Cauliflower handling trials integrating best practice and developed technologies to reduce postharvest losses in Nepal
In Nepal, farmers usually harvest cauliflower curds with few leaves and short stalks and transport to market. A handling trial was conducted to determine the extent of potential loss reduction. Cauliflower 'Snow Mystique' at the tight-curd stage was harvested from a local farm and grouped into three treatments: retention of five or six small leaves (farmers' practice), removal of all leaves, and removal of all leaves followed by wrapping the curd with newspaper. Each group of curd samples was further divided into four subgroups representing the following packaging methods: nylon net bags, general plastic bags, plastic crates with newsprint liner, and 50µ low-density polyethylene (LDPE) bags. Five packages of produce of 10 kg each were used for each treatment, each pack representing a replicate. They were then transported on the cargo load of a small truck from the farm in Kavre to Chitwan, about 200 km. After transport, the curds were taken from the containers and stored under ambient conditions (30.1±0.9°C and 79.5±9.5% RH). Removal of all leaves together with wrapping with newspaper was very promising, not only to reduce damage but also to eliminate the cost of handling the unmarketable leaves and stalks of the curds. During transport, weight loss was highest in nylon net bag (4%), followed by plastic crate and general plastic bag. During subsequent ambient storage, curds packed in plastic crates had the longest shelf-life (10 days), while those in MAP had the shortest (KLEINERDAN6 days). Thus, complete sealing in MAP was not beneficial. The results also demonstrate that techniques developed from laboratory trials may not work under actual conditions and, therefore, should be tested under and refined to suit commercial situations.
Gautam, D.M., Neupane, R., Tripathi, K.M., Acedo, A.L., Easdown, W., Hughes, J.A. and Keatinge, J.D.H. (2017). Cauliflower handling trials integrating best practice and developed technologies to reduce postharvest losses in Nepal. Acta Hortic. 1179, 207-212
Brassica oleracea var. botrytis, packaging, transportation