Mechanical Models of Compression and Impact on Fresh Fruits
Well-designed and well-operated postharvest mechanical handling processes are vital if fresh fruits are to enter markets with minimal damage. The susceptibility of fruit to quality loss during handling is largely determined by mechanical contact and damage. This article reviews current understanding concerning the effect of impact and other mechanical contacts on fruits. It also discusses the major mechanical models that represent the interaction between fruits or a fruit and a surface. In total, 25 mechanical models associated with compression and impact behaviors of fresh fruits,
mainly characterizing such behavior between 2 deformable spherical bodies and between a deformable spherical body and a rigid plate are reviewed. Finally, possible future research directions are discussed. The main challenge in fruit handling is to recognize and prevent microscopic damage to fruits, especially internal tissue/cell damage and microcracks resulting from multiple/repetitive impacts and compressions.