Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Thursday | January 24, 2013
Home : Business
RADA DIARIES: Post-harvest management - Pt 2

THE TYPE of packaging used can account for 15 to 20 per cent of post-harvest loss in fresh produce.

Recommended packaging materials are:

The disadvantages of using polypropylene bags to transport leafy vegetables and ripe fruits are:

1. The product is crushed due to the large amount placed in the bags.

2. The temperature and humidity in the bags increase and so the product begins to spoil.

Storage

Fresh fruits and vegetables spoil quickly at room temperature (27-33C), hence the need to sell them as soon as they are reaped.

They can be stored for longer periods under cold-storage conditions, but that is expensive.

Some recommended storage practices are:

Transport

Improper transportation methods can result in 10 to 20 per cent post-harvest loss of fresh produce. Therefore, certain minimum requirements are necessary to maintain quality and reduce loss.

Palletising packaged produce results in the surety that good-quality produce arrives in the marketplace in good condition.

Proper post-harvest management practices will therefore result in reduction of food loss and maintenance of quality.

Quality assurance is, therefore, guaranteed with increased income.

Further information can be had from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) by calling 1-888-ASK-RADA or by logging on to www.rada.gov.jm. Information for the RADA Diaries is compiled and provided by the RADA Communication and Public Relations Department.

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