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Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops in Developed vs. Developing Countries

The keys to successful handling of horticultural perishables, listed in the second to the fifth paragraphs below, are the same in developed and developing countries, but the extent of adoption of the necessary harvesting and postharvest technologies to maintain their quality and safety can vary greatly among countries and within each country, depending on the intended market and the return on investment, ROI (benefit/cost ratio) of these technologies. Availability and cost of labor, scale of operation, availability and dependability of electric power and its cost, and extent of utilization of facilities and equipment per year are important factors in determining ROI of harvesting and postharvest technologies. Availability and efficient use of the cold chain for handling fresh horticultural products is much more evident in developed countries than in developing countries. There is also great variation among and within countries in the extent of compliance with quality standards and food safety regulations, which is associated with the extent of participation in global marketing of fresh produce.... Read more

Flavor and nutritional quality of fruits

Plant breeders have been successful in selecting genotypes with much higher contents of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in guava, pineapple, and tomatoes, beta carotene (provitamin A) in pineapple and tomatoes, and flavonoids in berries and tomatoes. Biotechnology approaches coupled with plant breeding can be utilized to improve the content of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and phytonutrients in fruits, especially those with high per capita consumption rates. Phytonutrients that can lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases include carotenoids and flavonoids (anthocyanins, phenolic acids, polyphenols). The antioxidant capacity of fruits is related to their contents of anthocyanins, phenolic compounds, carotenoids, ascorbic acid, and vitamin E. Large genotypic variation in total antioxidant capacity have been shown in many fruits, indicating the potential for further genetic improvements.... Read more