CHEMICALS FOR CONTROL OF POSTHARVEST DECAY OF VEGETABLES

B.D. Thompson
When I began thinking of this paper, my original preconception was that this is a much neglected area of research. Then as an evaluation of current literature developed, I had some doubts about the original thoughts when the review of Eckert and Sommer (2), for example, contained 327 references. Closer examination, however, reveals that much of the research that has been reported was concerned with the responsible pathogens per se or with products horticulturally classified as fruits.

This apparent disparity of effort exists in spite of estimates placing postharvest losses of vegetables due to decay in the hundreds of millions of dollars in the United States. World wide-estimates of losses for specific vegetables range upward to 30 to 50 per cent of the crop produced. In this era of population pressures, food needs, and the obvious but often overlooded role of vegetables in meeting dietary requirements, such losses are intolerable.

Decay losses of vegetables arriving in Pittsburg, Pa., during the period 1957 to 1961 were compiled from estimates by the USDA (18) as follows:

    Decay  
Product Maximum% Average% Predominant Cause
Asparagus 44 3 BSR, Phytophtora
Beans, Snap 44 8 Sclerotinia, Rhizoctonia
Broccolli 10 0.5 BSR, Botrytis
Brussels Spr. 39 2 BSR
Cabbage 26 1 BSR
Carrots 50 1(12)x BSR
Celery 50 2 Sclerotinia, BSR
Cucumbers 24 2 BSR, Phythium
Escarole 50 17 BSR
Lettuce 50 3 BSR
Muskmelon 50 1 Cladosporium
Onions 50 4 BSR, Botrytis
Peppers 50 3 BSR, Rhizopus
Potatoes 50 1 BSR
Strawberries 50 5 Botrytis, Rhizopus
Tomatoes 50 1.5(12)xx BSR, Rhizopus, Alternaria

x Storage for 2–4 months for processing

xx Ripening and repacking

Thompson, B.D. (1971). CHEMICALS FOR CONTROL OF POSTHARVEST DECAY OF VEGETABLES. Acta Hortic. 20, 156-164
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1971.20.21
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1971.20.21
20_21
156-164