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ABELLERA, KOBE CONRAD R.

CRSC 2 AB-6L
EXERCISE 8a
POST PRODUCTION PRACTICES
A. POSTHARVEST HANDLING OF PERISHABLES
STUDY QUESTIONS:
1. What are some positive or negative consequences of harvesting
perishable crops before or beyond the right stage of maturity?
Harvesting perishable crops before
the right stage of maturity
consequences
Positive
Negative
Harvesting early can Lower yield,
be carried out to take quality,
advantage
of sugar/starch
opportunities for high content and
prices.
weight.
Applicable when the
crops are to be
exported or to be
transferred. When the
crop
reaches
its
destination,
it
is
expected that the
crop is still fresh or
has not undergone
deterioration.

Harvesting perishable crops after


the right stage of maturity
consequences
Positive
Negative
An overripe and Increased
partially or fully disease
deteriorated fruit pressure/disease
is
what
we susceptibility
anticipate if we Lower yield and
are
after
the poor quality,
seeds.
perhaps due to
deterioration or
over-ripening.

2. Differentiate climacteric from non-climacteric fruits.


Classification of fruits based on the regulatory mechanisms underlying
their ripening process
Climacteric fruits
Non-climacteric fruits
Climacteric fruit are characterized Non-climacteric
fruits,
are
by a ripening-associated increase in characterized by the lack of
respiration
and
in
ethylene ethylene-associated
respiratory
production,
the
phytohormone peak and the signaling pathways
ethylene being the major trigger and that drive the ripening process
coordinator of the ripening process remain elusive (e.g grape, orange
(e.g tomato, apple, and melon).
and pineapple).

3. Discuss why dropped banana fruits undergo faster ripening than properlyhandled banana fruits.
The hastening of the ripening in damaged banana fruits is due to the
increase of respiration rate associated with mechanical injury as well as the
increase in ethylene production. Ethylene is a phytohormone that is
associated with the ripening of the fruits. Properly-handled banana fruits has
no or less damages, thus the ethylene production rate is slower compared to
the damaged fruits.
4. What is a flower preservative? How does it prolong the vaselife of flowers?
Flower preservative is a solution consisting of water, acid or biocide, and
sugar for the flowers during the display period. Biocides are chemicals that
kill the bacteria, yeasts and fungi that feed on the sap that seeps from the
cut flower stem. Without these biocides, the bacteria would plug the tiny
straw-tubes that conduct water to the flower. As a result, buds fail to open,
necks weaken and bend, and leaves wilt. The acid helps water move up the
stem more easily and the sugar acts as a food for the flowers.
5. What is the principle underlying each of the following postharvest
technologies in maintaining the freshness/quality of many perishable crops?
a. Modified atmosphere (MA) technology
Shelf lives of perishable products are limited by biochemical changes in the
product catalysed by exposure to the normal atmosphere (21% oxygen, 78%
nitrogen and less than 0.1 % carbon dioxide) and growth of spoilage
(Blakistone, 2012). Generally, modified atmosphere technology aims to
isolate the commodities from the normal composition of air, that is, it
involves packaging of commodities so that the atmosphere inside is different
from the outside. Modified atmospheres extend the shelf life of foods by
inhibiting chemical, enzymatic and microbial spoilage. This allows
preservation of the fresh state of the food without the temperature or
chemical treatments used by other techniques in extending shelf life such as
freezing, canning, dehydration and other processes. For an instance, in
vacuum packaging (a form of MA), reduction of oxygen delays oxidative
reactions such as browning reactions occurring in cut surfaces of fresh fruits
and vegetables by the action of polyphenol oxidase (Blakistone, 2012). In
addition, MA storage has been demonstrated to reduce the respiration rate
of fruit and vegetables in certain circumstances (Thompson, 2010)
b. Storage in clay jar or sawdust

Storage in clay jar or sawdust prevents moisture loss of the commodities,


thus prolonging the shelf life. It is an evaporative cooling technique which
works on the principle that when the produce is near source of water, the
heat given off by the produce during respiration is used in evaporating the
surrounding water, causing a decrease in temperature and an increase in
relative humidity of the atmosphere surrounding the commodity. In this
method however, the storage material (e.g. peat, sawdust) moisture content
must be moist, but not too wet. Physiological deterioration will occur if the
material is too dry while microbial decay will accelerate if the material is too
wet (Rees et al, 2012).
6. Explain the expected and actual results obtained from the experiments
conducted.
Worksheet 8a.1. Sawdust/clayjar storage of eggplant/tomato
A. Degree of shrivelling of eggplant/tomato at day 0 in sawdust/clayjar.
Score
1
2
3
4

