Team: Technical farmers
We as consumers always look for colour and quality of fruits and vegetables. A produce before reaching ones table with good quality it should pass through a number of challanges.
The main reasons for spoilage is due to direct sunlight, improper packing (inadequate ventilation) , improper handling and transportation. All these play a vital role in maintaining good quality of a particular produce which leads to more quantity.
The scope of post harvest management increases food supply. These technologies can save the food from spoilage so that increases the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
To satisfy the food and nutritional needs of a consumer the purpose of cooling, cleaning, sorting, processing, packing, storage, distribution, marketing are applied to agriculture commodities after harvest.
Cooling of harvested produce decrease the deterioration due to micro organisms activity,reduces water loss which leads to less shrivelling, increases perishability, decreases ethylene production helps in slow ripening. All these decreases the loss of nutrients, flavour and texture from the produce.
The activities of food enzymes, pest and insects, humidity , time, light, temperature and moisture are also the cause for food deterioration. Pre harvest factors like harvesting at the time of maturity, nutrition, growth regulation and irrigation also plays a vital role in maintaining quality and quantity of agriculture commodities.
The other reasons for food losses are due to inadequate concept of packing house operations, handling of produce by middleman through many stages, absence of cold storage , lack of knowledge on its importance, availability of long distance markets etc.,
By using refrigerated transport, mobile cool chamber, modified atmosphere packaging, solar tunnel dryer, nanotechnology packagimg etc.,helps to overcome all the challenges to maintain quality and quantity.
By processing biological produce into value added products the storage life has been increased. Thus the technology of post harvest management not only reduces the food wastage and increases the quality,shelf life of a produce but also generates employment and income in rural areas by agro processing industries.