Special Issue "Fresh Produce Wastage"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2015).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Michael Blanke
E-Mail
Guest Editor
INRES- Horticultural Science, University of Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 6, D-53121 Bonn, Germany
Interests: sustainable horticulture; carbon footprint; climate change and horticulture; plant and eco physiology
Prof. Dr. Daryl Joyce
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Gatton, Qld, 4343, Australia
Interests: fruits; horticulture; ornamentals; postharvest; vegetables
Dr. Jenny Ekman
E-Mail
Co-Guest Editor
Applied Horticultural Research, Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Sydney University, Eveleigh, NSW, Australia
Interests: fruits; horticulture; ornamentals; postharvest; vegetables

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Quality fresh produce is essential for human health and well-being. Accordingly, fresh fruits and vegetables are unarguably a critically important part of the diet for all people everywhere. Unfortunately, postharvest losses of fresh produce between ‘the paddock and the plate’ are massive in developed, developing and undeveloped countries alike. Although ‘statistics’ vary widely, losses are generally considered to be in the order of 50% of the grown crop. In addition to the loss of saleable and sold produce, the attendant economic and socio-environmental costs of wasted inputs and disposal are immense and increase as products move through the supply chain.  Postharvest biologists, technologists and extension workers and our collaborators around the world champion the provision and utilization of safe and nutritious fresh produce for human consumption.  In this context, you are cordially invited to publish your relevant work in this special Postharvest Horticulture issue of Agriculture highlighting the important matter of fresh produce wastage and the contributions of postharvest professionals in addressing this problem. Thus, we are seeking your contributions on the issue of fruit and vegetable wastage. Contributions can be across the spectra of postharvest endeavor, from pre-harvest to consumption, from fundamental through strategic to applied biological, technological and social sciences, from high technology to low technology, and from apple to zucchini.


Dr. Michael Blanke
Prof. Dr. Daryl Joyce
Dr. Jenny Ekman
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • distribution
  • fresh produce
  • fruits
  • logistics
  • losses
  • post-harvest
  • supply chain
  • value chain
  • vegetables
  • wastage

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
New Zealand’s Food Waste: Estimating the Tonnes, Value, Calories and Resources Wasted
Agriculture 2016, 6(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture6010009 - 23 Feb 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
We used macro-economic data and aggregated waste data to estimate that, in 2011, New Zealand households generated over 224,000 tonnes of food waste, and New Zealand industry generated over 103,000 tonnes of food waste. We split New Zealand’s food waste into 14 food-waste [...] Read more.
We used macro-economic data and aggregated waste data to estimate that, in 2011, New Zealand households generated over 224,000 tonnes of food waste, and New Zealand industry generated over 103,000 tonnes of food waste. We split New Zealand’s food waste into 14 food-waste categories and found that 7% is related to “fresh” produce, and 93% “processed” food waste. The value of New Zealand’s food waste in 2011 is estimated to be NZ $568 million, or $131 per person. Furthermore, New Zealand’s food waste represents 163 × 109 calories in total, and avoidable food waste would be able to feed between 50,000 and 80,000 people a year. New Zealand food waste embodies 4.2 × 106 tonnes of CO2-e, 4.7 × 109 m3 of water, and 29 × 103 TJ of energy. Nonetheless, we find that, compared to other nations, New Zealanders waste less food per capita by weight, value and calorie. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fresh Produce Wastage)
Open AccessArticle
Use of Insulated Covers over Product Crates to Reduce Losses in Amaranth during Shipping Delays
Agriculture 2015, 5(4), 1204-1223; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5041204 - 04 Dec 2015
Cited by 2
Abstract
Amaranth is a leafy vegetable with high nutrient content which is sensitive to temperature and low relative humidity. Delays in shipment to market may result in significant losses, therefore improved packaging to minimize mechanical damage and reduce moisture loss are desirable. Amaranth was [...] Read more.
Amaranth is a leafy vegetable with high nutrient content which is sensitive to temperature and low relative humidity. Delays in shipment to market may result in significant losses, therefore improved packaging to minimize mechanical damage and reduce moisture loss are desirable. Amaranth was stored in three types of consumer packages, bunches, clamshells and thin plastic bags, within vented plastic crates. Pallet loads were either covered with insulated material or not, while awaiting transportation. Results indicated covering pallets improved the color and overall quality while reducing weight loss and wilting. Covered crates had a “good” (7.6/9.0) overall quality while uncovered averaged 5.5/9.0 or “moderate” quality. There were significant differences in consumer package type, with the bagged amaranth having almost “excellent” quality (8.8/9.0) compared to “good-fair” quality in clamshells (6.2/9.0) and “poor-fair” quality in the control bunches (4.7/9.0). Amaranth stored in thin plastic bags was better in quality and color, with less weight loss and wilting, however, temperatures at the end of six hours of storage were higher and this may lead to microbial growth. Storage of amaranth in thin bags or clamshell packages, within plastic crates covered with insulated pallet covers while awaiting shipping resulted in improved overall quality and color. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fresh Produce Wastage)
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Open AccessArticle
Estimated Fresh Produce Shrink and Food Loss in U.S. Supermarkets
Agriculture 2015, 5(3), 626-648; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5030626 - 04 Aug 2015
Cited by 13
Abstract
Data on fresh fruit and vegetable shrink in supermarkets is important to help understand where and how much shrink could potentially be reduced by supermarkets to increase their profitability. This study provides: (1) shrink estimates for 24 fresh fruits and 31 fresh vegetables [...] Read more.
Data on fresh fruit and vegetable shrink in supermarkets is important to help understand where and how much shrink could potentially be reduced by supermarkets to increase their profitability. This study provides: (1) shrink estimates for 24 fresh fruits and 31 fresh vegetables in U.S. supermarkets in 2011 and 2012; and (2) retail-level food loss. For each covered commodity, supplier shipment data was aggregated from a sample of 2900 stores from one national and four regional supermarket retailers in the United States, and this sum was then compared with aggregated point-of-sale data from the same stores to estimate the amount of shrink by weight and shrink rates. The 2011–2012 average annual shrink rates for individual fresh vegetables varied from 2.2 percent for sweet corn to 62.9 percent for turnip greens and for individual fresh fruit ranged from 4.1 percent for bananas to 43.1 percent for papayas. When these shrink estimates were used in the Loss-Adjusted Food Availability data series, annual food loss for these commodities totaled 5.9 billion pounds of fresh fruit and 6.1 billion pounds of fresh vegetables. This study extends the literature by providing important information on where and how much shrink could potentially be reduced. Precise comparisons across studies are difficult. This information, combined with information on available and cost-effective technologies and practices, may help supermarkets target food loss reduction efforts though food loss will never be zero. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fresh Produce Wastage)
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Open AccessCommunication
Extension of Small-Scale Postharvest Horticulture Technologies—A Model Training and Services Center
Agriculture 2015, 5(3), 441-455; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5030441 - 15 Jul 2015
Cited by 2
Abstract
A pilot Postharvest Training and Services Center (PTSC) was launched in October 2012 in Arusha, Tanzania as part of a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project. The five key components of the PTSC are (1) training of postharvest trainers, (2) [...] Read more.
A pilot Postharvest Training and Services Center (PTSC) was launched in October 2012 in Arusha, Tanzania as part of a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded project. The five key components of the PTSC are (1) training of postharvest trainers, (2) postharvest training and demonstrations for local small-scale clientele, (3) adaptive research, (4) postharvest services, and (5) retail sales of postharvest tools and supplies. During the years of 2011–2012, a one year e-learning program was provided to 36 young horticultural professionals from seven Sub-Saharan African countries. These postharvest specialists went on to train more than 13,000 local farmers, extension workers, food processors, and marketers in their home countries in the year following completion of their course. Evaluators found that these specialists had trained an additional 9300 people by November 2014. When asked about adoption by their local trainees, 79% reported examples of their trainees using improved postharvest practices. From 2012–2013, the project supported 30 multi-day training programs, and the evaluation found that many of the improved practices being promoted were adopted by the trainees and led to increased earnings. Three PTSC components still require attention. Research activities initiated during the project are incomplete, and successful sales of postharvest goods and services will require commitment and improved partnering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fresh Produce Wastage)

