Explain the post-harvest handling of fresh produce, Chemistry

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Post-harvest handling of fresh produce

Fruits and vegetables because of their high moisture content are extremely susceptible to deteriorate, especially under tropical conditions. It is estimated that about 20-30% of the fruits and vegetables produced in India annually (worth Rs. 3000-4000 crores) is lost due to inadequate post-harvest management. These losses result in poor returns to the growers and increase the cost of raw material, which ultimately affects the consumer. Therefore, proper handling of fresh produce after harvesting plays a great role for reducing the losses. Cereals and pulses are relatively stable during transportation and storage due to their low moisture content and hence, less care is usually taken during post-harvest
handling except bringing down the moisture content to safe level (usually 12 to 14%) by drying.  
 
At all stages of harvesting and handling of harvested commodities, methods should aim at avoiding damage and loss to the produce. The main steps to be followed during post-harvest handling of harvested food commodities or produce are discussed below.

 


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