Postharvest of Fruit and Vegetables

Postharvest - Apple

    This article presents postharvest information and storage requirements for apple. It also includes information on quality characteristics, maturity indices, grading, packaging, pre-cooling, retail display, chilling sensitivity, ethylene production and sensitivity, respiration rates,...
Chris B. Watkins
Eugene Kupferman
David A. Rosenberger
USDA Agriculture Handbook

Postharvest - Annual Culinary Herbs

    This article presents postharvest information and storage requirements for basil, chervil, cilantro, parsley, dill, and savory crops. It also includes information on quality characteristics, maturity indices, grading, packaging, pre-cooling, retail display, chilling sensitivity,...
Kimberly P. Wright
USDA Agriculture Handbook

Food Safety (Fresh Produce)

The greatest risk to human health from consumption of uncooked produce is from pathogenic microorganisms. Raw agricultural products, such as fresh produce, should be expected to harbor a wide variety of microorganisms including the occasional pathogen. A vigorous population of nonpathogenic...
James R. Gorny
Devon Zagory
USDA Agriculture Handbook

Flavor (Fresh Produce)

The quality of fresh produce has traditionally been based on external characteristics of size, color, and absence of surface defects. Fruit and vegetable breeders select for color, size, disease resistance, yield and other easily quantified horticultural traits. Because flavor and texture...
Elizabeth A. Baldwin
USDA Agriculture Handbook

Postharvest Pathology

Losses caused by postharvest diseases are greater than generally realized because the value of fresh fruits and vegetables increases several-fold while passing from the field to the consumer (Eckert and Sommer, 1967). Postharvest losses are estimated to range from 10 to 30% per year despite the...
Peter L. Sholberg
William S. Conway
USDA/ARS

Postharvest: Texture of fruit and vegetables

    Texture is a quality attribute that is critical in determining the acceptability of fruits and vegetables. It is convenient to define quality as the composite of intrinsic characteristics that differentiate units of the commodity - individual pieces of the product - and to think of...
Judith A. Abbott
F. Roger Harker
Mt. Albert Research Centre, Auckland, New Zealand

Ethylene Effects

Ethylene can be both beneficial and detrimental to the storage of horticultural crops. Practical uses for C2H4 and treatments to minimize its adverse effects have slowly accumulated over almost a century of study. The three general methods used to modulate C2H4 activity involve controlling...
Mikal E. Saltveit
University of California, Davis, CA

Respiratory Metabolism

All of the commodities covered in this handbook are alive and carry on processes characteristics of all living things. One of the most important of these is respiratory metabolism. The process of respiration involves combing O2 in the air with organic molecules in the tissue (usually a sugar) to...
Mikal E. Saltveit
USDA ARS

Chilling and Freezing Injury

Many fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals of tropical or subtropical origin are injured after a period of exposure to chilling temperatures below 10 to 15 °C (50 to 59 °F) but above their freezing points. Certain horticultural crops of template origin are also susceptible to chilling injury...
Chien Yi Wang
USDA, ARS

Grocery Store Display Storage

Fresh produce received at the grocery store are kept in storage rooms and/or display areas (in cabinets/cases or on racks/tables) for a few hours to a few days before purchased by consumers or removal by produce personnel. During this time, the key factors in maintaining quality are careful...
Adel A. Kader
James F. Thompson
University of California, Davis, CA