Post-harvest technologies

Garlic is a crop widely grown for the fresh local market by many producers on a small scale and  by a few large scale producers for both fresh sales and processing. China produced 77 percent of the world’s 15 million tonnes in 2008 (FAOSTAT). There are about 300 varieties of garlic cultivated worldwide and it can be easily grown in most mild climates and stores well for several months under the correct conditions. It has many culinary uses as a flavouring and a range of medicinal benefits.

Author: J. De La Cruz Medina and H.S. García
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejía, FAO
Last Reviewed: 21/12/2007
(pdf - 43pp - 0.3Mb)

Ginger is the underground root of a perennial plant, which is used as a spice, a preserve and has medicinal properties. The crop requires moist tropical conditions; the largest producers are China, India, Indonesia and Nepal. The rhizome is dug up when the 1 m tall leaves and stems of the plant wither. The product is used fresh, dried or preserved in syrup.

Organization: FAO
Author: Anne Plotto
Technical Editor: François Mazaud, Alexandra Röttger, Katja Steffel (FAO)
Last Reviewed: 22/04/2004
(pdf - 20pp - 0.3Mb)

Grape is one of the most widely utilized fruits in the world, both in its fresh form and processed into raisins, grape juice and wine. These different processed products are important due to the extreme perishability of the fruit. As fresh fruit, grapes are very delicate and the loss at harvest and during the distribution is very high.

Organization: Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Viterbo, Italy and Technical Economic Department, University of Basilicata, Italy

Author: Fabio Mencarelli, Andrea Bellincontro, Giancarlo DiRenzo
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejia, FAO
Last Reviewed: 03/11/2005
(pdf - 41pp - 0.9Mb)

Groundnut is rich in oil and protein and has a high-energy value. The largest producers are China, India, Nigeria and the United States of America, but many other African and South American countries also have sizeable production. Groundnut provides high-quality cooking oil and is an important source of protein for both human and animal diets. The bush or runner species require five months to mature and the groundnuts are harvested by lifting the plant from the ground and stripping and drying the pods.  Good post-harvest handling is important in order to prevent contamination of the nuts by aflatoxins.

Author: P.C. Nautiyal, PhD
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejía, FAO
Last Reviewed: 07/06/2002
(pdf - 126pp - 1.9Mb)

Hibiscus grows in many tropical and sub-tropical countries and is one of the highest volume speciality botanical products in international commerce. The herbaceous plants produce flowers which are labour intensively harvested for use in a range of products. There are many local and regional markets for hot and cold herbal beverages, jellies and confectionaries.

Organization: FAO
Author: Anne Plotto
Technical Editor: Mazaud, F., Röttger, A. & Steffel, K. (FAO)
Last Reviewed: 22/04/2004
(pdf - 18pp - 0.6Mb)

Insects are responsible for significant losses to the world's total crop production annually. Not all insects are pests but a small number are harmful to crops, livestock and humans. One major reason for the occurrence of these pests is the creation of man-manipulated habitats, with crops selected for their large size, high yield, nutritious value, and clustered in a confined area. This provides a highly conducive environment for herbivorous insects. Good post-harvest management and storage conditions are important in reducing losses caused by insect infestation.

Author: Mohamed N. Sallam
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejía, FAO
Last Reviewed: 14/10/1999
(pdf 37pp - 0.4Mb)

Maize is widely grown throughout the world and has the highest production of all the cereals with 817 million tonnes being produced in 2009 (FAOSTAT). It is an important food staple in many countries, as well as being used in animal feed and many industrial applications. The crop has tremendous genetic variability, which enables it to thrive in tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates.

Organization: FAO
Author: Danilo Mejía, FAO
Last Reviewed: 15/05/2003
(.pdf - 99pp - 1.9Mb)
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