The role of post-harvest management in assuring the quality and safety of horticultural produce

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Basic approaches to maintaining the safety and quality of horticultural produce are the same, regardless of the market to which this produce is targeted. This document reviews the factors which contribute to quality and safety deterioration of horticultural produce, and describes approaches to assuring the maintenance of quality and safety throughout the post-harvest chain. Specific examples are given to illustrate the economic implications of investing in and applying proper post-harvest technologies. Criteria for the assessment of post-harvest needs, the selection of post-harvest technologies appropriate to the situation and context, and for extending appropriate levels of post-harvest information are also discussed.
Topics included:

  • Genetic, Pre-harvest, and Harvesting Factors that Influence Quality and Safety of Horticultural Crops
  • Post-harvest Management Procedures that are Critical to Maintaining Quality and Safety of Horticultural Crops
  • Post-harvest Treatments Designed to Minimize Produce Contamination and Maximize Quality
  • Post-harvest Treatments Designed to Manipulate the Environment Around Produce in Order to Enhance Quality
  • Criteria for the Selection of Appropriate Post-harvest Technologies
Adel A. Kader
Rosa S. Rolle
FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin