Postharvest losses and changes in physico-chemical properties of fruit (peaches, pears and oranges) at retail and during post-purchase storage

Matare, Tsaurayi Edwin (2012-12)

Thesis (MScFoodSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Postharvest fruit loss is a major challenge in addressing food security, sustainable management of resources and profitability of agribusiness. The incidence of postharvest loss and changes in physico-chemical properties of three types of fruit (peaches, pears and oranges) were evaluated at retail and during post-purchase storage. The amount of physical loss at the three retail outlets studied ranged from 3.61% to 18.09% among the fruit types, with the highest incidence occurring in peaches. The estimated annual national physical loss at retail was 418 tons for pears, 1000 tons for oranges, and 7 240 tons for peaches. Based on the WHO recommended 146 kg per capita per year consumption of fruit, the total loss of the three types of fruit was sufficient to meet the dietary fruit requirements of 50 000 people per annum. Similarly, based on the recommended daily allowance of 50 mg of ascorbic acid, these losses could meet the annual vitamin C needs of 82 000 people. The estimated monetary value of the losses at retail ranged from R2.2 million to R96.87 million per annum depending on fruit type and retail outlet. The land wasted to produce lost fruits was 1965 ha while energy wasted was 32.77 x 106 MJ. Greenhouse gas emission of the losses was 2870 tons CO2eq and total water footprint 68 0000 m3. Losses were mainly due to the presence of severe physical damage, rots and physiological disorders. There were significant variations in physico-chemical properties of fruit of the same type from different retail outlet. Although ambient temperature storage improved fruit colour and some chemical constituents responsible for palatability, it was associated with high physical and nutritional (vitamin C) losses. Results from this study show that appropriate harvesting maturity, packaging and maximum care in fruit handling is essential in reducing postharvest losses. Efficient cold chain management and fruit inspection for rots and damages could help to reduce subsequent spoilage at retail and during post-purchase storage. Given that the incidence of postharvest fruit loss observed at retail is the result of cumulative effects along the supply chain, further studies are warranted to map fruit history and magnitude of losses along the value chain.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Naoesvrugteverlies is ‟n groot uitdaging in die strewe na voedselsekerheid, volhoubare hulpbronbestuur en winsgewende landbousake. Die voorkoms van naoesverlies sowel as fisiko-chemiese naoesveranderinge by drie vrugtesoorte (perskes, pere en lemoene) is gevolglik by kleinhandelsafsetpunte én gedurende berging ná aankoop beoordeel. Die graad van fisiese verlies by die drie betrokke kleinhandelspunte het gewissel van 3,61% tot 18,09% tussen die vrugtesoorte, met die hoogste verlies by perskes. Die geraamde jaarlikse nasionale fisiese verlies by die kleinhandelspunte was 418 ton pere, 1 000 ton lemoene en 7 240 ton perskes. Op grond van die Wêreldgesondheidsorganisasie se aanbevole jaarlikse vrugte-inname van 146 kg per persoon, was die totale verlies van die drie vrugtesoorte genoeg om aan die vrugtedieetvereistes van 50 000 mense per jaar te voldoen. Op grond van die aanbevole daaglikse inname van 50 mg askorbiensuur, kan hierdie verlies eweneens in die jaarlikse vitamien C-behoeftes van 82 000 mense voorsien. Die geraamde geldwaarde van die verlies by die kleinhandelspunte strek van R2,2 miljoen tot R96,87 miljoen per jaar, na gelang van die vrugtesoort en bepaalde kleinhandelspunt. Die vermorste grond om die verlore vrugte te produseer, was 1 965 ha, terwyl energievermorsing op 32,77 x 106 MJ te staan gekom het. Kweekhuisgasvrystellings met betrekking tot die verlies was 2 870 ton CO2e, en die totale watervoetspoor 68 0000 m3. Vrugteverlies kon hoofsaaklik aan ernstige fisiese skade, verrotting en fisiologiese afwykings toegeskryf word. Daar was beduidende variasies in die fisiko-chemiese eienskappe van dieselfde vrugtesoort by verskillende kleinhandelaars. Hoewel berging by omgewingstemperatuur vrugtekleur en bepaalde chemiese komponente vir smaaklikheid verbeter, word dit ook met groot fisiese en voedingstof- (vitamien C-) verliese verbind. Die resultate van hierdie studie toon dat toepaslike oesrypheid, die regte verpakking en maksimum sorg in vrugtehantering noodsaaklik is om naoesverlies te verminder. Doeltreffende koelkettingbestuur en vrugte-inspeksie vir verrotting en skade kan latere bederf by kleinhandelsafsetpunte sowel as gedurende berging ná aankoop help beperk. Aangesien die naoesvrugteverlies wat by die kleinhandelspunte waargeneem is uit kumulatiewe faktore in die verskaffingsketting spruit, is verdere studies nodig om vrugtegeskiedenis na te spoor en die omvang van die verlies in die algehele waardeketting te bepaal.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71974
This item appears in the following collections: