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Postharvest Practices for Organically Grown Products

Summary

Quality of produce cannot be improved after harvest, only maintained. Postharvest handling depends on the specific conditions of production, season, method of handling, and distance to market. Under organic production, growers harvest and market their produce at or near the peak ripeness more commonly than in many conventional systems. Organic production often includes more specialty varieties whose shelf life and shipping traits are reduced or even inherently poor. Harvesting and handling techniques that minimize injury to the commodity, as well as increased care with field and packinghouse sanitation, (chlorine, ozone, calcium hypochlorite, sodium hypochlorite and chlorine dioxide, acetic acid, peroxyacetic acid, vinegar, ethyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, etc.) during postharvest processes are vital components of a postharvest management plan for organic products. Sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and physical treatments such as heat treatments (as hot water treatment or dips, short hot water rinsing and brushing or hot air) can significantly lower the disease pressure on the harvested commodities. These sanitation practices are very easy to implement in the organic food production chain. They start in the field and continue during harvesting, sorting, packing, and transportation and continue even in the consumer’s home. All those treatments reduce rot development, provide quarantine security, and preserve fruit quality during cold storage and shelf life. In addition, the use chitosan, propolis, methyl jasmonate, essential oils, carnuba wax, biocontrol agents and modified atmosphere packaging can also reduce decay development during prolonged storage. All these treatments can be applied alone or in combination with each other in order to improve decay control after harvest and provide a healthy and safe product to the consumer. The aim of this chapter is to shed more light on the latest information on permitted treatments for organic products and on the possible mode-of-action of these treatments. This chapter summarizes technologies developed over the past five years that explore special physical treatments applied either directly, or in combination with other means to control rot development and insect infestation on fresh produce.

Open access
Impact of salt reduction on the number of microorganisms and a sensory analysis for Kranjska sausages during their shelf-life

Abstract

Salt is an important ingredient in the production of meat product. Any reduction of salt requires a special treatment. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of salt reduction on the growth of microorganisms in Kranjska sausages during their shell-life and to carry out a sensory assessment. The 18 lots of sausages were prepared under salt-reduced (1.6%) and control (2.3%) salt concentrations, directly on the production line. A total of 85 sausages were analysed and the data were used for the comparisons of groups (ANOVA) and to detect the significant variables (polynomial models) influenced on the total number of microorganisms (TNMs). The significant differences were determined between the lots (representing the microbiological status of the stuffing), between the salt-reduced samples and control samples, and between the different humidity levels. The correlations and significant relationships were determined between the TNMs and the lots, the salt concentrations, and the relative humidity. The polynomial models were to general to be used for the prediction. For sensory analysis implemented on 40th day 18 sausages were assessed. The reduction of salt resulted in lower scores in the sensory evaluation. The less-salted sausages contained more microorganisms.

Open access