India is bestowed with a wide range of climatic conditions soils types on which a variety of tropical, subtropical temperate and and zone fruit and vegetable crops can be grown.
Fruits and vegetables often pose storage problems then any other food stuff because they are living commodities, physiologically active even after harvest, continuously respiring and therefore, degrading the stored energy and losing moisture due to transpiration, quantitative and qualitative declines- shriveling loss of texture and increased susceptibility to spoilage organisms are therefore, obvious. Improper handling, inadequate transport and storage worsen the damage.
An efficient post harvest system would have to start off with bar-vesting at the optimum storage of maturity followed by proper harvesting practices, careful handling of harvested produce, avoiding direct exposure to sun beside over loading during transport sorting and grading. Application of post harvest treatments, packing either in bulk-bins or stackable containers, transporting by truck / rail and culminating at storage or distribution to whole sales or retailer.
Fruits and vegetables have been considered as life protecting items in human diet. They provide variety of food, taste, interest, aesthetic appeal, sociological and psychological acceptance and essential nutrients. Post harvest technology of fresh fruits and Vegetables in recent years gained enormous momentum to save colossal losses during harvesting, handling, storage and transpiration loss in quality and quantity occur m perishables to the tune of 25- 40 % in developed countries.
Extent losses of fruits and vegetables 'in India accounts to about Rs. 10,000 to 12,000 crores annually
Mango 17-35 %
Banana 12-19 %
Oranges 8-13 %
Apples 10-13 %
Grapes 23-25 %
Pineapple 15-25 %
The term estimation is used to describe the process of interpretation of number of scientific measurements and thus requires experience and judgment to bring about factual information under consideration.
It is a more precise and objective process by which quantitative facts about a loss situation is calculated.
Loss is measured as reduction in weight in the amount of food available for consumption. It is disappearance of food directly measurable, economic (money), qualitative (nutritional depletion loss of germination capacity) and quantitative (weight loss).
Damage is a physical spoilage other whole or partial deterioration either subjectively judged and very difficult to measure. However, usually reported as per cent.
Waste or wattage can't be precisely defined since they involve subjective and even moral value of judgment and depends on the context they are used.
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