Preharvest Factors Affecting Postharvest Quality of Vegetables

in HortScience
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  • 1 1Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0091.
  • | 2 2Dept. of Nutrition and Food Science, Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0091.

Vegetables provide a major source of essential vitamins such as ascorbic acid and beta carotene and other quality components in the human diet. Postharvest yield and quality of vegetables depend upon genetic, biotic, edaphic, chemic and other factors, as well as combinations of these factors. Successful production, quality and nutritional value of vegetables are related to both primary and secondary metabolic processes occurring during vegetable growth and development. Related research has focused upon cultivar selection, cultural practices used during production, interaction of light and temperature, and use of chemicals for growth regulation, and pest control. We will discuss the effects of genetic, pest, and soil management; crop maturity at harvest; environmental modification; and climatic conditions. Postharvest vegetable quality will be characterized in terms of vitamin content, appearance, yield, and flavor.

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