Postharvest Losses of Fruits and Vegetables. Yoram Fuchs Dept. of Postharvest Science of Fresh Produce ARO, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel. Postharvest loss : Is defined as any change in the quality or quantity of the product after harvest that decreases its value.
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Postharvest LossesofFruits and Vegetables
Dept. of Postharvest Science of Fresh Produce
ARO, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel
Is defined as any change in the quality or quantity of the product after harvest that decreases its value.
The losses may range from slight defects to total loss of the produce!
(1) Growing cultivars that have good flavor and nutritional quality plus long postharvest-life potential when harvested at optimum maturity
(2) using an integrated crop management system that maximizes yield without sacrificing quality
(3) using optimal postharvest handling practices to maintain quality and safety of the food products.
LEVEL OF LOSS (%)
20 – 50
20 – 50
27 – 42
16 – 41
17 – 35
20 - 25
R.S. Rolle, Agr.Industries Officer, FAO, 2004
-Select suitable varieties
-Apply proper crop management
-Conduct proper disease and pest control
-Harvest at the appropriate maturity stage
-Apply proper harvesting practices in
order to minimize damage at time of
before, during and after harvest
Dropped fruit and plant debris – a source of infection.
Remove it from the grove.
Repeatedly used infected packages and tools – a source of infection. The tools must be cleaned and sterilized. Used carton packages should be discarded.
Dropped fruit collected for elimination
POSTHARVEST LOSSES MAY OCCUR AT DIFFERENT STEPS DURIN THE MARKETING CHAIN
Losses at harvest: injuries, pressure damage
Losses at the packinghouse: chemicals, brushes and wax damage
Losses during storage:chilling injuries, decay, peel disorders
Losses during transport:bruising, deformation,decay
Losses at retail:decay, softening, wilting
Losses at the consumers:decay, softening, wilting
Losses during harvest
Long button injury
Losses at the packinghouse
Chemical spray injuries
Many studies showed that hot water dips (2-3 min at 53ºC) reduces decay development.
Recently, a new method combining a short hot water rinsing and brushing treatment (55-60ºC for 20-30 s) was developed to clean and disinfect agricultural products.
Hot tank damage
Losses during Storage
Eight to nine days after harvest, including five days in the market.
Srinivas et al J. Food Sci. Technol 1977. 34:70-72 Bangalore, India
Postharvest Losses in Selected Commodities in Taiwan (1993)
Wiils, McGlasson, Graham and Joyce (1998)
It is necessary to pay special attention along the various stages of the handling of the commodity (from harvest, packinghouse treatments, storage, transport, retail and consumers) to avoid postharvest losses.
Proper infrastructure, logistics and management and human resources are essential to maintain improved postharvest procedures and marketing of fruits and vegetables.