The primary objectives in postharvest handling are to keep the produce cool, slow down transpiration and other chemical changes, and prevent physical damages such as bruising and impact in order to delay deterioration.
Postharvest technologies are there to stimulate agricultural production, prevent postharvest losses, boost nutritional value, and increase value of production.
In this blog, we will be going through the most important postharvest technology procedures and how these help in achieving the goals mentioned above.
1. Temperature Management
When we think of postharvest technology procedures, temperature management is the first to come in mind.
It is safe to say that temperature management is the most effective tool in extending the shelf life of fresh produce.
Cold storage facilities should be specifically designed for this purpose
Transit vehicles must have desirably low temperature before loading the commodities.
2. Relative Humidity Control
Relative humidity affects water loss, decay development, fruit ripening and in some cases, physiological disorders. Relative Humidity can be controlled by any of the following procedures:
Spray or steam in the air by using humidifiers
Air movement and ventilation in the cold storage facility
Providing moisture barriers for insulation of storage room and transit vehicle walls
Wetting the floors in the storage room
Putting crushed ice in shipment containers or in retail displays
Sprinkling water on the produce during retail marketing.
3. Application of Supplement Treatment
Cleaning commodities followed by removal of excess surface moisture
Sorting commodities in the attempt to eliminate defects
Applying postharvest fungicides
Applying wax and other surface coatings and film wrapping
Heat treatments such as how water or air and vapor heat
Producers today are now using cultivars (short for cultivated varieties) in order to ensure production of top quality commodities.
These commodities taste better, firmer, and most importantly resistant to disease.
5. Postharvest Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Postharvest IPM in agricultural production is a systems approach towards pest management where the good management practices are combined with one or several treatments in order to control pests and diseases.