Fresh fruit and vegetables are a major source of biologically active compounds essential for human wellbeing. They are, however, perishable living products that require coordinated actions by growers, storage operators, processors, and retailers to maintain their quality and reduce food loss and waste. Recent advances in shelf life extension have been achieved by the combination of treatments including suitable temperature, humidity, and gas composition that maintain their quality and safety. Fresh produce attributes such as appearance, texture, flavour and nutritional value have been traditional quality criteria, but increasingly safety and traceability are important for all the role players along the supply chain from the farm to consumer. Non-destructive techniques for analysing the quality of fresh produce are valuable tools applicable along the supply chain. Advances in optical methods were touched in this perspective article pointing to new methods to inform the user. Quality deterioration and microbial contamination leading to spoilage and postharvest losses can occur at any of the supply chain stages. Therefore, postharvest treatments are essential to minimise quality loss, microbial spoilage and reduce the risk of pathogen contamination. Various postharvest physical, chemical and gaseous treatments can be applied to maintain fresh-like quality without compromising the sensory and nutritional aspects. The consequences of these techniques on quality and safety of fresh horticultural commodities are highlighted in this paper. Future research should aim at improving organoleptic quality and meeting safety standards of fresh produce at all steps of the supply chain.
|Titolo:||Quality and safety of fresh horticultural commodities: Recent advances and future perspectives|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|