Inderscience Publishers

Theoretical considerations on generic modelling of harvest maturity, enzyme status and quality behaviour

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There is a growing awareness amongst researchers in the field of fruit and vegetable postharvest that quality is generated in the process of plant growth and all well advanced postharvest techniques and technologies can merely retain, as good as possible, the quality that is already present in the produce. Information and knowledge about the evolution of properties and quality attributes, that are so important for understanding postharvest behaviour, is very limited due to the use of completely different frameworks in preharvest and postharvest quality analyses. In this paper, based on theoretical considerations, a number of models and possible behaviour are developed and presented, that could indicate along which lines this exchange of information could be achieved. But the most important message of this paper is just plainly and simply that researchers and practitioners in both preharvest and postharvest areas do need one another desperately in order not to loose the contact with consumers.

Keywords: preharvest quality, postharvest behaviour, enzyme systems, harvest maturity, dynamics, modelling, enzyme status, quality behaviour, product quality, postharvest quality, consumer demands, fruit, vegetables

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