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Post-harvest malpractices in fresh fruits and vegetables: food safety and health issues in India

Anil Panghal (Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Lovely Professional University , Phagwara, India)
D.N. Yadav (Division of Food Grains and Oilseeds Processing, Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology , Ludhiana, India)
Bhupender S. Khatkar (Department of Food Technology, Guru Jambheshwar University , Hisar, India)
Himanshu Sharma (Division of Food Grains and Oilseeds Processing, Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology , Ludhiana, India)
Vikas Kumar (Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Lovely Professional University , Phagwara, India)
Navnidhi Chhikara (Department of Food Technology and Nutrition, Lovely Professional University , Phagwara, India)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 18 June 2018

Issue publication date: 10 July 2018

Downloads
947

Abstract

Purpose

Fruits and vegetables, being good source of energy, health promoting and protecting compounds with unique taste and flavor, are attracting consumers since ages. These horticultural produces start deterioration just after harvest; therefore, their proper storage is must during transportation and storage to retain maximum quality parameters and for good market value. Best storage conditions are required to prevent growth of micro flora and to maintain the nutritional values of harvested produce. Retailers and processors in every corner of world want to move toward the cheaper ways to increase the shelf life and texture of horticultural crops for better consumer preference. The purpose of this paper is to make consumers and researchers aware about different post harvest malpractices in fresh fruits and vegetables.

Design/methodology/approach

Lot of chemicals like colors, artificial ripening agents, sweeteners and waxes are applied on surface of horticulture produce to siphon off money from consumers, and these have adverse health effects directly or indirectly. Various regulatory agencies have launched various programs, acts and laws for monitoring and avoiding such unhealthy ways. Regulatory bodies launched training programs also for the food handlers and consumers to ensure the food safety from farm to fork.

Findings

This paper will throw light on different malpractices followed by retailers to manipulate the quality which causes adverse health effects and to create consumer awareness regarding such malpractices.

Originality/value

The paper emphasizes on current malpractices followed by retailers to mislead the consumers about fruits’ and vegetable’ quality by using sweeteners, colors and other chemical. On prolonged consumption, such substances lead to major health issues such as attention disorder.

Keywords

Citation

Panghal, A., Yadav, D.N., Khatkar, B.S., Sharma, H., Kumar, V. and Chhikara, N. (2018), "Post-harvest malpractices in fresh fruits and vegetables: food safety and health issues in India", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 48 No. 4, pp. 561-578. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-09-2017-0181

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited