S.Y. Wang
Postharvest research plays an important role in increasing the wealth of farmers, growers, shippers and those involved in the fresh produce industry. An important goal of postharvest research is to reduce losses of fruits and vegetables after harvest. Postharvest losses have been a serious problem in every country of the world. The magnitude of postharvest losses varies in different regions depending on location, climate, commodity, and handling systems. The reduction of postharvest losses results in an increase of quantity available to consumers, thus increasing production without using more land. Therefore, reducing losses is crucial for food security in countries especially where land is scarce. The increased quantity available to consumers due to reduced losses is also made without any additional use of labor, fertilizers, water and other resources. This translates to more profit and wealth to farmers, as well as more preservation of natural resources and the environment. Another goal of postharvest research is to maintain quality of fresh produce after harvest. An increasingly important aspect of produce quality is its nutritional value. Consumption of fruits and vegetables has been linked to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and age-related disorders. In addition to vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, fruits and vegetables are a source of many phytochemicals, which are responsible for health protection and disease prevention. Significant increases in the concentration of phytochemicals and nutritional quality of fruits and vegetables are certainly achievable through proper postharvest handling. Several postharvest techniques have been demonstrated to not only maintain but also enhance levels of flavonoids, carotenoids and other antioxidants. Postharvest research, thus, is important for improving our wealth and health.
Wang, S.Y. (2013). POSTHARVEST FOR WEALTH AND HEALTH. Acta Hortic. 1012, 785-796
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.1012.106
fruits, vegetables, postharvest losses, postharvest techniques, phytonutrients, health benefits

Acta Horticulturae