Manipulation of the Postharvest Atmosphere for Preservation of Food Crops

  • David R. Dilley
Part of the Nato Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 46)


Numerous handling, transportation and storage systems have evolved over the years for postharvest preservation of fresh fruits and vegetables. Depending upon the commodity and the specific preservation objective, there is a wide selection of techniques and systems to choose from (1). Table 1 outlines preservation systems available for fresh perishables. They vary in simplicity from common storage involving little or no control of the postharvest environment to highly sophisticated systems such as hypobaric storage (2, 3) controlling within very narrow limits the temperature and humidity, concentration of oxygen, carbon dioxide and other gases that may affect product preservation. The choice and successful application of postharvest preservation technology depends largely on understanding certain fundamental aspects of biology, engineering and economics that are important in the maintenance and distribution of perishable commodities. Biological consideration include; the physical attributes of the commodity, the physiological response to the postharvest environment and susceptibility to pathogens. Engineering aspects include heat and mass transfer in maintenance of the ideal environment of temperature and gas atmosphere and product protection.


Ethylene Production Harvest Date Control Atmosphere Apple Fruit Control Fruit 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Dilley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HorticultureMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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