Pre-harvest conditions and events in the fields such as cultivar, soil type, fertilization and irrigation practices, weather conditions, pest control programs etc. have a significant influence on achievement of the best potential postharvest quality and shelf-life of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Plants or plant parts continue to function metabolically after harvest and are subjected to physiological and pathological deterioration and loss. "Loss" means any change in the quality of the food that prevents it from being consumed by people. Postharvest loss in fresh fruits and vegetables is estimated at 5-25% in developed countries and 20-50% in developing countries.
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