REVIEW ON POST-HARVEST HANDLING OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES TO MINIMIZE LOSS
Prashna Budhathoki, Shreejan kumar Pandey, Prajwal Darlami Magar
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Post-harvest handling is carried out only after the harvest of fruits and vegetables. The harvesting method varies according to the nature of the crop and also based on the availability of resources. Fruits and vegetables have a limited shelf-life. So, they must be harvested at the proper stage of maturity. Post-harvest quality and shelf-life of fruits and vegetables mainly depend upon handling practices and various treatments been carried out after harvest. Poor handling practices and lack of various treatments lead to post-harvest loss. Losses in vegetables mainly occur due to direct packaging without removal of field heat, harvesting at an improper stage of maturity, etc. while losses in fruits mainly occur due to improper methods of harvest, packaging, etc. Proper handling practices like cleaning, sorting and grading, pre-cooling, packaging, storage, and transportation leads to minimization of loss. Also, various techniques like the application of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) help in reducing the activity of microorganisms and increasing shelf life. The data were collected from different relevant sources.