Fruit and Vegetables

Fruit and Vegetables (Second Edition)
Harvesting, Handling, and Storage 
by A. K. Thompson
Blackwell Publishing, 2003

A recognized authority on the postharvest handling of produce, Professor Keith Thompson has updated and expanded his well-regarded textbook, titled "Postharvest Technology of Fruits and Vegetables" when it was published in 1996.

This new edition updates the earlier text, which was based on a selective review of postharvest technology literature and experience drawn from the author's 37-year career in the field. It is more focused on technology, reflecting the fruit and vegetable industy's increased emphasis on the harvest, care, and storage needs of produce.

"There are high losses and variable quality in the fruits and vegetables offered to the consumer," Thompson points out. "One solution to this problem is to provide those concerned with the technology of marketing these crops with easily accessible information. This, in part, means information that is brief, easily understood and directly to the point. In this book I have tried to achieve this."

Nearly 300 separate fruit and vegetable edibles, from Acerolas to Zapotes Chupa Chupa, are profiled in this text with information on harvesting methods and specific storage recommendations. Many are illustrated with black-and-white or color photographs.

The book covers postharvest physiology issues and technologies for determining maturation, ripening, harvesting, controlled atmosphere storage, handling, packaging and transportation. In all these areas, Thompson provides present and future produce technologists with a range of options that are commercial-oriented and supremely practical.

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Fruit and Vegetables

Annona cherimolia, Annonaceae

It is classified as climacteric. The fruit consists of berries fused to a fleshy receptacle, which are heart shaped or conical with a light green skin that may be covered with shallow depressions marking the outlines of the berries, or each berry may end in an abrupt point. The fruits are large and can be up to 15 cm in diameter and weigh up to 2 kg. The flesh is creamy white with a texture of custard when fully mature and contains many dark brown seeds. They are borne on trees that can be up to 6 m high and originated in Peru.

This is done by hand when the fruit begin to soften and give out a characteristic odour. There is a change in the greenness of the skin as they mature, but this is subtle and often difficult to assess.

Their shelf-life in simulated room temperature of 20 degrees C and 60% r.h. was shown to be 3-4 days. Refrigerated storage recommendations are as follows:

  • 12 degrees C and 90% r.h. for 2-3 weeks (Mercantilia 1989)
  • 8-9 degrees C and 90% r.h. for 1-2 weeks (Snowdon 1990)
  • 12.8 degrees C and 90-95% r.h. for 14-28 days (SeaLand 1991).

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