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Section III. Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Quality and Safety Maintenance and Enhancement during the Post-harvest Chain. quality products are produced in the fields!. but, the quality of a product is maintained and enhanced during its harvest and post-harvest management. .

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slide1

Section III

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Quality and Safety

Maintenance and Enhancement during

the Post-harvest Chain

slide2

quality products are produced

in the fields!

but, the quality of a product

is maintained and enhanced during

its harvest and post-harvest management.

slide6

Principles of postharvest management of FFV

  • Product quality maintenance (reduce loses)
  • Generate product added value
  • Generate market opportunities
slide7

Inappropriate post-harvest handling

  • Product loses.

(Quality decay/physical loses).

  • High costs and low profits.
  • Loss of market opportunities.
  • Low competitiveness.
slide8

Fruits and vegetables as PERISHABLE products

Key processes during the

post-harvest- life :

  • Respiration .
  • Transpiration .
  • Ethylene production.
  • Maturity process.
slide9

Respiration

Factors affecting the respiration rate of FFV:

Internal:

  • Type of tissue or organ: Leaves > fruits> roots.
  • Product size: bigger size< respiration rate.
  • Stages of development: young leaves >respiration. In fruits will depend on their classification as climacteric or non-climacteric.
respiraci n climat rica

Climacteric Respiration

Respiración Climatérica

180

160

140

120

100

80

60

40

20

0

Cherimoya

Respiration (mg CO2/Kg./Hr)

Mango

Prickly pear

Tomate

time

slide12

No-Climacteric Respiration

30

20

10

0

Strawberry

Grape

Respiration (mg CO2/Kg./Hr)

Cherry

Lemon

Time

slide13

Classification

NO-CLIMACTERIC

Carambola

Egg-Plant

Lemon

Orange

Watermelon

Pineapple

CLIMACTERIC

Avocado

Mango

Guava

Plantain

Banana

Papaya

Apple

slide14

Rep. Rhythm.

Mg CO2/Kg./Hr

5 - 10 mg

10 - 20 mg

20 - 40 mg

40 - 60 mg

Respiration

rate

Low

Moderate

High

Very High

PRODUCT

Sugar beet, garlic, onion,

watermelon, citrus.

Cabbage, carrot,

cucumber, mango, tomato.

Avocado, cauliflower,

lettuce, strawberry.

Artichoke, broccoli,

spinach, parsley, sweet

Corn.

slide15

Perishability rate.

PERISHABILITY

INDEX

Very high

High

Moderate

Low

Very low

POTENTIAL LIFE

(WEEKS)

< 2 weeks

2 - 4 weeks

4 - 8 weeks

8 - 16 weeks

> 16 weeks

PRODUCTS

broccoli, cauliflower,

blackberry, strawberry

avocado, pineapple,

celery, tomato

lemon, watermelon

mango, potato,

onion, apple,

garlic, pear

nuts, dried fruits.

slide16

Respiration

Factors affecting the respiration rates:

External:

  • mechanical damage and product’s sanitary condition.
  • temperature.
  • atmosphere composition (< Oxygen and CO2< respiration; > ethylene > respiration).
  • physical barriers (waxes, plastic films, etc.)
slide17

Mechanical damage during

the postharvest chain

  • the temperature - affects the degree of response/
  • severity of mechanical damage.
  • Compromise natural barriers -increasing
  • water loses and pathogenic infections.

Impact

Respiration

Ethylene

Time

slide20

Temperature effects on

respiration rate.

  • At temperatures above the optimum, the rate of deterioration increases 2 to 3 fold for every 10ºC rise in temperature.
  • High temperature-increases the transpiration rate.

30ºC

20ºC

Respiratory rhythm

10ºC

Time

slide21

Transpiration

  • Loss of water, as vapor, from the product’s area exposed to the air, throughout the cuticle, lenticels, stomas, etc. It depends on:

Internal factors:

  • species and variety.
  • type of tissue.
  • integrity and sanitary product condition.
slide22

Transpiration

External factors:

  • Relative Humidity (<RH> transpiration).
  • Temperature (> temperature> transpiration)
  • Air movement (increase the transpiration rate).
  • Altitude (higher altitude< transpiration).
  • Physical barriers (avoid air contact with the product-reduce transpiration rate).
slide23

Ethylene production

  • Climacteric fruits are sensitive to ethylene-produce larger quantities of ethylene in association with their ripening- (auto catalysis).
  • No climacteric fruits produce very small quantities of ethylene. At high concentration produce degreening and increase the metabolism.
  • Leafy vegetables are highly sensitive to Ethylene (withering and yellowing )
slide24

Ripening Process

  • Physiological process that occur at the cellular level. After finishing the anabolic process, a series of catalytic reactions start –degradation of: chlorophyll, aromas, organelles and finally causing cellular collapse/death.

