Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/19/2007
Publication Date: 2/26/2008
Citation: Whitaker, B.D. 2008. Postharvest flavor deployment and degradation in fruits and vegetables. In: Bruckner, B., Wylie, S.G.,editors. Fruit and Vegetable Flavour: Recent advances and future prospects. Cambridge, England: Woodhead Publishing. p. 103-131. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The development, decline, and alteration of flavor during the postharvest life of fresh fruits and vegetables constitute a very broad topic, particularly when the rapidly expanding area of fresh-cut or minimally-processed produce is included as part of that topic. After beginning with a brief overview of postharvest physiology and technology and how they relate to changes in flavor, the remainder of this chapter is focused rather narrowly on the following three subjects: 1) flavor changes with fruit ripening, 2) the influence of storage conditions and prestorage treatments, and 3) the influence of fresh-cut processing. A large segment of the chapter is devoted to the first subject, and more specifically to gene expression and enzymes involved in aroma volatile production in ripening fruits. In just the last few years, use of molecular genetic tools has resulted in rapid and exciting progress in this area. Coverage of the second subject is centered on the effects of refrigeration, controlled or modified atmospheres, and prestorage treatments administered to block the action of ethylene or to kill insect pests that restrict fruit exports. This section focuses mainly, but not exclusively, on the negative impact these technologies can have on flavor and aroma. The third section deals very briefly with the flavor life of fresh-cut fruits.