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SELECTBIO Conferences Technologies for Value Addition in Food Products


Post Harvest Management and Value Addition of Fruits and Vegetables

Haroon NaikĀ , Professor & Chief Scientist, Sher e Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

Endowed with diverse agro-climatic conditions, India is producing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, tropical, sub-tropical and temperate. The production of fruits and vegetables in India has steadily increased over the years and now it occupies the second position in the world after China.  India is the largest producer of mango, banana, sapota and acid lime. Horticultural crops contribute about 15 per cent of the total agricultural exports of the country.  Considerable emphasis has been laid on production of horticultural crops during the recent years with a result that the horticulture scenario of the country has changed significantly.  During the last five years, many corporate bodies have shown increasing interest in development and promotion of horticulture on commercial scale.   Better and improved Post Harvest Management practices, diversification, value addition and exports will be key needs for Indian horticulture sector in the coming years. Efforts to enhance production of fruits and vegetables by increasing the area under production, use of high-yielding varieties, adoption of improved agro-techniques and plant protection measures will be futile, unless postharvest losses are reduced.  Minimizing these  losses, have therefore, been recognized as an effective means of increasing fruit and  vegetables availability without additional inputs.  Since the cost involved in preventing the losses will be less than cost of production, PHM attains greater significance.  In order to  reduce the postharvest losses, there is a need to adopt proper strategies involving new  technologies in the PHM of fruits and vegetables.  Reduction of postharvest losses both quantitatively and qualitatively could be achieved by the adoption of good pre-harvest  production practices including pre-harvest fungicide spray schedules for preventing post harvest diseases, harvesting at proper maturity,  proper harvesting methods, adoption of  pack house practices like washing, sorting, grading, packing, pre-cooling etc. and adoption of  refrigerated transport, pre-treatments, storage at optimum conditions, including refrigeration, modified and controlled atmosphere storages and proper marketing practices. As the consumers are becoming more and more quality conscious, a major shift is expected in consumption pattern of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables. More and more technologies are likely to be developed and adopted in the traditional horticultural enterprises as well as commercial horticultural sector.

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