Fruit Storage Tips for a Greater Shelf Life

By: Suzanne

Perishing of fruits and vegetables is one of the rampant problems faced by food manufacturers. Temperature is a key factor determining the life of raw fruits and vegetables. Lowering of temperature can slow down the process of deterioration -this is the logic used in cold storages for storing fruits and vegetables. However, the temperature should not be too low; else the product will be damaged. Besides, the rate of deterioration is enhanced once the raw fruit leaves the cold storage.

Steps to prevent damage of fruit crops should be taken right from its harvest. Cleanliness should be ensured at every step. Bruised crops also succumb to damage within a very short span of time. Dirty produce invites more pests and insects. Care should be taken that the fruits should not get dirty or damaged during handling. It would be ideal to store the produce in storage containers as soon as possible after harvesting. Delay in the process reduces the storage life of the produce.

Fruits and vegetables can be stored for a longer time if they are cleaned properly with bacteria/fungus-free water. Besides, some fruits or vegetables need their leaves to be removed prior storage.

Fruits and vegetables have a 'critical temperature' below which "chill damage" takes place. Hence, storage temperature must always be above the 'critical temperature'. Even a minor lapse in temperature controlling system can lead to "chill damage".

A relative humidity of 85-90% is required to ensure long storage life. High relative humidity can be maintained using the following methods:
a.Allow the produce to reach storage temperature following which, cover it with a plastic.

b.Sprinkle water prior storing as sprinkling water during storage leads to condensation at the refrigeration unit.

Packing of the produce should be convenient to enable easy loading and unloading. Crates, racks and trays are generally used for storing fruits and vegetables in a cold storage.

So be it , pineapple storage, or that of any other fruit or vegetables, following the storage guidelines can ensure barely 10% loss of shelf life of these raw items.

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