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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 269: Symposium on Tropical Fruit in International Trade

POST-HARVEST ASSESSMENT OF DISEASE-LOSSES IN FRUITS

Authors:   J. Yuen, Paul S. Teng
Abstract:
Post-harvest losses in tropical fruits have been estimated to average between 15%–25% of production and do not appear to differ between the main crops of bananas, plantains, citrus, mangoes, pineapple, papaya, and avocado. The losses are caused by physical, mechanical, biological and social factors and have been derived using expert judgement, sampling of storage facilities and analysis of trade documents. These approaches are comparable to those used for pre-harvest disease-loss assessment. The biological events leading to post-harvest losses start in the field, and efficient control measures may involve manipulation of the production system. A distinction has to be made between quality versus quantity loss and the real, biological versus artificially-set social losses. Illustrative data from pineapples in Hawaii show that biological losses are lower than social losses; in the context of current concerns about pesticides, social losses may be unacceptably high in developed countries.
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