High-quality cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) fruit are required to fulfil the growing markets for fresh fruit. Storage losses of fresh cranberries are primarily the result of decay and physiological breakdown. Maximizing quality and storage life of fresh cranberries starts in the field with good cultural practices. Proper fertility, pest management, pruning, and sanitation all contribute to the quality and longevity of the fruit. Mechanical damage in the form of bruising must be minimized during harvesting and postharvest handling, including storage, grading, and packaging. In addition, water-harvested fruit should be removed promptly from the bog water. Following harvest, fruit should be cooled quickly to an optimum storage temperature of between 2 and 5 °C (35.6 and 41.0 °F). The development of improved handling, refined storage conditions, and new postharvest treatments hold promise to extend the storage life of fresh cranberries.
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