Postharvest Cooling and Handling of Blueberries
Blueberries are a popular early summer small fruit. Successful blueberry marketing requires that the fruit not only be of very high quality but that it also be properly packaged and thoroughly cooled. This publication explains the postharvest handling procedures necessary to deliver North Carolina blueberries of the highest quality.
Most consumers purchase fresh blue-berries on impulse and are prompted primarily by the perception of quality. Wholesale buyers also associate appearance and firmness with fruit quality and freshness. Successful blueberry marketing thus requires that the fruit be of the highest quality and appearance. However, blueberries are extremely perishable and easily damaged by rough handling and adverse temperatures. Because blue-berries are often harvested and handled during hot, humid weather, attention to proper postharvest handling is essential to maintaining quality.