Post-harvest technology: to delay

as long as possible, the tissue

disintegration/senescence phase

slide27

Fruit ripening

  • Loss of chlorophyll (undesirable in veg.)
  • Production of carotenoids and antocianines.
  • Starches conversion into sugars.
  • Changes in organic acids, proteins and fats.
  • Reduction in tannins and fungistatic compounds.
slide28

Natural fungistatic compounds.

Unripe Ripened

Interior

100%

100%

0%

0%

Exterior

slide29

To reduce and delay the action of the internal factors that are responsible for product deterioration

Avoid the negative effect of external factors

Post-harvest

Quality maintenance

slide30

Reducing product respiration rates

Temperature control.

  • Product protection from sun heat (full sunlight) after harvesting.
  • Pre-cooling treatments to remove field heat.
  • Refrigeration.
  • Maintaining the cold chain.
slide31

Temperature

  • Key factor affecting product deterioration rate.
  • is the most effective tool for extending the shelf life of fresh horticultural commodities.
  • Key effect on spores germination and pathogenic growth.
slide33
Temperatures above or below the

optimal range, can cause product

deterioration due to:

  • Freezing.
  • Chilling injury.
  • Heat injury.

TºC

slide34

Temperature

Freezing:

  • Freezing point of perishable commodities is relatively high (ranging from -0.3 ºC y -0.5 º C).
  • Freezing produces an immediate collapse of tissues and total loss of cellular integrity.
  • A result of inadequate design of refrigerator or failure of thermostats.
slide35

Temperature

Chilling Injury:

Some commodities (mainly tropical and sub-

tropical) respond unfavorably to storage at

low temperatures well above their freezing

points, temperatures called the chilling

threshold temperature or lowest safe

temperature.

slide37

Temperature

Heat injury:

Direct sources of heat can rapidly heat

tissues to above the thermal death point of

their cells, leading to localized bleaching or

necrosis or general collapse.

slide38

Cooling

Objective: to remove the field heat.

Movement of the caloric energy from the product to the cooling substance.

slide39

Temperature

Cooling methods

slide40

Temperature

Cooling speed

  • Commercial cooling reaches up to 7/8 the final temperature.
  • First hours are crucial.
  • Additive effect of low temperatures.

Temp.

Time

slide41

Storage and refrigerated transport

Cooling rooms and refrigerated vehicles….

  • well designed and adequately equipped.
  • resistant floors.
  • perfectly insulated.
  • with adequate and well-positioned doors for loading and unloading.
  • allow effective distribution of refrigerated air.
  • allow monitoring and temperature control.
slide44

Storage and refrigerated transport

  • refrigerated coils surfaces designed to adequately minimize differences between the coil and air temperatures.
  • proper air spaces between pallets and room walls to ensure proper air circulation.
  • monitoring temperature (product rather than air temperature).
slide45

Storage and refrigerated transport

  • transit vehicles must be cooled before loading the commodity.
  • avoid delays.
  • when mixing several products: product’s ethylene and chilling injury sensibility must be considered.
  • appropriate packing (air circulation and reducing mechanical damage)
slide47

reducing

transpiration rates

Relative humidity management.

Is the moisture content (as water vapor) of the

atmosphere, expressed as a percentage of the amount of

moisture that can be retained by the atmosphere at a

given temperature and pressure without condensation.

RH can influence water loss, decay development,

incidence of physiological disorders, and uniformity of

fruit ripening.

slide48

RH ranges

  • Fruits: 85-95% of RH.
  • Dry products: onion and pumpkin. 70-75% de RH.
  • Root vegetables: carrot, radish. 95-100% RH.
slide49

reducing transpiration rates

  • Adding moisture (sprays, steam)
  • Regulating air movement and ventilation in relation to the produce load in the cold storage room.
  • Maintaining temperature of the refrigeration coils within about 1ºC of the air temperature.
  • Providing moisture barriers that insulate walls of storage room and transit vehicles.
  • Adding polyethylene liners in containers and using perforated polymeric films for packaging.
slide50

reducing transpiration rates

  • Curing.
  • Waxes and others surface coatings .
  • Polymeric films for packing.
  • Avoiding physical injuries.
  • Adding water to those commodities that tolerate misting with water.
slide51

waxing fruits

Wax layer restricts

the gases interchange.

Air in the internal

Cavity

slide52

reducing

transpiration rates

  • Wetting floors in storage rooms.
  • Adding crushed ice in shipping containers.
  • Sprinkling produce with sanitized, clean water during retail marketing of the product.
slide53

Reducing

ethylene damage

Ethylene

  • avoiding sources of ethylene close to the product storage areas.
  • applications of 1-Methylcyclopropene (1-MCP)- ethylene action inhibitor, commercially approved on July 2002 in apples, apricots, avocados, kiwifruit, mangoes, nectarine, papayas, peaches, pears, persimmons, plums, and tomatoes.
slide54

Ethylene

Reducing

ethylene damage

  • Air ventilation of storage rooms.
  • Avoid mixing ethylene sensitive products with those non sensitive to ethylene, during storage and transport.
slide55

Senescence

delaying senescence…

  • Curing.
  • Heat treatments i.e.. dipping mangoes, 5 minutes to 50ºC water to reduce anthracnose development).
  • Post-harvest pesticides (i.e.. imazalil, thiabendazole).
  • Biological control agents, (i.e.. Bio-save-pseudomonas syringae y Aspire-Candida oleophila) in citrus fruits.
  • Growth Regulators as Gibberellic acid to delay senescence in citrus fruits.
  • 15-20% of CO2 in the air or 5% O2 in strawberries, pomegranates, figs, etc.
  • SO2 fumigation (100 ppm/1 hour) in grapes.
slide56

Insects

Treatments for insect control

  • Irradiation.
  • Quarantine treatments:
    • Chemical: methyl bromide, phosphine, hydrogen cyanide)
    • Cold treatments (Low temperatures)
    • Heat treatments
    • Combination of the previous.
slide57

Insects

Treatments for insect control ...

Irradiation.

  • Dose varies in accordance with the species and its stage of development.
  • Doses of 250 Gy has been approved for: lychees, mangoes and papayas in USA for control of fruit fly.
  • At doses above 250 Gy and up to1000 Gy some commodities could present damages.

.

slide58

Environment

manipulation of the environment

around the produce

Modified and controlled atmosphere storage

slide59

Environment

Manipulation of the environment

around the produce

slide60
Modify the concentration of gases in the produce packing.

Reduce respiration rate.

Reduce ethylene action.

Delay ripening & senescence.

Increase product’s shelf life.

Environment

Modified atmosphere

(MAP)

21% O2

0.035% CO2

O2

CO2

O2

CO2

slide61

Environment

Controlled Atmosphere (CA)

Apples, as any living entities..breath

21% Oxigene

0.35% CO2

Cold room

0ºC

2% O2

1% CO2

Filters

slide62

Environment

Manipulation of the environment

around the produce

Innovations:

  • Creation of nitrogen-on demand, using systems of Membrane systems or sieve beds.
  • Use of low oxygen concentrations (0.7 a 1.5%) and monitoring of such concentrations.
  • Ethylene free CA.
  • Programmed atmosphere.
  • Dynamic atmospheres- O2 y CO2 are modified through monitoring of produce quality attributes such as: ethanol concentration and chlorophyll fluorescence.
slide63

Environment

CA during product transport

  • Banana can be harvested at a later stage.
  • In avocados CA allows the use of lower temperatures than the conventional ones and reduces chilling injury.
  • In combination with temperature control, CA is used as quarantine treatment for the control of several insects.
slide64

Environment

Modified atmospheres

  • Use of MAP during packing is highly increasing.
  • Usually designed to maintain 2% - 5% of O2 and 8% - 12% of CO2, extend shelf life of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.
slide66

Storage protocol

Apples treated

with TBZ

Polymeric film-

perforated one

Plastic or cardboard

box

Storage temperature-0.5oC

slide67

Commercial use

  • CA is used for transporting and storage of apples, pears, less used in kiwifruits, avocados, nuts, dry fruits and persimmon.
  • MA- for long distance transport is used in mangoes, apples, bananas, avocados, plums ,strawberries, blackberries, peaches, figs, nectarines.
slide68

Preharvest factors affecting the quality

of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Genetic factors, production of hybrids and varieties

with….

