Survey on postharvest losses of vegetables in two selected areas of Bangladesh

M.A. Hossain, A.I. Bokshi, R. McConchie, M.N. Islam, M.A. Rahman, S. Arfin, M. Uddin
A survey was conducted during November/December 2012 to assess postharvest losses from physical damage from current practices of marketing of common vegetables in Bangladesh, by sampling from Jessore and Kurigram, two remote sites supplying vegetables to Dhaka city. Also, a controlled experiment was conducted to assess postharvest physical and nutritional losses of vegetables by sampling from the same sources of vegetables but with proper packaging, refrigerated transport and cool-room storage. Physical damage was assessed by estimating surface damage plus surface rots, and the nutritional degradation was measured by analysing vitamin C and vitamin A (β-carotene) at different segments of the marketing chain or at the time of storage for refrigerated transportation. The physical damage from current practices was as much as 20% in hyacinth bean followed by cabbage (18%), cauliflower and spinach (14%) and radish (6%) by the time it reached retail shops. Further damage occurred when the fresh vegetables were carried over to sell the next day; but produce could not be stored for a third day of retailing due to the high proportion of damage and rots. Vitamin C losses were at least 21% in cauliflower and up to 49% in radish by the first day of retailing, but on the second day the losses of vitamin C increased to 40% in cabbage, cauliflower and bean, and to 60% in radish and spinach. However, loss of vitamin A was 22% in cauliflower to 31% in radish on the second day of retailing. In the cool chain management there was no loss in vitamins but some of the vegetables showed a tendency of increased content of vitamin C during 3 days of storage. Proper packaging and cool chain management in the postharvest handling and storage can significantly reduce physical and nutritional losses of fresh vegetables, and therefore are essential for long-distance marketing.
Hossain, M.A., Bokshi, A.I., McConchie, R., Islam, M.N., Rahman, M.A., Arfin, S. and Uddin, M. (2016). Survey on postharvest losses of vegetables in two selected areas of Bangladesh. Acta Hortic. 1128, 237-242
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1128.36
postharvest losses, physical damages, vegetables, vitamin C, vitamin A, postharvest storage, nutritional degradation

Acta Horticulturae