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Open AccessDiscussion
Challenges of Reducing Fresh Produce Waste in Europe—From Farm to Fork
Agriculture 2015, 5(3), 389-399; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5030389 - 30 Jun 2015
Cited by 16
Abstract
This concept paper summarizes key “hotspots” for waste generation along the food supply chain and identifies a range of existing solutions/measures that can help producers, retailers and consumers reduce the amount of food that is wasted. The majority of food waste of 71–92 [...] Read more.
This concept paper summarizes key “hotspots” for waste generation along the food supply chain and identifies a range of existing solutions/measures that can help producers, retailers and consumers reduce the amount of food that is wasted. The majority of food waste of 71–92 kg/head/year in Western Europe was found to originate from private households (61%), followed by restaurants and canteens (17%) and then supermarkets (5%); 59%–65% (of this food waste (71–92 kg) can be avoided and 54% thereof are fruit and vegetables. Since ethylene accelerates fruit ripening and its accumulation can lead to fruit decay and waste and new portable instruments now enable continuous in-situ determination of ethylene along the food chain, there is a possible key to reducing food waste of perishable, fresh produce. Hence, suggested countermeasures at the field level are use of ethylene inhibitors (AVG as “Retain” or MCP as “Harvista”), the former prevents pre-mature fruit drop in pome fruit, incentives for processing fruit of industrial grade and whole crop purchase (“WCP”). Along the supply chain, applications of ethylene inhibitors (e.g., 1-MCP as “SmartFresh”) absorber strips (e.g., “It’s Fresh”, Sensitech), bags (e.g., “Peakfresh”) as well as simply cooling and venting, and shading to avoid sun exposure. Countermeasures also include superstores no longer promoting multi-packs, e.g., “two strawberry punnets for the price of one”, abandon the “Display until” or “Sell by” date, conservative consumer shopping behavior, and sale of class II produce (“Wunderlinge” in Billa or “Kleine Äpfel” in REWE, “Ünique” in Coop), collection (rather than wasting) of perishable food by volunteers (“Die Tafel”), or “Food Sharing” of private household left-over perishable on social media, or any combination of the above to aid reducing fresh produce waste. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fresh Produce Wastage)
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