Postharvest Handling of Fruits and Vegetables

A special issue of Horticulturae (ISSN 2311-7524). This special issue belongs to the section "Postharvest Biology, Quality, Safety, and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (17 March 2023) | Viewed by 11458

Special Issue Editors

Department of Pomology, Division for Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: postharvest handling and fruit storage; postharvest treatments; postharvest physiological disorders; fruit quality; preharvest factors and storage potential of fruits; chilling injuries of fruits
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Guest Editor
Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Interests: postharvest physiology of fruits and vegetables; fat of plant origin
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The postharvest handling of horticultural products, especially fruits and vegetables, plays an important role in quality preservation and food loss reduction. Estimated postharvest food losses worldwide are between 20%  in developed countries and 40% in developing countries. The raising awareness of food deficiency in some parts of the world as well as the high cost of production of fruits and vegetables lead to the need to decrease food losses by better postharvest handling from farm to fork. As influence on consumer habits, storage and handling is limited, it is important to improve postharvest handling at the producer and distributor levels. Interest in consumer health and environmental safety has encouraged the scientific community to study new approaches and develop new postharvest approaches. Fruits and vegetables are highly perishable commodities, and one important approach to delaying spoilage is the use of edible coatings (films), which have been used for many years. The use of edible coatings preserves fruits and vegetables from pathogen-caused decay and environmental conditions, and can prevent or prolong physiological disorders in produce. Recent studies have investigated the possibility of using edible coatings enriched with bioactive compounds not only to preserve the postharvest quality of fruits and vegetables, but also to improve their nutritional value to obtain final products which can be considered functional foods. Other interesting approaches include methods for the extraction of bioactive compounds from food waste (peels, seeds, processing remains, etc.) for later use in enriched edible coatings or for other applications in functional foods.

This Special Issue aims to present advanced studies of methods and innovations in the field of postharvest handling of fruits and vegetables, with special emphasis on the use of edible coatings. We hope to receive your contributions in the form of research articles, reviews, short notes, and opinion articles related to the postharvest handling of fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Goran Fruk
Prof. Dr. Rajko Vidrih
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 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

  • edible films
  • coatings
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • quality
  • preservation
  • bioactive compounds

