Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Plants, Soils, and Climate

Department name when degree awarded



D. K. Salunkhe


It has been estimated that one-fourth of the fresh fruits harvested are never consumed because of spoilage. This spoilage amounts to many thousands of tons of fruits which are valued annually at several million dollars. Several factors are responsible for the post-harvest spoilage of fruits, namely, pathological, physiological, and mechanical. Men in the past have used various methods to control pathological spoilage of foods. The recent development of nuclear radiation, antibiotics, fungicides, and packaging films provides new methods for prolonging the shelf-life of many fruits. These may prove important in countries like India where refrigeration facilities are not readily available and food shortage has always been a problem. Likewise, in the United States, the present-day marketing of fresh fruits has become more and more complex because centers of consumption are increasingly remote from centers of production. To understand physiological and mechanical spoilage of fruits one should know that perishable products are alive, even though the connection with the source of nourishment has been severed. Continued metabolism and increase in respiration result in over-ripeness, physiological decay, and wilting. The deterioration of fruits by the processes of accelerated respiration induced by ripening, physical changes, and subsequent mechanical damage during transit cannot be stopped; but it can be retarded by lowering the temperature, by treating with respiratory inhibitors, and by careful handling.



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