Post-harvest technologies

Turmeric is a rhizome of a perennial herbaceous plant native to South Asia which requires a tropical climate. Southern India is the world’s largest producer. It can be used fresh or dried and ground to a fine powder. It imparts a distinctive flavour but it is also used to provide food with a deep, orange colour. It is an important ingredient in the curry dishes and cuisine of South Asia.

Organization: FAO
Author: Anne Plotto
Technical Editor: Mazaud, F. Röttger, A. & Steffel, K. (FAO)
Last Reviewed: 22/04/2004
(pdf - 20pp - 0.4Mb)

Vanilla is a major natural flavour widely used in many products including foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and tobacco. Vanilla seed pods are cultivated in many areas of the world but the main producing countries are China, the Comoros, Indonesia, Madagascar and Mexico, where the crop originated. Cultivation is highly labour intensive and the vanilla vines have very exacting requirements; warm, humid conditions, appropriate shade with soils rich in organic matter but with adequate drainage.

Author: Javier De La Cruz Medina, Guadalupe C. Rodriguez Jiménes, and Hugo S. García
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejia, FAO
Last Reviewed: 16/06/2009
(pdf - 50pp - 1.7Mb)

Vertebrates - while field crops are usually vulnerable to vertebrate pest damage during a short portion of the growing season, stored foods are vulnerable for as long as they are held in storage. Crops are at risk of consumption, contamination and spoilage by rats, mice and birds. Contamination can lead to further disease risks. Good post-harvest management and storage conditions are most important in reducing pest losses.

Author: Joe E. Brooks and Lynwood A. Fiedler
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejía, FAO
Last Reviewed: 14/10/1999
(pdf 26pp - 0.3Mb)

Wheat is widely grown around the world under diverse climatic conditions and has been the staple food of the major civilizations in Europe, Asia and North Africa for 8,000 years.  In 2007 it was the third most produced cereal after maize and rice with a world production of over 600 million tonnes (FAOSTAT). As an important staple food used in a wide variety of products, post-production operations play an important role in creating a stable food supply. Wheat is also used to produce animal feedstuffs, starch and ethanol.

Author: Umar K. Baloch
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejia, FAO
Last Reviewed: 14/10/1999
(pdf 21pp - 0.5Mb)

Yams are second to cassava as the most important tropical root crop and are a staple food in many parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. Seventy percent of the 50 million tonne world output of 2008 was grown in Nigeria (FAOSTAT).The starchy tuber, with a rough brown skin, is produced by a herbaceous vine and takes from 8 to 11 months to mature after planting. Yams are mainly grown for direct human consumption and are marketed as fresh produce in all the growing regions. The tubers can be stored for up to six months without refrigeration.

Author: Linus U. Opara
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejía, FAO
Last Reviewed: 28/08/2003
(pdf - 22pp - 0.5Mb)
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