chapter  27
13 Pages

Value Addition

WithJulie Dogra Bandral, Monika Sood

Strawberries are one of the most perishable fruit crops and are essentially harvested at the fully ripe stage. The high rate of metabolism destroys strawberries in a relatively short time even without presence of decay-causing pathogens. In general, strawberries have a maximum storage life ranging five to seven days at a temperature of 0°C and 95% relative humidity. They are usually harvested along with the attached calyxes and must be held loosely in the hand to avoid injury due to bruising. Good temperature management is the single most important factor in reducing deterioration of fruit quality and maximizing the post-harvest life of strawberry fruits. The best way to minimize post-harvest 432spoilage is quick removal of field heat and maintaining temperature of berries close to 0°C. Washing the strawberries first in a chilled chlorine bath or citric acid or tri-basic calcium solution followed by drying, packing and transportation in chilled conditions such as refrigerated/reefer vans also helps in enhancement of the shelf life of fruits. Since fruits are highly perishable and post-harvest losses are significant, processing the fruits into a range of value-added products could contribute to generating employment and enhance overall profitability and sustainability of strawberry enterprise. A brief account of processing for value addition in strawberry fruits is given in this chapter.