Keywords: biological control, antagonists, integrated disease control, anthracnose, soft brown rot, stem end rot, Penicillium rots, postharvest diseases, tropical fresh produce, product quality, product safety, postharvest treatments, postharvest pathogens, citrus crops, subtropical crops
Advances in control of postharvest diseases in tropical fresh produce
With increased global trade, fresh produce is increasingly being moved over vast distances to foreign markets. This requires effective cold chain and product management practices to ensure premium quality fresh produce with increased shelf life. Product safety has now also become an additional minimum requirement for market entry. Producers should therefore take cognisance of the impact postharvest treatments and practices have on product quality and safety in a more holistic approach. Traditionally, exporters relied heavily on agricultural chemicals to provide effective crop protection. However, with global chemophobia, producers have to be more resilient in terms of alternative postharvest treatments. This paper will deal with examples of new advances in the control of postharvest diseases of tropical produce. Treatments evaluated in our studies included biological, physical and integrated control. These proved effective against a range of postharvest pathogens of citrus and subtropical crops.