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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 682: V International Postharvest Symposium

INCREASING FOOD AVAILABILITY BY REDUCING POSTHARVEST LOSSES OF FRESH PRODUCE

Author:   A.A. Kader
Keywords:   deterioration factors, fruits, loss estimation, socioeconomic factors, vegetables
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2005.682.296
Abstract:
Qualitative losses (such as loss of caloric and nutritive value, loss of acceptability by consumers, and loss of edibility) are more difficult to measure than quantitative losses of fresh fruits and vegetables. While reduction of quantitative losses is a higher priority than qualitative losses in developing countries, the opposite is true in developed countries where consumer dissatisfaction with produce quality results in a greater percentage of the total postharvet losses. Providing consumers with fruits and vegetables that taste good can greatly increase their consumption of the recommended minimum of five servings per day for better health. Development of new cultivars with better flavor and nutritional quality plus adequate productivity should be given high priority in all countries. Strategies for reducing postharvest losses in developing countries include: (1) Application of current knowledge to improve the handling systems (especially packaging and cold chain maintenance) of horticultural perishables and assure their quality and safety; (2) Overcoming the socioeconomic constraints, such as inadequacies of infrastructure, poor marketing systems, and weak R&D capacity; and (3) Encouraging consolidation and vertical integration among producers and marketers of horticultural crops.

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