The purpose of this paper is to quantify the incidence of postharvest losses of cabbage at retail purchase and during consumer simulated storage.
Physical losses, changes in quality and nutritional value were determined using produce from three different retail outlets in South Africa. Economic losses and the environment impact associated with postharvest losses of cabbage were estimated.
After seven days in storage, high incidence of postharvest losses occurred, ranging from 12 per cent under cold storage to 46 per cent under ambient conditions. These losses were equivalent to over R10 million (∼US$1 million) per annum, while the equivalent wasted fresh water was estimated to be sufficient to meet the needs of over 217,000 per annum.
Study was only conducted in one town and to get the real impact of the losses the research should cover a wider coverage area.
Cabbage is one of the most widely consumed vegetables globally and this is the first research effort to quantify the magnitude of postharvest losses. A multi-parameter approach was applied to estimate the socio-economic and environmental impacts of losses.
This work is based upon research supported by the South African Research Chairs Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation. Professor Opara acknowledges the Stellenbosch University Food Security Initiative which funded the project on postharvest food losses in South Africa.
Munhuweyi, K., Opara, U.L. and Sigge, G. (2016), "Postharvest losses of cabbages from retail to consumer and the socio-economic and environmental impacts", British Food Journal, Vol. 118 No. 2, pp. 286-300. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-08-2014-0280Download as .RIS
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