Postharvest of Fruit and Vegetables

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

Wholesale Distribution Center Storage

    Most produce is shipped from the point of production to regional or local distributors, such as terminal markets, independent wholesalers or chain store distribution centers. Produce orders are assembled at these sites and then shipped to retail stores, restaurants, or institutions...
James F. Thompson
Adel A. Kader
University of California, Davis, CA

Modified Atmosphere Packaging

Modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP) of fresh fruits and vegetables refers to the technique of sealing actively respiring produce in polymeric film packages to modify the O2 and CO2 levels within the package atmosphere. It is often desirable to generate an atmosphere low in O2 and/or high in CO2 to...
Nazir Mir
Randolph M. Beaudry
Michigan State University

Temperature Preconditioning

There is renewed interest in high temperature as a postharvest treatment for control of both insect pests and fungal pathogens in fresh produce. In part, this is because of the deregistration of a number of compounds that have until recently been used for effective control of postharvest disorders.
Susan Lurie
Joshua D. Klein
USDA ARS

Controlled Atmosphere Storage

Controlled atmosphere (CA) storage involves altering and maintaining an atmospheric composition that is different from air composition (about 78% N2, 21% O2, and 0.03% CO2); generally, O2 below 8% and CO2 above 1% are used. Atmospheric modification should be considered as a supplement to...
Adel A. Kader
University of California, Davis, CA

Heat Load Calculation

Factors to be considered in determining refrigeration required for a cold-storage plant. Examples are simplified to illustrate steps necessary to calculate heat load of a refrigerated storage area during cooling and normal storage operation.
USDA Agriculture Handbook
USDA Agriculture Handbook

Pre-cooling and Storage Facilities

An excellent review of technologies and principles applied to pre-cooling and storage facilities for fresh produce. Includes in-field temperature management, initial cooling methods, cooling time calculations, and alternative refrigeration options. Temperature management of perishable commodities...
James F. Thompson
University of California, Davis

Post Harvest Handling Food Safety Assessment

  Detailed guidelines to self assess food safety on postharvest handling and packing facilities. Includes action plans to mitigate related issues. Once produce has been harvested, care must be taken to prevent either direct or cross contamination of the crop during grading, washing, packing...
Cornell University
Cornell University