Post-harvest Sustainable Strategies to Improve Agri-Foods Quality and Nutritional Value

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Quality and Safety".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 8327

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Technology and Innovation Unit, National Institute of Agrarian and Veterinary Research, I. P. (INIAV), Av. da República, Quinta do Marquês, 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal
Interests: food; processing; traditional and emerging technology; modelling; shelf-life; byproducts valorizations; biofilms
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Technology and Innovation Unit, National Institute of Agrarian and Veterinary Research, I. P. (INIAV), Av. da República, Quinta do Marquês, 2780-157 Oeiras, Portugal
Interests: food technology; healthy and safety food; bioactive compounds; food enzymes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Agri-foods play a significant role in a balanced, healthy diet; thus, they are considered an important food commodity around the world, and the demand for them is continuously increasing. However, agri-foods are occasionally considered unfit for consumption due to spoilage and waste across the entire food chain. Post-harvest loss is considered to be the most significant loss in the agri-food value chain, necessitating urgent intervention to ensure food security for the future. Therefore, the scientific community is urged to develop sustainable strategies to control post-harvest losses in products and processes, or to produce a more efficient food system.

This Special Issue will highlight innovative post-harvest technological strategies for waste reduction, promoting food quality, safety, and shelf-life in sustainable agri-food value chain development.

Dr. Elsa M. Gonçalves
Dr. Marta Maria Moniz Nogueira de Abreu
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • post-harvest technology
  • value-adding
  • cost–benefit
  • optimization
  • reducing food loss and waste
  • by-products valorisation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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16 pages, 3066 KiB  
Article
1H NMR-Based Metabolic Profiling to Follow Changes in Pomelo Cultivars during Postharvest Senescence
by Juan Liu, Xinqiao Zhou, Dagang Chen, Jie Guo, Ke Chen, Chanjuan Ye and Chuanguang Liu
Foods 2023, 12(10), 2001; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12102001 - 15 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1120
Abstract
This study investigated metabolite changes in three pomelo cultivars during postharvest senescence using 1H NMR-based metabolic profiling. Three pomelo cultivars, ‘Hongroumiyou’, ‘Bairoumiyou’ and ‘Huangroumiyou’, abbreviated as “R”, “W” and “Y” according to the color of their juice sacs, were stored at 25 [...] Read more.
This study investigated metabolite changes in three pomelo cultivars during postharvest senescence using 1H NMR-based metabolic profiling. Three pomelo cultivars, ‘Hongroumiyou’, ‘Bairoumiyou’ and ‘Huangroumiyou’, abbreviated as “R”, “W” and “Y” according to the color of their juice sacs, were stored at 25 °C for 90 days, and NMR was applied to determine the metabolite changes in juice sacs during storage. Fifteen metabolites were identified, including organic acids, sugars, amino acids, fatty acids, phenols and naringin. Partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) was used to screen the significant metabolites according to the variable importance for the projection (VIP) scores in three pomelo cultivars during 90 days of storage. Additionally, eight metabolites, naringin, alanine, asparagine, choline, citric acid, malic acid, phosphocholine and β-D-glucose, were screened to be the crucial biomarkers with VIP > 1. The undesirable flavor of “bitter and sour” during the 60 days of storage was mainly attributed to the naringin, citric acid and sugars. According to the correlation analysis, the citric acid content determined by NMR showed a significantly positive relationship with that analyzed by HPLC. These findings suggested that NMR technology was accurate and efficient for metabolomic analysis of pomelo fruit, and the 1H NMR-based metabolic profiling can be efficient during quality evaluation and useful for improving the fruit flavor quality during postharvest storage. Full article
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12 pages, 1917 KiB  
Article
Thermosonication Applied to Kiwi Peel: Impact on Nutritional and Microbiological Indicators
by Magali Boghossian, María Emilia Brassesco, Fátima A. Miller, Cristina L. M. Silva and Teresa R. S. Brandão
Foods 2023, 12(3), 622; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12030622 - 1 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1762
Abstract
The peels of many fruits are rich sources of nutrients, although they are not commonly consumed. If they are properly decontaminated, they can be used as healthy food ingredients reducing food waste. The objective was to apply thermosonication processes to kiwi peel and [...] Read more.
The peels of many fruits are rich sources of nutrients, although they are not commonly consumed. If they are properly decontaminated, they can be used as healthy food ingredients reducing food waste. The objective was to apply thermosonication processes to kiwi peel and evaluate the impact on Listeria innocua survival (a non-pathogenic surrogate of L. monocytogenes) and key nutrients and quality indicators: proteins, fibers, minerals (Ca, K, Mg, Na, and P), chlorophylls, and phenolic contents. Kiwi peels were artificially inoculated with L. innocua and thermal and thermosonication treatments were performed at 55 °C and 60 °C for 30 and 15 min maximum, respectively. Bacteria were enumerated through treatment time, and quality indicators were assessed before and at the end of treatments. A Weibull model with a decimal reduction time (D-value) was successfully used in L. innocua survival data fits. Results showed that coupling temperature to ultrasound had a synergistic effect on bacteria inactivation with significant decreases in D-values. Thermosonication at 60 °C was the most effective in terms of protein, fiber, chlorophylls, and phenolics retention. Minerals were not significantly affected by all treatments. Applying thermosonication to kiwi peel was more effective for decontamination than thermal treatments at the same temperature while allowing the retention of healthy compounds. Full article
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14 pages, 1568 KiB  
Article
Phytochemical Enhancement in Broccoli Florets after Harvest by Controlled Doses of Ozone
by Arturo Duarte-Sierra, Charles F. Forney, Minty Thomas, Paul Angers and Joseph Arul
Foods 2022, 11(15), 2195; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11152195 - 23 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1680
Abstract
The objective of this work was to examine the effect of controlled doses of O3 (0, 5 µL L−1 of O3 for 60 min, and 5 µL L−1 of O3 for 720 min) on the quality and phytochemical [...] Read more.
The objective of this work was to examine the effect of controlled doses of O3 (0, 5 µL L−1 of O3 for 60 min, and 5 µL L−1 of O3 for 720 min) on the quality and phytochemical content of broccoli florets during postharvest storage. The optimal dose was found at 5 µL L−1 of O3 for 60 min, from the color retention of broccoli florets exposed to the gas treatment. Overall, the antioxidant capacity of the florets was significantly affected by both doses of O3 compared to the non-exposed florets. The profile of glucosinolates was determined for up to 14 days in broccoli florets stored at 4 °C by LC-MS. The amount of total glucobrassicins and total hydroxy-cinnamates in florets significantly (p ≤ 0.05) improved by the application of 5 µL L−1 of O3 for 60 min compared to non-treated florets. The up-regulation of genes of the tryptophan-derived glucosinolate pathway was observed immediately after both treatments. The gene expression of CYP79A2 and CYP79B3 in broccoli was significantly higher in broccoli florets exposed to 5 µL L−1 of O3 for 720 min compared to non-exposed florets. Although enhancement of secondary metabolites can be achieved by the fumigation of broccoli florets with low doses of ozone, quality parameters, particularly weight loss, can be compromised. Full article
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14 pages, 3426 KiB  
Article
Co-Application of 1-MCP and Laser Microporous Plastic Bag Packaging Maintains Postharvest Quality and Extends the Shelf-Life of Honey Peach Fruit
by Xuerui Li, Sijia Peng, Renying Yu, Puwang Li, Chuang Zhou, Yunhui Qu, Hong Li, Haibo Luo and Lijuan Yu
Foods 2022, 11(12), 1733; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11121733 - 14 Jun 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2021
Abstract
Honey peach (Prunus persica L.) is highly nutritious; it is an excellent source of sugars, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and mineral elements. However, it is a perishable climacteric fruit that is difficult to preserve. In this study, “Feicheng” honey peach fruit was [...] Read more.
Honey peach (Prunus persica L.) is highly nutritious; it is an excellent source of sugars, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and mineral elements. However, it is a perishable climacteric fruit that is difficult to preserve. In this study, “Feicheng” honey peach fruit was used as a test material to investigate the synergistic preservation effect of 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) and laser microporous film (LMF). The peach fruits were fumigated for 24 h with 2 μL L−1 1-MCP, then packed in LMF. In comparison with the control treatment, 1-MCP + LMF treatment markedly decreased the respiration rate, weight loss, and rot rate of peach fruits. Moreover, the combination of 1-MCP and LMF suppressed the increase in soluble solids (SS) and reducing sugars (RS), as well as the decrease in titratable acid (TA) and ascorbic acid (AsA). The combined application also maintained a high protopectin content and low soluble pectin content; it reduced the accumulation of superoxide anions (O2) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Except in a few samples, the catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activities were higher when treated by 1-MCP + LMF. Conversely, the phenylalanine deaminase (PAL), peroxidase (POD), lipase, lipoxygenase (LOX), polygalacturonase (PG), β-glucosidase, and cellulase (Cx) activities were lower than in the control. Furthermore, 1-MCP + LMF treatment reduced the relative abundances of dominant pathogenic fungi (e.g., Streptomyces, Stachybotrys, and Issa sp.). The combined treatment improved the relative abundances of antagonistic fungi (e.g., Aureobasidium and Holtermanniella). The results indicated that the co-application of 1-MCP and LMF markedly reduced weight loss and spoilage, delayed the decline of nutritional quality, and inhibited the physiological and biochemical metabolic activities of peach during storage. These changes extended its shelf-life to 28 days at 5 °C. The results provide a reference for the commercial application of this technology. Full article
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Review

