Special Issue "Advances in Pre- and Post-harvest Handling of Fruits and Vegetables to Preserve Quality and Reduce Loss and Waste"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. María Gloria Lobo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department Producción Vegetal en Zonas Tropicales y Subtropicales, Instituto Canario de Investigaciones Agrarias, La Laguna, Tenerife, Islas Canarias, Spain
Interests: postharvest; tropical fruits; quality; harvest; ripening; packaging; shelf-life; nutritional values; processing technology; waste

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, the consumption of fruits and vegetables has increased notably as consumers have become aware of the importance of eating healthy foods. These products are important sources of vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytochemicals but they are highly perishable as they remain metabolically active until they are consumed. Moreover, consumers demand these products throughout the year, regardless of the production seasons, leading to the use of techniques that allow long storage and more complicated marketing chains, ensuring that the product does not lose nutritional quality and food safety. Restrictions on the use of chemical fungicides lead research to develop environmentally friendly physical or chemical barriers that are safe for consumers in order to avoid losses and waste during marketing.

In this Special Issue, we welcome original research, reviews, and short communications concerning recent insights, approaches, and advances in the topics related to postharvest science (physiology, pathology, handling, artificial ripening, packaging, etc.), processing technology, and nutrition related with health, of fruits and vegetables.

Dr. María Gloria Lobo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • harvest index
  • physiology
  • postharvest pathology
  • quality
  • phytochemicals
  • commercialization
  • fruit and vegetable processing
  • waste

