ASHRAE Chapter 24

LOSSES (shrinkage) in marketing fresh vegetables (harvesting, handling, packing, storing, and retailing) are caused, in part, by overly high temperatures during handling, storage, and transport, which increase ripening, decay, and the loss of edible quality and nutrient values. Some cases may involve freezing or chilling injury from overly low temperatures. Other serious losses are caused by mechanical injury from careless or rough handling and by shrinkage or wilting because of moisture loss. Shrinkage can be reduced substantially by following recommended handling, cooling, transport, and storage practices. Improved packaging, refrigerated transport, and awareness of refrigeration’s role in maintaining quality throughout marketing have made it possible to transport vegetables in field fresh condition to distant markets.