The course will compare the physiology and biochemical processes during growth, maturation, ripening and senescence of flowers, fruits and vegetables related to changes in quality and storage life. Tropical commodities will be emphasized. It is not the intention of this course to be a catalogue of known storage procedures for commodities but to acquaint the student with the underlying basis for these various procedures. Hence, the course emphasis on physiology and quality in a general framework not specific to any commodity. This should enable a student to analyze a situation, appreciate the basis for certain methods used, and understand the problems while attempting to determine solutions from the general case to the specific problem.
Skills and knowledge to be acquired:
The course emphasis is on physiology and quality in a general framework not specific to any commodity. This should provide a student with the skills necessary to analyze a situation, appreciate the basis for certain methods used, and understand the problems while attempting to determine solutions from the general case to the specific problem.
This is an introductory three credit (3) course in postharvest physiology. The prerequisites are TPSS 200, and BIOL 171 or equivalents with the consent of the instructor. Biochemistry is not required. Students are recommended to review the relevant sections of the prerequisite courses relating to plant anatomy, morphology and life cycle of flowering plants, as well as the structure of a typical cell, its organelles, and their physiology.
Computer skills to be acquired:
TPSS 200, BIOL 171 or consent
Wills, R. H., McGlasson, W. B., Graham, D. & Joyce, D.C. 2007. Postharvest. An introduction to the physiology and handling of fruit and vegetables. CABI, Wallingford, UK.
S. J. Kays. & R.E. Paull, 2004. Postharvest Biology. Exon Press, Athens, Georgia.
Kader, A.A. 2002. Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops. University of California
Films and videos:
An entomologist on insect disinfestation procedure and a plant pathologist to cover postharvest diseases and their control.
Vegetable, ornamental and fruit harvesting, packing and distribution facilities on Oahu.
The lectures cover the following areas:
- Introduction, overview of course, postharvest losses
- Quality of horticultural products
- Biological aspects of deterioration/gross morphology, structure and growth
- Respiration - measurement, role, factors affecting rate, ethylene
- Physiological disorders - nutrition/ atmospheres / chilling
- Compositional changes
- Senescence and postharvest physiology
- Transpiration from fresh commodities
- Standards & specifications for fresh perishable commodities
- Color, texture, taste, aroma & nutritional quality in horticultural products
- Sensory methods and objective measures of quality evaluation
- Maturity indices
- Pathological disorders of fresh commodities
- Postharvest entomology & disinfestation
- Temperature control & attainment
- Controlled & Modified atmospheres
- Handling - commercial handling systems/deciduous fruits
- Subtropical and tropical fruits
- Vegetable fruits / bulky vegetative organs
Leafy vegetables, floral parts and flowers
- Maturity at harvest
- Temperature and relative humidity
- Controlled and modified atmospheres
- Insect disinfestation
- Packaging and display techniques
Two mid-terms (20 points each), term paper (20 points) and a final examination (50 points). The final examination has short answer questions dealing with the last one third of the course, and an essay. The essay will require the student to bring together information from the whole course.