Pre Harvest factors

Food Standard and Quality Control

Lesson 05 : Factors affecting food quality

Pre Harvest factors

The quality of the crop that has been achieved during growing stage is maintained after the harvest, not improved by postharvest technologies. Available genetic material allows discrimination of external and internal quality attributes that must satisfy consumer requirements and indulgences. Farmers face challenges in utilizing technologies for producing high quality crops; meaningful manipulation of light, nutrients, water and plants is possible only when plant responses to environmental conditions are understood.

Quality cannot be improved after harvest, only maintained; therefore it is important to harvest fruits, and vegetables, at the proper stage and size and at peak quality. Immature or over mature produce may not last as long in storage as that picked at proper maturity.

Horticultural and agricultural production : Postharvest rots are more prevalent in fruits and vegetables that are bruised or otherwise damaged.

Mechanical damage also increases moisture loss .The rate of moisture loss may be increased by as much as 400% by a single bad bruise on an apple, and skinned potatoes may lose three to four times as much weight as non-skinned potatoes. Damage can be prevented by training harvest labor to handle the crop gently; harvesting at proper maturity; harvesting dry whenever possible.

Similarly in case of grains, it has been shown that timeliness of harvesting can influence milling yield significantly. Harvesting rice at crop maturity can give a maximum head rice yield .Any delay in harvesting time causes reduction of head rice yield. (Add)

Last modified: Thursday, 16 February 2012, 6:43 AM