  • High contents of carotenes and Vitamin A (tomatoes, onions and carrots).
  • Long post-harvest life (tomatoes and onions).
  • High content of sugars (melon).
  • High content of ascorbic acid (pineapple).
  • In the future…Biotechnology will perhaps allow the introduction of resistance to physiological disorders and/or pathogens associated to quality decay.
slide69

Preharvest factors affecting the quality

of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Climatic conditions:

  • Temperature and light intensity can influence the content of ascorbic acid, carotenes, riboflavin, thiamine and flavonoids.
  • Rainfall affects the water supply and the susceptibility of plant organs to mechanical damage and decay.
slide70

Preharvest factors affecting the quality

of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Cultural practices:

  • Nutritional conditions: Calcium related with long post-harvest life; high Nitrogen related with shorter post-harvest life due to high susceptibility to mechanical damage, physiological disorders and decay.
  • Several physiological disorders are associated with nutritional deficiencies.
  • Water stress (from severe to moderate) is related with irregular ripening, reduced fruit size, increase Total Solid Soluble contents and acidity.
  • Water excess increases the susceptibility to physical damage in some products.
slide71

Hazards associatted with produce quality

  • Primary damages…perceptible, what is easily identified by the consumer.
  • Biological: pest and diseases.
  • Chemical: visible external contamination with pesticides and chemical products; toxics and unpleasant flavors produced by pathogens, etc.
  • Mechanical: injures, cuts, bruises, grazes, drops, scrapings, shatters during harvesting, etc.
  • Physical: heating, freeze, freezing, water loss. • Physiological: sprouting, rooting, senescence, and changes caused by transpiration and respiration.
slide72

Causes....factors favoring quality decay.

Primary damages are the result of inappropriate

technologies and handling during the post-harvest chain:

  • inappropriate process of drying.• inappropriate Infrastructure for produce packaging and storage.
  • • improper transport conditions.• lack of planning (i.e.. harvesting). • delays, improper conditions during distribution and marketing.
slide73

Causes....factors favoring quality decay.

  • during periods of oversupply-poor handling increase.
  • poor or inappropriate harvesting techniques.
  • poor produce handling.
  • damages originated during handling and transport.
  • delays during the distribution process.
  • loses of weight and water.
slide74

Post-harvest procedures

Harvesting

Selection,

cleaning and disinfection

Reception

Pre-cooling

Other treatments

Grading

Drying

Transport

Storage

Packing and packaging

slide75

Harvesting

Associated hazards

  • inappropriate maturity at harvest(over ripening increases sensitivity to quality decay ; immature fruits market rejection).
  • inappropriate harvest technique (mechanical damages-physical injuries).
  • climatic conditions at harvesting (free water, exposition of product to direct sun light )
  • harvesting wet products (increase sensitivity to quality decay)
  • inappropriate harvesting recipes/containers ( physical injuries).
slide76

Recommendations

  • training personnel on optimum maturity indices.
  • Application of appropriate maturity indices based on: external quality color, consistence, phenological stage, etc.
  • Harvesting time: early in the morning or late in the afternoon in order to minimize the sun effect.
  • Optimizing harvesting recipes/containers (size, materials, height, number of produce layers, conditions, etc. )
  • protection of product of direct sun intensity.
slide77

Produce reception

Associated hazards

  • uncovered areas (direct exposition of products to sun light and adverse climatic conditions)
  • inappropriate handling of the product during loading and unloading.
  • inappropriate product heaping (mechanical damages).
  • delays in the operations (if conditions are inappropriate they can generate increasing product temperature and quality decay)
  • lack of planning during harvesting (increase delays in the operations).
  • no methods applied to remove field heat or use of inappropriate ones.
slide79

If the methods of pre-cooling are inappropriate, they can:

  • produce dehydration of the product (i.e.. high speed of cooling air)
  • tissue damage –i.e. as result of inappropriate packing -product contact with ice.
  • produce quality decay caused by sensitivity of the product to water exposition.
  • accelerate quality decay by accumulation of water in some areas of the product (between leaves and calyx)

Definir actores/roles/

Expectativas.

Pre-cooling

Possible Hazards associated

slide80

Washing methods:

  • Web methods:
  • Immersion (product floating).
  • Spraying .
  • Dried methods:
  • Brushing.
  • Inhalation/aspirate.

Cleaning and disinfection

Definir actores/roles/

Expectativas.

Definir actores/roles/

Expectativas.

Objective:Removing impurities from the product.

slide81

product water sensitivity.

  • poor water quality.
  • mechanical damage (inappropriate conditions of brushes, etc).
  • water accumulation in the product can cause product quality decay.

Cleaning and disinfection

Definir actores/roles/

Expectativas.

Definir actores/roles/

Expectativas.

