chapter  15
24 Pages

Climate Change Effects on Fruit Quality and Post-Harvest Management Practices

Abstract ................................................................................................. 264 15.1 Introduction .................................................................................. 265 15.2 General Effects of Climate Change on Weather Parameters and

Atmosphere .................................................................................. 266 15.3 Beneficial Effects of Climate Change/Global Warming .............. 268 15.4 Pre-Harvest Factors that Affect Fruit Quality and Storage Ability ....270 15.5 Impact of Climate Change on Some Fruits .................................. 272 15.6 Impact of Climate Change on Post-Harvest Management

Practices ....................................................................................... 277 15.7 Strategies to Tackle Climate Change Impact on Post-Harvest

Management ................................................................................. 280 15.8 Issues Related to Policy and Development .................................. 283 Keywords .............................................................................................. 284 References ............................................................................................. 284

ABSTRACT

Climate change is taking place due to industrial emission of green house gases (GHG), use of fossil fuels, deforestation, and destruction of vegetation and extensive construction activities. This is destroying ecosystem, natural hydrological cycle and affecting ground water recharges. Climate change is causing rise in temperature, erratic rainfall, increased wind velocity and lower RH. These changes are resulting in scarring, sunburn and poor color development in apple, apricots, cherries and many other fruits. Climate change is likely to alter the balance between insect-pests and their natural enemies and this may increase blemishes on fruit and percentage of cull fruit. Any increase in temperature, relative humidity, rainfall and plant canopy growth would increase incidence of Botrytis bunch rot in grapes. Rains and cloudy weather just before harvest can increase postharvest spoilage in all the fruits. Wind and insect scarring affect fruit quality and fruit become unmarketable. Evaporative cooling of fruit on trees through sprinklers and Sunburn protectant spray can reduce sunburn in apple,that is, 0.2% sunburn in treated fruit as compared to 10.8% in control. Frost damages have been reported in Aonla and Ber due to unusual low temperatures in northwest India. After chilling temperatures at maturity, postharvest losses in avocado have increased. In mandarins grown under higher temperatures, color development is poor with less acidity while rains and hailstorms during maturity increased postharvest losses. Rains have increased losses in acid lime due to rotting and splitting. With increasing temperature due to climate change, cold chain has become unavoidable and it is must. Higher market standards of importing countries may also lead to wastage as produce that does not meet size, shape or appearance criteria has to be disposed of at throw away prices. Airfreighted fruit has more carbon footprint and may face trade-barrier and sea-freight protocols need to be developed. Green and ecofriendly postharvest technologies will help mitigate warming impact. Changing conditions demand orientation of postharvest strategy to improve infrastructure to reduce losses and increase availability of produce. Utilization of damaged fruit, strengthening of processing infrastructure, and cottage scale and home scale processing need to be strengthened. Several issues about postharvest research, policy and development need rethinking and action in the face of climatic change that are going to affect our lives in coming decades.