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 1703 KiB  
Communication
Loss Assessment during Postharvest and Handling of Thai Garlic Used for Processing
by Piyachat Sunanta, Vassilis Kontogiorgos, Noppol Leksawasdi, Yuthana Phimolsiripol, Sutee Wangtueai, Malaiporn Wongkaew and Sarana Rose Sommano
Horticulturae 2023, 9(4), 482; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9040482 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2633
Abstract
Garlic is one of the most economically important crops cultivated and consumed worldwide. The rising demand for garlic in the functional food market is driven by the growing interest in using processed products and supplements for benefits in health and wellbeing. Prior to [...] Read more.
Garlic is one of the most economically important crops cultivated and consumed worldwide. The rising demand for garlic in the functional food market is driven by the growing interest in using processed products and supplements for benefits in health and wellbeing. Prior to processing, freshly harvested Thai garlic undergoes six distinct curing procedures; however, the losses and initial quality evaluation of the cured garlics have never been assessed. The research aims to evaluate losses and types of biomass during post-harvest processing using lab scale waste composition and mass–flow analyses, which align with the bio-circular green economic approach. Qualitative process flow diagrams (PFD) of each curing procedure were outlined, and the volume of post-harvest loss and types of biomasses were recorded. The study found that the overall losses during garlic curing were significantly higher than those associated with curing the bulb with root attached and the bulb alone. Moisture loss (>60%) was the greatest type of loss, followed by through biomass during initial and minimal processing. The aerial part accounted for >40% of total biomass loss, while root and skin were variable, depending on whether the initial process was conducted before or after curing. In terms of quality, the study found that the total phenolic and flavonoid content of garlic decreased after curing, and the level of total reducing sugar significantly decreased from the day of harvest. This result can be used as the criterion for handling Thai garlic after harvest. In addition, the biomass produced by postharvest processing can be utilised as a raw material for biorefinery extraction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Handling of Fruits and Vegetables)
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9 pages, 5807 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Postharvest Storage Characteristics of Two New Pear Cultivars ‘Shannongsu’ and ‘Xincixiang’
by Susu Zhang, Sumin Qi, Bin Li, Jing Zhang, Can Cui, Rui Zhang, Zhiquan Mao, Nan Wang, Xuesen Chen and Zongying Zhang
Horticulturae 2023, 9(2), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9020281 - 19 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1266
Abstract
‘Shannongsu’ and ‘Xincixiang’ were two new late-ripening pear cultivars with high quality, that were bred by our team. In order to clear the postharvest storage characteristics, mature pears were collected and stored at room temperature. Several fruit characteristics were evaluated over time, such [...] Read more.
‘Shannongsu’ and ‘Xincixiang’ were two new late-ripening pear cultivars with high quality, that were bred by our team. In order to clear the postharvest storage characteristics, mature pears were collected and stored at room temperature. Several fruit characteristics were evaluated over time, such as firmness, ethylene release rate, content of aroma components, softening-related enzyme activity, and gene expression. Both ‘Shannongsu’ and ‘Xincixiang’ were crisp and juicy stored after 60 d at room temperature, which exhibited excellent storage characteristics. The storability may be comprehensive result of low levels of ethylene production, aroma synthesis, softening-related activities, and gene expression. The research cleared the storage characteristics of ‘Shannongsu’ and ‘Xincixiang’ at room temperature for the first time, which will provide scientific theoretical guidance for fruit production and marketing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Handling of Fruits and Vegetables)
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12 pages, 4743 KiB  
Article
An Integrated Approach of Hypobaric Pressures and Potassium Permanganate to Maintain Quality and Biochemical Changes in Tomato Fruits
by Ali Muhammad, Kenan Sinan Dayisoylu, Hamid Khan, Muhammad Rafiullah Khan, Imran Khan, Fida Hussain, Abdul Basit, Mehboob Ali, Suliman Khan and Muhammad Idrees
Horticulturae 2023, 9(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae9010009 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2408
Abstract
Limited postharvest life of tomato fruit is due to its highly perishable nature. Hypobaric pressure is a new emerging hurdle technology usually used up to a pressure of 100 kPa for the preservation of fruits and vegetables. In this study, an integrated approach [...] Read more.
Limited postharvest life of tomato fruit is due to its highly perishable nature. Hypobaric pressure is a new emerging hurdle technology usually used up to a pressure of 100 kPa for the preservation of fruits and vegetables. In this study, an integrated approach of hypobaric pressures (40 kPa and 50 kPa) and sponge-dipping of potassium permanganate (KMnO4) was designed for the postharvest life extension of tomato fruits. Fruits were treated with either 400 ppm of KMnO4, or 40 or 50 kPa hypobaric pressures, or their combination. Fruits without any treatment was considered as a control treatment. All groups were packaged in polypropylene trays as ready to retail and stored at room temperature at 25 ± 1 °C for 21 days. Basic quality parameters such as pH, total soluble solid, percent weight loss, percent spoilage, firmness, ethylene production rate, and color were evaluated at 3-day intervals. Results showed the application of hypobaric pressures and KMnO4, either alone or in combination, provided a synergistic effect