Postharvest physiology and quality of horticultural commodities

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The main topic of the class is to understand the fisological, biochemical, and phisical processes during the postharvest life of produces.
Expected learning outcomes
The Postharvest physiology and quality of horticultural commodities" class offers the skills to be able to manage fresh produces with the best quality and food safety.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
GENERAL BIOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS: Postharvest losses in horticultural commodities. Biological aspects -composition, nutritive value, structure, morphology, growth and development- of pome, stone, soft fruits, grapes, citrus and leaf, fruit, stem, root, tuber vegetables, ornamentals and cut flowers. RIPENING PHYSIOLOGY Respiration: definitions, characterisation of process, measurements, factors affecting, comparative rates, biological significance;Traspiration: definitions, characterisation of process, measurements, factors affecting, comparative rates, biological significance;Role of plant hormones in senescence. Ethylene and fruit ripening: biosynthesis, factors affecting production rate;Physiological disorders: symptoms and causes;Pathological diseases: host-parasite-environmental relationship, infection processes, disease control methods. COMPOSITION AND QUALITY:Compositional changes: carbohydrates, organic acids, pectic substances, lipids, aminoacid, protein, phenolics, mineral content, pigments, vitamins.Quality and its components. COMMERCIAL PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES. Maturity and quality standards, standardisation and inspection. Standard (fisical, chemical, sensorial and microbiological) and innovative (NIR, laser,electronic nose, image analysis) methods for quality assesment.Harvesting and handling systems for fresh market or processing.Temperature technologies and control, cooling and storage systems.Transportation and distribution: methods and principles.Controlled and modified atmosferes during storage and transit. COMMODITY: Pome fruits, stone fruits, citrus, grapes, soft fruits, kiwi, tropical fruits, ornamentals. MINIMALLY PROCESSED PRODUCTS:Process, physiology and quality. PRACTICALS: Quality assesment. TECHNICAL TOURS:-Milano wholsale produce market.-Fresh cut factory.
Prerequisites for admission
Knowledge in Plant Physiology, Fruit Tree Science and Horticulture.
Teaching methods
Lectures are integrated by laboratory practises.
Teaching Resources
-KAYS S.J. and Paull R.E. 2004. Postharvest Biology. Exon Press. Athens, GA.
- Kader A.(editor). 2002. Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops. University of California ANR . Pub. n. 3311. Terza edizione.
-KAYS S.J. 1991. Postharvest Physiology of Perishable Plant Products. AVI. SEYMOUR G.B., TAYLOR J.E.,
-KNEE M. 2002. Fruit Quality and its Biologicic basis. CRC Press.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The evaluation is by an oral exam about knowledge both on the theoretical and technical aspects of the subject..
Field activity: 16 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Professor: Mignani Ilaria
by appointment
Office at DiProVe, Via Celoria 2 Milano