Japan –Postdoc.)


             Other International projects

National Project Coordinator (PI) , IAEA Project (2013-2015)- Implementing best practice of food Irradiation for sanitary and phytosanitary purpose

 National Project Coordinator (PI), IAEA Project (2014-2016) - Supporting Food Irradiation technology to ensure the safety     and quality of meals for Immuno- compromised patients and other target groups.

 National Project Coordinator (PI), IAEA Project (2015-2018), Strengthening adaptive climatic strategies for food security through the use of food irradiation

  •  Competitive local Grants – from NSF, CARP,NAC funds
  • Co-researcher, CARP project (1994-1996)- Extending the storage life while maintaining postharvest quality of pineapple and Banana with special reference to modified and   controlled atmosphere storage.
  • Co-researcher, NSF project (1997-2000)- The testing of specific pre and post harvest treatments for reducing the incidence of chilling injury in pineapples.                                        
  • Co-researcher , CARP project (2001-2003) - Development of low cost storage system for extending storage life of selected fruits- Lime, Mango, Papaya and Tomatoes
  • Co-researcher, CARP project (2001-2003) -   Development of low cost continues and dehydrated fruit products.
  • Co-researcher, NAC project (2004- 2005)- Testing of new Technology for sustainable Sea Shipment of Fresh Pineapple.
  • Co-researcher,   AEA of Sri Lanka (2007 – 2008)- Irradiation Technology forSocioeconomic Development                                        
  • Principal Investigator, CARP Project (2003-2004) - Effect of Chitosan (N,O- Chitosan) coating and salts of carbonic acids on the control of anthracnose and retention of overall quality of papaya during storage.            
  • Principal Investigator, AEA of Sri Lanka (2009-2010)- Radiation Processed natural polymers for Agriculture and Environment.
  • Principal Investigator, NSF Funded Project (2013-2015) - Value addition to fruits and vegetables by clarifying, concentrating and separation of bio active components using membrane filtration technology and process modeling
  • Principal Investigator , NSF Funded Project (2013-2015)- Formulation of therapeutic probiotic food as an alternative treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Principal Investigator, NSF Funded Project (2016 – 2019) - Biodiversity and technological   potential of micro-flora from Selected Sri Lankan dairies


Local Grants – from ITI Treasury funds

  • Co-researcher, ITI-Treasury Grant (2008)- Effective utilization of ginger
  • Co-researcher, ITI-Treasury Grant (2015- 2016) - Development of Functional bread
  • Co-researcher , ITI-Treasury Grant (2014- 2016) - Formulation of ready-to-drink beverage and herbal tea with Thebu (Costus specious)and evaluation of bioactivity
  • Co-researcher, ITI-Treasury Grant (2006- 2009) Minimizing postharvest losses of Fresh fruits via the application of non chemical procedures and generally regarded as safe compounds (GRAS).
  • Principal Investigator, ITI-Treasury Grant (2006)-Effect of irradiated chitosan on shelf life extension of papaya
  • Principal Investigator, ITI-Treasury Grant ( 2014- 2015) - Assessment of suitability of selected Sri Lankan tomato varieties for developmentphysico-chemically and functionally sound tomato puree under different processing conditions
  • Research Advisor, ITI-Treasury Grant (2015- 2016)- Isolation, identification characterization of potentially probiotic lactic acid bacteria of dairy origin in Sri Lanka for future application as probiotic starters.
  • Research Advisor, ITI-Treasury Grant (2015- 2017) - Development of shelf stable energy instant food products from locally available raw materials using gamma irradiation
  • Principal Investigator, ITI-Treasury Grant (2018- 2019)- Screening and Assessment of Lactic Acid Bacteria isolated from Sri Lankan Dairies as Source of Functional Ingredients for the Industry
  • Co- researcher, ITI- Treasury Grant (2015- 2016) Identification of information and research needs of cereal based product industry using “Critical Success Factor Approach” – ISC Project
  • Co researcher , ITI –Treasury Grant (2015 – 2016)- Market Basket Study



Last Updated on Monday, 11 June 2018 15:07

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