Advancements in Postharvest Technologies to Reduce Losses and Improve Nutritional and Functional Properties of Fruits and Vegetables

The United Nations and FAO have declared 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (F&V).  The Year aims, in particular, to direct attention to reducing loss and waste of these highly perishable produce items and to raise awareness of the nutritional and health benefits of consuming more F&V. These two goals can be achieved through concerted actions in the different steps of F&V value chain: production and distribution, produce environments (e.g. proximity, affordability), and consumer behavior, including eating habits. In this context postharvest strategies and handling protocols play key roles. More information.

Main issues addressed by the Seasonal School are related to higher availability of F&V,  reduction of postharvest losses, global quality assurance, including nutritional and functional attributes, and increased convenience to stimulate opportunities of consumption; this will imply improved knowledge of biological and physiological processes of ripening, senescence and host/pathogen interaction, of most advanced innovations in quality evaluation techniques, in minimal-processing, in active and smart packaging, and in state-of-the-art storage technology and its effects on extrinsic and intrinsic properties of the products.
At the end of the Seasonal School, students will develop a comprehensive view of the up-to-date F&V supply-chain innovations and the on-going direction of the research in this multidisciplinary sector.

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