Storage of Fruits and Vegetables
Every change in food that causes it to lose its desired quality and eventually become inedible is called food spoilage or rotting.
Factors affecting storage life
The natural limits to the post-harvest life of all types of fresh produce are severely affected by other biological and environmental conditions:
Temperature: An increase in temperature causes an increase in the rate of natural breakdown of all produce as food reserves and water content become depleted. The cooling of produce will extend its life by slowing the rate of breakdown.
High temperature and injuries to produce can greatly increase the loss of water from stored produce beyond that unavoidably lost from natural causes. Maximum storage life can be achieved by storing only undamaged produce at the lowest temperature tolerable by the crop.
Mechanical damage: Damage caused during harvesting and subsequent handling increases the rate of deterioration of produce and renders it liable to attacks by decay organisms. Mechanical damage to root crops will cause heavy losses owing to bacterial decay and must be remedied by curing the roots or tubers before storage.
Decay in storage: Decay of fresh produce during storage is mostly caused by the infection of mechanical injuries. Furthermore, many fruits and vegetables are attacked by decay organisms which penetrate through natural openings or even through the intact skin. These infections may be established during the growth of the plant in the field but lie dormant until after harvest, often becoming visible only during storage or ripening.
Curring It is technique where the commodity is left in the field itself in a heap under shade for few days. It is an effective operation to reduce water loss during storage from hardy vegetables viz., onion, garlic, ssweet potato etc. In case of onion curing is a drying process intended to dry off the necks and