Research & Development Portal

Pre and Post Harvest Solutions
The food processing industry is one of the largest industries in India and ranks fifth in terms of production, consumption and exports. India’s diverse agro-climatic conditions facilitate production of a wide range of horticultural crops. Unfortunately, almost 25-40% of the total fruits and vegetables produced in the country are lost every year solely due to improper postharvest operations. Besides food losses, the absence of processing facilities at the farm gate leads to farmers earning lower incomes, as the benefits of value addition mostly accrue to middlemen and large private sector firms. Processing near the farm gate can improve the value of agriculture produce, ensure remunerative prices for farmers and minimize losses. Effective management during the postharvest period, rather than the level of sophistication of any given technology, is the key in reaching the desired objectives. In the recent past, research activities are being undertaken all over the country and world. Postharvest research includes the following objectives: to maintain quality (appearance, texture, flavor and nutritive value), to protect food safety and to reduce losses between harvest and consumption.

The major subjects in postharvest technology are postharvest physiology, storage systems, principles and preservation and processing, quality assurance of fruits, vegetables and their products, canning and juice processing, fruit and vegetable fermentation technology, sensory analysis, packaging technology, dehydration technology, waste utilization technology and nutritive value of processed products. The allied fields in postharvest technology are food microbiology, food biochemistry, food chemistry, applied physics, food engineering, horticulture, plant physiology, genetics and plant breeding, computer application, statistics, economics and management and psychology.