Possible Hazards associated

slide82

Mechanical damages by vibration, impact/hitting, compression, etc. caused either by poor handling or inappropriate equipment maintenance and design.

Grading methods: by size, weight, color, etc.

Grading

Associated Hazards

slide84

poor packing design (reduces efficiency and increases the risk of mechanical and biological hazards).

  • improper packing (lack of ventilation, low material resistance, sharp and wrinkled surfaces, etc.).
  • Over packing (many product layers).

Packing and packaging

Definir actores/roles/

Expectativas.

Associated Hazards

slide85

Inappropriate pile up during packing.

  • packing products with different degree of maturity.
  • mechanical damages caused by personnel or improper design of mechanical grading machines.
  • Problems regarding over-handling of products and inappropriate process flows during post-harvest handling.

Definir actores/roles/

Expectativas.

Packing and packaging

Associated Hazards

slide86

Storage

Associated Hazards: mechanical, physical, biological damages.

  • Inappropriate design of cooling rooms.
  • Poor or lack of equipment maintenance and cleaning programmes.
  • Lack of control of temperature and Relative Humidity conditions.
  • Lack of control on personnel entrance to the cooling rooms.
  • Poor or lack of cooling rooms cleaning programmes.
  • Inappropriate distribution/location of the product inside the cooling room (reducing air circulation).
slide87

Associated hazards: chemical, biological, mechanical damages.

Transport

  • Bad conditions of the vehicles tents/covers.
  • Poor cushioning systems of the vehicles.
  • Inappropriate systems of loading and unloading.
  • Uncovered vehicles, expose the product to the negative effect of the environmental conditions.
  • poor control of temperature and relative humidity in the refrigerated transport systems.
  • Inappropriate systems of packing (p.e. in bulk).
slide88

Definir actores/roles/

Expectativas.

INNOVATIONS IN THE TRANSPORT

slide89

Loading and unloading systems efficiency

Definir actores/roles/

Expectativas.

slide91

Associated hazards: increase product’s susceptibility to biological, mechanical damages and quality decay.

Definir actores/roles/

Expectativas.

Other Post-harvest treatments

  • Improper handling during treatment application.
  • Inappropriate application of the treatments (p.e. temperatures above or below the optimum recommended).
  • Improper RH conditions.
  • Poor equipment maintenance and cleaning.
  • Doses above the recommended ones (i.e.. irradiation dosages).
slide92

Final Considerations

  • the selection of “the best technologies” to be applied, among a range of available post-harvest technologies, should take into account: the product characteristics, the market distance and requirements, and the social and economical conditions of the actors involved.
slide93

harvesting

Pre-cooling

Cold chain

To protect the product from direct sun light.

Quick transport to the packaging.

Minimize delays before pre-cooling.

Uniform product’s cooling.

Store the product at optimum temperature

conditions .

Practice first in first out rotation.

Ship to market as soon as possible.

Temporal

storage

Use refrigerated loading area.

Cool truck before loading.

Load pallets towards the center of the truck.

Avoid delays during transport.

Monitor product temperature during transport.

Transport

slide94

Final Considerations

  • There is not a direct relation between a given post-harvest technology efficiency and its cost. Expensive equipment does not always imply high efficiency, and even the best equipment, without proper management may have little utility and poor results. Effective training and supervision of personnel must be an integral part of quality and safety assurance programs.
slide95

Final Considerations

Proper product handling during the post-harvest Chain

relies in understanding the factors that affect the quality

and safety of the product, and the different mechanisms to

minimize their impact. Simple handling practices can have

important impact on product quality and safety

maintenance.

Proper harvesting time, avoid direct sun light,

proper handling, proper ventilation, etc.

slide96

Final considerations

Product quality maintenance and enhancing implies:

  • To identify the problems (main causes) and their magnitude (quality and physical loses). Also to identify the opportunities associated to the post-harvest technologies.
  • Search the available solutions to the problems identified, or mechanisms to take advantage of the opportunities. (training, application of available technologies, adjustment and validation of technologies if needed, practical research if need).
  • To evaluate the impact of small changes during the post-harvest chain.
  • To train the personnel involved in implementing the changes.
  • To identify the problems needing practical research in order to identify possible solutions.
slide97

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS (FAO)

Food Quality and Standards Service (ESNS)

Food and Nutrition Division

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

00100 Rome, Italy.

E-mail: [email protected]

Tel.: +39 06 57053308

Fax.: +39 06 570 54593/53152

http://www.fao.org/

Photographic Material :

Fernando Maul.

Archives FAO.

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