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Storage of Fruits and Vegetables




  • Fruits and vegetables are highly perishable in nature. To extend their post harvest availability, it is essential to store them under proper storage conditions. So as to increase the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables, they should be harvested at proper stage of maturity. Pre-cooling and post harvest treatments such as application of fungicides, bactericides, growth regulators, wax immulsions, ethylene absorbents, anti-transpirants, senescence retardants are also of almost importance , to extend the marketable life of harvested horticultural commodities. There are different types of storage as briefly detailed below:

    Ambient Temperature Storage:

    Storage at room temperature.

    Cold Storage:

    Storage of the fruits and vegetables at the temperature lower than ambient temperature. The low temperature requirement varies from crop to crop. If the fresh fruits and vegetables are stored at the temperature below their optimum low requirement, develop chilling injury and therefore, loose the marketability. The fruits stored at low temperature exhibit more shelf life than those stored at ambient temperature. The cold storage requirement and storage life of fruits and vegetables are given in Table 1 a) and 1 b).

    Table 1a. Cold Storage Requirement and Storage Life of Fruits:

    Sr.No

    Name of Fruit

    Storage Temp

    R.H%

    Approximate Life

    1

    Cashew apple

    0-1.5

    85-90

    4-5 Weeks

    2

    Mangoes

    7-9

    85-90

    4-7 Weeks

    3

    Oranges ( Mosambi)

    4-7

    85-90

    4 months

    4

    Pomegranate

    0-1.5

    80-95

    4-6 weeks

    5

    Sapota

    1.5-3.0

    85-90

    6-8 weeks

    Table 1b: Cold Storage Requirement and Storage Life of Vegetables:

    Sr.No

    Name of Fruit

    Storage Temp

    R.H%

    Approximate Life

    1

    Cabbage

    0 -2.5

    90-95

    3-4 month

    2

    Potato

    0 -2.5

    85-90

    4 months

    3

    Peas

    0 -2.5

    85-90

    1 -3 weeks

    4

    Okra

    7.5

    90-95

    7-10 days

    5

    Tomato ripe

    4.5-10

    85-90

    4-7 days

    Cold Storage:

    The successful cold storage of fruit depends on a number of factors. Cold storage involves many physiological and biological problems. In the storage of fruits, it is always described to prolong ripening for as long as long possible and to delay the breaking down processes. Even after harvesting of the fruits the process of respiration continues and brings about ripening change in colour softening of flesh, increase in sugar content and development of flavour. These changes occur more rapidly at higher temperatures. This means that the lower the temperature of storage the longer would be the storage life of the fruit, but the fruit is disorganized resulting in physiological injuries such as development of pitting on the skin, change of colour and internal breakdown.

    Source: agriinfo

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