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27 pages, 2121 KiB  
Review
Pre- and Postharvest Strategies for Pleurotus ostreatus Mushroom in a Circular Economy Approach
by Mafalda Silva, Ana Cristina Ramos, Fernando J. Lidon, Fernando H. Reboredo and Elsa M. Gonçalves
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1464; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13101464 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 764
Abstract
Mushroom cultivation presents a viable solution for utilizing agro-industrial byproducts as substrates for growth. This process enables the transformation of low-economic-value waste into nutritional foods. Enhancing the yield and quality of preharvest edible mushrooms, along with effectively preserving postharvest mushrooms, stands as a [...] Read more.
Mushroom cultivation presents a viable solution for utilizing agro-industrial byproducts as substrates for growth. This process enables the transformation of low-economic-value waste into nutritional foods. Enhancing the yield and quality of preharvest edible mushrooms, along with effectively preserving postharvest mushrooms, stands as a significant challenge in advancing the industry. Implementing pre- and postharvest strategies for Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacq.) P. Kumm (oyster mushroom) within a circular economy framework involves optimizing resource use, minimizing waste, and creating a sustainable and environmentally friendly production system. This review aimed to analyze the development and innovation of the different themes and trends by bibliometric analysis with a critical literature review. Furthermore, this review outlines the cultivation techniques for Pleurotus ostreatus, encompassing preharvest steps such as spawn production, substrate preparation, and the entire mushroom growth process, which includes substrate colonization, fruiting, harvesting, and, finally, the postharvest. While novel methodologies are being explored for maintaining quality and extending shelf-life, the evaluation of the environmental impact of the entire mushroom production to identify areas for improvement is needed. By integrating this knowledge, strategies can be developed for a more sustainable and circular approach to Pleurotus ostreatus mushroom cultivation, promoting environmental stewardship and long-term viability in this industry. Full article
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