Postharvest pathology, a review of challenges and opportunities in the South African fruit industry

C.L. Lennox, J.C. Meitz-Hopkins, E. Venter
The South African fruit industry is largely focused on producing superior quality fruit for lucrative export markets. Postharvest pathogens can significantly impact both the quantity and quality of fruit crops produced in South Africa. Postharvest losses have a significant impact on the sustainability of the South African fruit industry. In this review, the South African pomegranate industry will be used as a case study to investigate the challenges and opportunities posed by postharvest pathogens in the South African fruit industry. Challenges discussed will include quality demands from export markets; limited registered products; maximum residue limits (MRLs); demands for fewer residues and less residue than approved MRLs; fungicide resistance issues with postharvest fungicides; and distances to export destinations. Opportunities highlighted will be industry support for research in postharvest pathology; identification of postharvest research topics relevant to the industry’s sustainability; data on the efficacy of current fungicides and the target pathogens; alternatives to organic chemicals, including generally recognized as safe (GRAS) products, essential oils, and biologicals. From the review, it can be concluded that despite the many challenges faced by the South African fruit industry, sound research and investment from commodity groups and plant protection industries have afforded the fruit industry many opportunities to meet these challenges.
Lennox, C.L., Meitz-Hopkins, J.C. and Venter, E. (2022). Postharvest pathology, a review of challenges and opportunities in the South African fruit industry. Acta Hortic. 1349, 171-174
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2022.1349.23
postharvest, decay, fungicides, fungicide resistance, alternatives

Acta Horticulturae