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The Impact of Harvesting, Storage and Processing Factors on Health-Promoting Phytochemicals in Berries and Fruits

1
Department of Biology, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland
2
Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 1A, EE51014 Tartu, Estonia
3
Functional Foods Forum, University of Turku, FI-20014 Turku, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2014, 2(3), 596-624; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr2030596
Received: 16 April 2014 / Revised: 14 July 2014 / Accepted: 22 July 2014 / Published: 5 August 2014
Increasing epidemiological and experimental data now emphasize that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits confers many health benefits. Functional products containing elevated levels of bioactive compounds are attracting considerable attention due to their potential to lower the risk of chronic diseases and their associated huge healthcare costs. On a global scale, there is an increasing demand for berries and fruits, since they are natural polyphenol-rich raw material to be incorporated into functional foods, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. This is a major challenge for both industry and horticultural experts, because the content of health-promoting compounds in plants varies widely not only in different plant species, but also between cultivars. The content is also significantly affected by harvesting, storage and processing factors. This review summarizes the recent data and clarifies the main contributors of harvesting time, various storage conditions and post-harvest procedures, such as temperature management, controlled atmosphere, 1-MCP, calcium and plant activators, as ways to influence health-promoting compounds in fruits. Furthermore, the ways processing factors, e.g., enzymatic treatment, pressing, clarification, temperature, pressure and fermentation, can influence the levels of polyphenols and vitamins in berries and soft fruits will be discussed. Finally, strategies for preventing the decline of health-promoting compounds in fruits during long-term storage will be assessed in light of recent scientific progress and modern methods, which preserve the levels of polyphenols, will be highlighted. View Full-Text
Keywords: fruits; berries; polyphenols; vitamins; harvesting; storage; processing; human health; food industry fruits; berries; polyphenols; vitamins; harvesting; storage; processing; human health; food industry
MDPI and ACS Style

Kårlund, A.; Moor, U.; Sandell, M.; Karjalainen, R.O. The Impact of Harvesting, Storage and Processing Factors on Health-Promoting Phytochemicals in Berries and Fruits. Processes 2014, 2, 596-624.

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