As the right time to harvest is determined by how the fresh produce will be handled immediately afterwards, it must be precisely defined. Any produce that is going to be stored should not be harvested beyond a certain state of ripeness as this makes quality control more difficult. On the other hand, produce harvested when too green may never reach the level or ripeness required for selling to consumers.
Fruit grower Ferry de Leeuw of Van Haaften Fruit in Wadenoijen has asked how best to determine the right harvest time. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has already spent years looking for an improved, more accurate quality assessment. Initiatives include Near Infrared, gene expression and the measuring of aromas to determine the right harvest moment.
Eelke Westra would be pleased to share more information about these techniques.