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Chapter 8 : Fruits and Vegetables

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Abstract:

This chapter focuses on the origin, description, and control of bacterial and fungal spoilage of fruits and vegetables. It talks about some chemical treatments like fungicides and decontamination for fruits and vegetables. Synthetic antimicrobial chemicals are still widely applied to fruits and vegetables after harvest, and decontamination aims at reducing the number of microbial contaminants on the surface of fruits and vegetables, thereby prolonging the time required to develop spoilage. Spoilage of fruits and vegetables is the result of complex interactions between a living plant organ and its microflora, and therefore deals with plant pathology and plant physiology as much as with food microbiology. Control of postharvest spoilage microorganisms largely accounts for these interactions, which could be additionally affected by the global climate change. Today, millions of tons of fruits and vegetables cross seas, oceans, and continents, from the Southern to the Northern hemisphere and from tropical to temperate zones. Developing countries increasingly play a role in this world market. Further development of minimally processed fruits and vegetables will bring new questions as to how to maintain the quality of processed produce, which requires prevention of spoilage, when the produce is often heavily stressed and naturally occurring defenses of the intact tissues have been overwhelmed. Consumer demand for high-quality fruits and vegetables produced under environmentally friendly conditions will probably not decrease. Finding solutions to historical problems associated with the preservation of fruits and vegetables against infection and spoilage by bacteria and fungi will be an ongoing future challenge.

Citation: Carlin F. 2013. Fruits and Vegetables, p 187-201. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch8
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Tables

Generic image for table
Table 8.1

Important microbial agents of postharvest spoilage of fruits and vegetables

Citation: Carlin F. 2013. Fruits and Vegetables, p 187-201. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch8
Generic image for table
Table 8.2

Approximate pH values and water, protein, and sugar contents of some fresh fruits and vegetables

Citation: Carlin F. 2013. Fruits and Vegetables, p 187-201. In Doyle M, Buchanan R (ed), Food Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818463.ch8

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