Author: Dr. R.R. Sharma (Hort.)
Division of Food Science and Postharvest Technology,
ICAR- Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi-110 012
Several basic treatments are applied to fresh produce. In addition, some fresh produce may require special treatments in order to slow down their rate of deterioration and minimize losses. The crops involved are for the most part those which are seasonal and subjected to long-term storage, or which are highly perishable and are transported over long distances to market. Some of the special treatments, such as hot water dipping of mango and degreening of citrus, curing of potatoes and onions, are often used just to make the produce acceptable for a given market rather than for any great need to prevent their spoilage.
These special treatments may be applied before, during or after packing of the produce and are supplements to the normal and basic practices of grading, selecting, cleaning, and temperature and humidity management and should never be considered as replacements for such practices. Fruits, because of their generally higher value, seasonality and greater perishability are the most common commodities to be given special post-harvest treatments. Root crops are often 'cured' to prolong their storage life and minimise losses, while crops such as onions and potatoes may also be treated with sprout suppressants prior to long-term storage. Fungicides are now in widespread use for decay control in many fruits, vegetables and root crops. These and other treatments are described in more detail below.
About Author / Additional Info:
Working on production and postharvest management of fruits and vegetables for the last 32 years. I have published more that 130 research articles in journals of international repute. Authored 12 books, 250 popular articles and received several awards and honours of ICAR and Govt. of India