The tender skin of bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) covers a crisp, fragile flesh that is easily bruised, cracked or crushed. During commercial harvest and postharvest handling operations, bell peppers undergo several transfers, each of which has the potential for causing mechanical injury to the peppers. These mechanical injuries include abrasions, cuts, punctures, and bruises, which affect the market grade and reduce pepper quality and subsequent life. Previous research on handling fresh vegetables and fruits has shown that the instrumented sphere (IS) is a tool that can help identify potentially damaging impacts during harvest and postharvest handling operations. For the study reported, the IS was used to evaluate the damage potential for peppers being hand harvested, and for peppers on a packing line. Studies in the field attempted to duplicate how pickers harvest peppers into pails and then empty them into empty wooden pallet bins. For the packing line evaluated, the diverging roll-sizer had the greatest potential for damage. Adding cushioning to hard surfaces and removing the metal support from under the cross-conveyor would help to reduce pepper damage. Cushioned ramps, and hanging flaps or curtains should be used to help reduce acceleration and drop height between pieces of equipment. All locations should be cushioned where peppers impact a hard surface, and drop height should be limited to 3 inches (8 cm) on a hard surface and 8 inches (20 cm) on a cushioned surface. The speed of all components in the system should be checked and adjusted to achieve full line flow of peppers without causing bruising. Workers must receive instruction on the significance of bruising during the harvest and postharvest operations.
Dale E. Marshall and Roger C. Brook
Lan-Yen Chang and Jeffrey K. Brecht
that strawberry fruit must be at least 3/4 red ( USDA, 2006 ). Bruising occurs mainly during harvesting, packing, and transportation for horticultural crops ( Prussia and Shewfelt, 1993 ). When plant tissues are wounded, the physical and metabolic
Jinshi Cui, Myongkyoon Yang, Daesik Son, Seongmin Park, and Seong-In Cho
process is critical to understanding the causes of losses and to developing ways to overcome them. Information on the susceptibility of tomatoes to bruising is helpful for preventing and reducing bruise damage. Tomato bruises are not immediately visible
Steven A. Sargent, Jeffrey K. Brecht, and Judith J. Zoellner
Abbreviations: BR, breaker-stage; IB, internal bruising; MG, mature-green. 1 Assistant Professor. 2 Associate Professor. 3 Biological Scientist. Journal Series no. R-01120 of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. The mention of specific
Marcos D. Ferreira, Steven A. Sargent, Jeffrey K. Brecht, and Craig K. Chandler
very fragile and thus highly susceptible to mechanical injury. The major causes of postharvest strawberry losses are decay and accelerated senescence associated with bruising. Proper handling and temperature management significantly reduces these losses
Dale E. Marshall and Roger C. Brook
Green bell pepper is a popular vegetable in the United States. Michigan is the 5th-leading production area, producing 480,000 cwt of green bell peppers in 1994. The tender skin of the green bell pepper covers a crisp, fragile flesh that is easily bruised, cracked, or crushed. During commercial harvest and postharvest handling operations, bell peppers undergo several transfers, each of which has the potential for causing mechanical injury to the pepper fruit. These mechanical injuries include abrasions, cuts, punctures, and bruises. Mechanical injuries and bruises are defects that affect the market grade of the peppers, and may reduce pepper quality and subsequent shipping life. The impacts occurring in a pepper field and on a Michigan packing line were measured using an Instrumented Sphere. Field tests attempted to duplicate how pickers harvest bell peppers into 5-gal pails and empty them into empty wooden tote boxes. Other tests were on an entire packing line. Most bruising on packing lines occurred at the transfers between different pieces of equipment when the peppers fell or were propelled from conveyors onto uncushioned metal plates or rollers. Several transfer points were identified as areas where much of the mechanical damage occurred and improvements were suggested to the packer. Bell peppers were found to bruise on their shoulders; therefore, shoulder bruises may be used as an indicator of injury. The major problems with packing lines were excessive height differences between line components, lack of control of rolling velocity, and lack of cushioning on hard surfaces.
Changying Li, Pengcheng Yu, Fumiomi Takeda, and Gerard Krewer
upon reaching full maturity. Current mechanical harvesters originally intended for processed blueberries cause unacceptable levels of bruising for the fresh-market SH blueberry. Several studies have shown that bruising damage of blueberry fruit
Sergio Castro-Garcia, Uriel A. Rosa, Christopher J. Gliever, David Smith, Jacqueline K. Burns, William H. Krueger, Louise Ferguson, and Kitren Glozer
). Fresh green olives are extremely susceptible to mechanical damage. Industrial processing for black table olives can mitigate some damage, but severe bruising, cuts, and abrasions are unacceptable to the consumer. Some fruit crops, such as citrus ( Citrus
Ibrahim I. Tahir, Eva Johansson, and Marie E. Olsson
Most storage losses in the Swedish apple industry are caused by bruising and fungal decay. Harvesting and postharvest operations (especially grading, packing, and distribution) can cause a high degree of fruit bruising, resulting in a marked
Fahad Al-Said and Donald J. Huber
A general feature of tomato fruit containing genetically reduced levels of polygalacmronase activity is decreased deterioration and cracking, particularly when handled at the ripe and over ripe stages. As fully ripe fruit are metabolically compromised and very prone to mechanical injuries, we investigated the influence of impact bruising on electrolyte leakage, pectin solubility, and depolymerization in ripening tomato fruit.
`Sunny' tomato fruit harvested at the mature-green, turning, and ripe stages of development and subjected to controlled impact injury exhibited elevated ethylene production at all developmental stages. Subsequent analyses were performed on discs prepared from bruised and uninjured pericarp tissue. Discs from bruised tissues exhibited enhanced electrolyte leakage and, in bruised tissues from ripe fruit, enhanced pectin efflux. Levels of soluble pectins derived from ethanol-insoluble powders were unaffected by bruising; however, pectins from bruised ripe fruit exhibited mol wt downshifts relative to those from nonbruised tissues.