Number
10

Control
Percentage
100%

Stored Vegetable
Number
Percentage
10
100%

B. Degree of shrivelling of eggplant/tomato after three days in sawdust/clayjar.


Score
1
2
3
4

Number
8
2

Control
Percentage
80%
20%

Stored Vegetable
Number
Percentage
9
90%
1
10%

C. Degree of shrivelling of eggplant/tomato after six days in sawdust/clayjar.


Score
1
2
3
4

Number
6
3
1

Control
Percentage
60%
30%
10%

Stored Vegetable
Number
Percentage
7
70%
3
30%

D. Percentage weight loss of eggplant/tomato after three days in sawdust.


Initial weight

Control
0.250kg

Stored vegetable
0.250kg

Weight at day 6
Weight loss

0.240kg
4%

0.245kg
2%

Results and Discussion:


As seen from the results tabulated in the worksheet 8a.1, the storage of produce
using sawdust was indeed remarkable in extending the shelf life of produce, tomato for
this case. A control set-up was made in order to have a good comparison between the
tomatoes that was subjected to storage using sawdust and the tomatoes that was not
subjected to any storage techniques or practices. A quality rating from 1 to 4 was
devised to describe the changes, specifically the changes due to shrivelling, the
tomatoes had been displaying. The deviation between the two set-ups was prominent
after six days. The weight loss garnered in the tomatoes that was not subjected to any
storage practices is 4% whereas the weight loss obtained in the tomatoes that were
stored using sawdust is only 2%. It was noted in the Table C that the majority of the
tomatoes in sawdust storage set-up remained fresh; only three tomatoes undergone
slight shrivelling.

Worksheet 8a.2. Low temperature storage of pechay


A. Quality evaluation of pechay subjected to different treatments at day 0.
Treatment

VQR

Wilting index

Color index

Ambient temp.
Cold temp.

9
9

1
1

1
1

Initial weight
(g)
w/
w/o
120
100
130
130

B. Quality evaluation of pechay subjected to different treatments at day 3.


Treatment
Ambient temp.
Cold temp.

VQR
4
3
9
7

w/
w/o
w/
w/o

Wilting index
3
4
1
2

Color index
3
3
1
2

C. Quality evaluation of pechay subjected to different treatments at day 6.


Treatment

Ambient
temp.
Cold temp.

w/
w/o
w/
w/o

VQR

Wilting
index

Color
index

2
1
8
5

3
4
1
2

3
4
1
2

Final
weight
(g)
100
180
130
120

Weight
loss (%)
16.67%
20%
0%
7.69%

Discussion:
In order to come up with a good comparison of produce subjected to another
storage technology against produce that is not subjected to any of the storage practices
or techniques, a visual quality rating was devised. This VQR gauges the quality of the
produce in relation with the marketability. To sum up the results, the sixth day of the
experiment revealed that the pechay that was stored in cold temperature was able to
maintain freshness up to the degree that there are still some consumers that would buy
the pechay. The wilting and color indices of the pechay in cold storage are still within
the range consumers acceptance. The weight loss that was garnered in pechay that
was stored in cold temperature is only 7.69%, considerably lower than that of pechay
that was intentionally left in ambient temperature which ranges from 16.67% to 20%.

Worksheet 8a.3. Modified atmosphere storage of banana/tomato


A. Quality evaluation of tomato under modified atmosphere packaging at day 0.
Treatment

VQR

Color index

Diseased

Control
MA-packaged

7
7

1
1

0
0

Initial weight
(g)
300
255

B. Quality evaluation of tomato under MA packaging at day 3.


Treatment
Control
MA-packaged

VQR
4
5

Color index
3
2

Diseased
2
2

C. Quality evaluation of tomato under MA packaging at day 6.


Treatment

VQR

Color index

Diseased

Control
MA-packaged

2
3

4
3

6
4

Final weight
(g)
200
210

Weight loss
(%)
33%
17%

Discussion:
It has been indicated that the shelf lives of perishable products are limited by
biochemical changes in the product catalysed by exposure to the normal atmosphere
(21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen and less than 0.1 % carbon dioxide) and growth of spoilage
(Blakistone, 2012). Modified atmosphere storage aims to isolate the commodities from

the normal composition of air which involves packaging of commodities so that the
atmosphere inside is different from the outside. The actual results of the experiment
follows to the anticipated results which are explained by the principles behind modified
atmosphere storage. The sixth day of the experiment sums up the results which clearly
shows that the tomatoes placed inside modified atmosphere displayed considerably low
weight loss values compared to the tomatoes in the control set-up. It was indeed
effective to prolong the shelf life of the commodities by isolating it from the normal
composition of air which speeds up the biochemical changes taking place in the
commodity.

References:
Blakistone, B. (2012). Principles and applications of modified atmosphere
packaging of foods (2nd ed., p.
1, 7). London: Springer Science &
Business Media.
Flowers: Preserving Fresh Cut Flowers--Naturally. (n.d.). Retrieved May 6,
2015, from http://www.plantea.com/cutflowers.htm
Rees, D., Farrell, G., & Orchard, J. (2012). Crop post-harvest science and
technology: Perishables(p.
403). Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell.
Thompson, A. (2010). Controlled atmosphere storage
vegetables (2nd ed., p. 11). Oxon: CAB International.

of

fruits

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