Fruits & Vegetables

Avocado is a fruit from a tree that has a variable growth and development, reaching a height of 10 to 12 m in its natural habitat.  Mature trees over 8 years old produce fruit all year round.  Avocado is cultivatedthroughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world, with Mexico the largest producer. The fruit has an exquisite taste and aroma, a high nutritional value and various medicinal benefits. Post-harvest handling is critical to fruit quality; mechanical damage, over chilling and fungal contamination are the most common causes of loss. There is a large world-wide market for predominantly fresh fruit but also for processed foods and cosmetic products.

Organization: FAO
Author: Lidia Dorantes, Lidia Parada & Alicia Ortiz. Instituto Politécnico Naciona, IPN, México
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejia, FAO
Last Reviewed: 15/06/2004
(pdf - 66pp - 1.7Mb)

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)

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)

Mango is an important fruit for inhabitants of the tropics, with India being the largest producer. The trees require a frost-free tropical or sub-tropical climate, are 10 to 40 m in height and evergreen. The fruit is produced seasonally and eaten fresh or used in various recipes. In recent years, mangoes have become well established as fresh fruit and processed products in the global market.

Author: De La Cruz Medina, J. & García, H.S.
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejia, FAO
Last Reviewed: 05/06/2002
(pdf - 69pp - 1.3Mb)

Onions are an important crop worldwide with China the biggest producer. They are grown in both tropical and temperate regions at all scales of production. Improving post-harvest techniques in small and medium farming can particularly enhance efficiency and quality.  If dried and packed properly, the bulbs can be stored and transported for considerable distances without deteriorating. Onions are primarily for human consumption and have a wide range of uses in fresh, dried, frozen, canned and pickled forms across the world’s cultures.

Author: Linus U. Opara
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejía, FAO
Last Reviewed: 28/08/2003
(pdf - 16pp - 0.4Mb)

Papaya (Pawpaw) is an early-bearing, space-conserving, herbaceous crop requiring a tropical climate. It is fast growing and has a single straight or sometimes branched stem reaching 2-10 m height. With the development of better cultivation techniques, new varieties, improved crop handling and post-harvest technologies, papaya is gaining importance in the world tropical fruit market.

Author: De La Cruz Medina, J., Gutiérrez, G. V. & García, H.S.
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejia, FAO
Last Reviewed: 04/03/2014
(pdf - 70pp - 1.9Mb)

Pineapple fruit is a member of the Bromiaceae family and grows in tropical and subtropical climates. The plant is around 1 m in height and width and the leaves have a concave form which allows the plant to collect water. It takes from 17 to 23 months to propagate and fruit depending on the cultivar and the climate of the growing region.  The fruit is eaten raw, canned or juiced. Pineapple is an important tropical fruit in world trade. Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand are among the largest producers.

Author: J. De La Cruz Medina, H.S. García
Technical Editor: Danilo Mejia, FAO
Last Reviewed: 03/11/2005
(pdf - 38pp - 0.8Mb)
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