in maintaining the quality compared to the control treatment during the 21 days of storage. The highest decay was found in the control compared to the combined treatments of KMnO4 + 40 kPa and KMnO4 + 50 kPa. Similarly, a decrease in firmness and color values was highest in the control treatment followed by the KMnO4 and 50 kPa hypobaric pressure compared to the combined treatment of KMnO4 + 50 kPa. In the same way, a high ethylene production rate was observed in the control, while the lowest ethylene production rate was found in KMnO4 + 50 kpa. Sensory evaluation indicated a highest score of 9 on the 9-point hedonic scale of tomato fruits. Among all groups, the combined application of 50 kPa hypobaric pressure + 400 ppm KMnO4 retained the best overall quality attributes compared to all other treatments throughout the experiment; therefore, this treatment could be applied at a commercial level for tomato fruits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Handling of Fruits and Vegetables)
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14 pages, 459 KiB  
Article
Effects of Functional Edible Coatings and Storage on Bioactive Compounds, Antioxidant Properties and Sugars in Barhi Dates
by Kashif Ghafoor, Fahad Y. Al-Juhaimi, Elfadil E. Babiker, Md. Zaidul Islam Sarker and Isam A. Mohamed Ahmed
Horticulturae 2022, 8(12), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8121185 - 12 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1774
Abstract
Barhi dates at the Khalal stage were preserved using functional coatings developed using chitosan (CH) and olive-cake (OCE) and orange-peel (OPE) extracts in different ratios. The amounts of total flavonoids, total tannins, and total carotenoids, and antioxidant properties were evaluated. The coated and [...] Read more.
Barhi dates at the Khalal stage were preserved using functional coatings developed using chitosan (CH) and olive-cake (OCE) and orange-peel (OPE) extracts in different ratios. The amounts of total flavonoids, total tannins, and total carotenoids, and antioxidant properties were evaluated. The coated and uncoated samples were also quantified for individual bioactive constituents including flavonoids and phenolic acids using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LCMS). Significant (p ≤ 0.05) improvements in the functional properties and phytochemical content were observed in coated fruits after the application of coatings (OCE+CH and OPE+CH) and during storage at 4 °C. The major phytochemicals detected were vanillic, syringic, ferulic, cinnamic, p-coumaric and protocatechuic acids, and quercetin-3-glucoside and rutin. The highest vanillic acid (536.78 mg/kg), syringic acid (157.39 mg/kg) and ferulic acid (96.42 mg/kg) were detected in 2% OPE+CH-coated dates. Application of functional CH coatings containing OCE and OPE was also found effective in preventing the conversion of sucrose to glucose and fructose through slowing down invertase activity. The application of OPE+CH and OCE+CH coatings can be potentially used to enhance the functional properties and slow down the ripening process in Barhi dates at an early stage (Khalal) of maturity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Handling of Fruits and Vegetables)
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20 pages, 1614 KiB  
Article
Effect of Whey Protein Edible Coating Incorporated with Mango Peel Extract on Postharvest Quality, Bioactive Compounds and Shelf Life of Broccoli
by Nesren Elsayed, Ashwak Abdel-moneim Hassan, Suzy M. Abdelaziz, Emad A. Abdeldaym and Omaima S. Darwish
Horticulturae 2022, 8(9), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/horticulturae8090770 - 26 Aug 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2633
Abstract
The present study evaluated the impact of edible coatings based on whey protein concentrate (WPC) and mango peel extract (MPE) on the shelf life, physicochemical, and microbial properties of minimally processed broccoli preserved at 5 ± 1 °C for 28 days. The variations [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated the impact of edible coatings based on whey protein concentrate (WPC) and mango peel extract (MPE) on the shelf life, physicochemical, and microbial properties of minimally processed broccoli preserved at 5 ± 1 °C for 28 days. The variations in the physicochemical and microbial properties of the broccoli fresh-cuts were evaluated by determining the following parameter changes: weight loss, color, respiration rate, ascorbic acid content (AsA), sulforaphane content (SF), total phenolic content (TPC), antioxidant activity (AOA), total bacteria, fungi counts, and sensory evaluation. Broccoli fresh-cuts were treated with WPC alone or in combination with MPE (WPC/MPE) at 1% or 3%, and uncoated broccoli fresh-cuts were a control. The obtained results revealed that all the coated broccoli fresh-cuts showed lower weight loss than the uncoated broccoli fresh-cuts. The coating with WPC/MPE at 3% recorded the lowest weight loss among all treatments; however, it wasn’t significantly lower compared to WPC/MPE at 1%. The addition of MPE to WPC in coating solution at 1% and 3% resulted in a higher value of the (-a*), indicating better green color retention and decreased floret yellowing. All applied coatings significantly conserved the bioactive compounds (AsA, SF, and TPC) and AOA of broccoli fresh-cuts compared to uncoated ones. At the end of the storage period, the maximum values of the aforementioned bioactive compounds were recorded in the broccoli fresh-cuts coated with WPC/MPE at 3% followed by WPC/MPE at 1%, and WPC alone compared to uncoated broccoli fresh-cuts. The broccoli fresh-cuts coated with WPC/MPE at 3% recorded a higher score on sensory evaluation than those coated with WPC/MPE at 1%, followed by broccoli fresh-cuts coated with WPC alone. The WPC-based edible coating combined with MPE (WPC/MPE) at 3% showed the highest reduction in the total fungi and bacterial counts compared to all the other treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Handling of Fruits and Vegetables)
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