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Gradient Cleaning Method of Potato Based on Multi-Step Operation of Dry-Cleaning and Wet Cleaning
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11111139 - 13 Nov 2021
Viewed by 342
Abstract
In view of the poor effectiveness of existing potato cleaning methods in China and reflecting the findings of a research analysis of basic sizes and types of impurities on potato tubers, a gradient cleaning method for potato based on a multi-step dry-cleaning and [...] Read more.
In view of the poor effectiveness of existing potato cleaning methods in China and reflecting the findings of a research analysis of basic sizes and types of impurities on potato tubers, a gradient cleaning method for potato based on a multi-step dry-cleaning and wet cleaning operation was proposed. The method mainly consists of dry-cleaning and wet cleaning. The dry-cleaning stage, which combines vibration and brushing, could effectively remove impurities such as residual rhizomes, peeled potato skin, and large pieces of soil and crushed stone from the surface of potato tubers. The wet cleaning stage adopts the gradient cleaning method of pre-cleaning, rough cleaning and fine cleaning, which could further remove soil and crushed stone attached to the surface and hidden in the sprout eyes of potato tubers. The optimal parameter combination for the gradient cleaning method was determined as follows. The potato feeding amount was 3 t/h, the speed of the rubber chain rod mechanism was 25 r/min, the speed of the first and third brush roller was 40 r/min, the speed of the second and fourth brush roller was 56 r/min, the moving speed of the immersion mechanism conveying net chain was 0.04 m/s, the speed of the brush roller in the high pressure spray and brush roller combination mechanism was 40 r/min, the ultrasonic power was 1200 W, the ultrasonic frequency was 33 kHz, the bubble intensity was 300 L/min, and the moving speed of the conveying net chain in the ultrasonic and bubble combination mechanism was 0.05 m/s. Taking the impurity removal rate and damage rate of potato tuber as the test indexes, a potato cleaning performance test was carried out under the optimal parameters combination. The results showed that the average impurity removal rate and damage rate of potato tubers were 99.05% and 2.48%, respectively. Additionally, the operational performance fully met the requirements for potato cleaning. This study provides a new method for potato cleaning in China and can also provide a reference for cleaning other root and tuber crops. Full article
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Article
Development of a Quarantine Postharvest Treatment against Guatemalan Potato Moth (Tecia solanivora Povolny)
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 801; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11080801 - 23 Aug 2021
Viewed by 809
Abstract
Tecia solanivora is a quarantine organism regarded as one of the insect pests causing major economic losses during potato cultivation and storage in Central America. The potatoes trade between countries, the interest in introducing new potato varieties, the great adaptability of the insect [...] Read more.
Tecia solanivora is a quarantine organism regarded as one of the insect pests causing major economic losses during potato cultivation and storage in Central America. The potatoes trade between countries, the interest in introducing new potato varieties, the great adaptability of the insect to different agro-ecological conditions, and the globalization world are serious risks in other potato growing countries. This pest was first recorded in Europe in the Canary Islands, Spain, in 1999, later in Galicia (2015) and then in Asturias (2016). Unfortunately, there are no effective chemical treatments for field control, and their integrated management has variable efficacy. Therefore, the implementation of a postharvest treatment to eradicate the insect, at any stage, during storage and marketing of potato becomes essential to achieve a product free of the insect that prevents its dissemination while maintaining the quality during its commercialization. This article presents the development of a new postharvest treatment of potatoes to eliminate all developmental stages of the Guatemalan moth by the application of a control atmosphere enriched in carbon dioxide. Infested potatoes were exposed to different control atmospheres combination (10, 20, 30, 40, or 50% CO2, 20% O2, and rest of N2). These treatments were applied for 4, 7, and 10 days at 18 ± 2 °C. The 10 days duration treatment (30 ± 2% CO2, 20 ± 2% O2 and 50 ± 2% N2) killed the insect in the semi and commercial trials performed without affecting potatoes quality and postharvest life, giving the possibility of its consideration as a quarantine postharvest treatment against T. solanivora. Full article
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Article
Active Packaging of Button Mushrooms with Zeolite and Açai Extract as an Innovative Method of Extending Its Shelf Life
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 653; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070653 - 11 Jul 2021
Viewed by 677
Abstract
As the market demand for button mushrooms is constantly growing, it is important to extend their shelf-life. Active packaging with built-in active components offers the possibility of extending the shelf life of products which are sensitive to external factors. Therefore, the aim of [...] Read more.
As the market demand for button mushrooms is constantly growing, it is important to extend their shelf-life. Active packaging with built-in active components offers the possibility of extending the shelf life of products which are sensitive to external factors. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to check the effect of active packaging with zeolite (clinoptilolite) and aҫai extract on the bioactive compounds content, antioxidant activity, volatile compound profile, and physical quality of mushrooms subjected to storage for 28 days at 4 °C. Packing mushrooms in active packages improved their chemical characteristics by increasing antioxidant activity (p ≤ 0.001) in comparison to the conventional packaging methods. Moreover, it slowed down water loss and the browning process both on the surface and inside the mushroom. Furthermore, the results showed a strong correlation (p ≤ 0.001) between antioxidant activity, bioactive compounds content and color parameters. The obtained results suggest that the addition of the aҫai extract and zeolite into packaging material protects mushrooms from deterioration for a longer period of time. The use of active packaging to extend product shelf life can contribute to the reduction of the use of food preservatives, but also protects the environment by reducing the volume of waste. Full article
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Article
Modal Analysis and Experiment of a Lycium barbarum L. Shrub for Efficient Vibration Harvesting of Fruit
Agriculture 2021, 11(6), 519; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11060519 - 03 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 702
Abstract
The most common harvesting method of Lycium barbarum L. (L. barbarum) is manual harvesting, resulting in low efficiency and high cost. Meanwhile, the efficiency of vibration harvesting, which is considered an efficient mechanical harvesting method, can be significantly improved if the [...] Read more.
The most common harvesting method of Lycium barbarum L. (L. barbarum) is manual harvesting, resulting in low efficiency and high cost. Meanwhile, the efficiency of vibration harvesting, which is considered an efficient mechanical harvesting method, can be significantly improved if the optimized resonance frequency of the shrub can be obtained. To vibration harvest fruit efficiently, a 3D model of the shrub was established based on measurements of the shape parameters, and material mechanics models of the branches were established based on physical tests. The modal analysis of the shrub based on finite element method (FEM) simulation was performed to obtain the range of resonance frequency, and the modal experiment of the shrub using acceleration sensors and an impact hammer was conducted to obtain the accurate resonance frequency. Based on the results of the modal analysis and experiment, the optimized resonance frequency was determined to be 2 Hz. The field experiment showed that the fruit fell off when the branches were vibrated at this frequency. The results provide the design basis for the efficient vibration harvesting of L. barbarum. Full article
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Article
Papaya (Carica papaya L.) Phenology under Different Agronomic Conditions in the Subtropics
Agriculture 2021, 11(2), 173; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11020173 - 20 Feb 2021
Viewed by 762
Abstract
European consumers have perceived that papaya fruits produced in subtropical areas (the Canary Islands and Mediterranean regions) do not have the desired quality at certain periods of the year. Thus, the development of technical and management strategies to optimize the yield and the [...] Read more.
European consumers have perceived that papaya fruits produced in subtropical areas (the Canary Islands and Mediterranean regions) do not have the desired quality at certain periods of the year. Thus, the development of technical and management strategies to optimize the yield and the quality of the fruit requires crop phenology studies. Meteorological variables (air temperature, relative humidity, and photosynthetically active radiation) and morphological characteristics (plant height, leaf emission rate, and leaf area) were recorded throughout the crop cycle. All the leaves and fruits were labeled in their anthesis week to calculate the source–sink ratio and to study the development and quality of the fruits. Data were collected in three commercial orchards representing two different types of systems, greenhouse and screenhouse, and two different regions: two plastic cover greenhouses located in the south (SP) and in the north (NP) of Tenerife, and one 40-mesh net screenhouse in the north of the island (NN). The selection of these cultivation systems and locations was made deliberately, so that the ambient variables within these crop protection structures were different throughout the cultivation cycle in order to better fit the model construction. The results suggested that in order to maintain good fruit quality, better environmental control is necessary inside the greenhouses and the screenhouse. Monitoring variables such as the growing degree days, the photosynthetically active radiation, and the number of fruits per plant leaf area ratio provided useful information for papaya production management in the Canary Islands and other subtropical areas, allowing farmers to predict harvest and fruit quality. Full article
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