Postharvest quality

Postharvest quality

The world's population is growing, cities are increasing in size and, as a result of climate change, production areas are disappearing in one place, while new ones are emerging elsewhere. Guaranteeing food security requires a smart (re)design of production chains. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research develops the knowledge, insights and technological applications that make this possible.

Smart (re)design of production chains

It is becoming increasingly difficult to provide everyone with food in a sustainable way. The demand for food is continuous, and consumers like to eat fresh fruits and vegetables all year round. However, the range of produce varies depending on location and season. As a result, significant differences in time and place need to be bridged in distribution. For example, apples and pears often go into cold storage for months after harvesting before they continue their journey to the consumer. In addition, many products are eaten far from where they are produced, such as bananas or grapes. The challenge is to maintain the quality of fruits and vegetables after harvesting as much as possible, preferably with low CO2 emissions and at the lowest possible cost. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research offers the knowledge and insights needed to efficiently organize existing production chains and to develop new, shorter production chains,  or production chains to places where high-quality produce is currently unavailable.

Focusing on and measuring quality

We have unique in-house knowledge and expertise in the field of measuring quality after harvesting, and know like no other which technology to maintain the quality of fresh produce during storage and transport. We advise technology companies and carriers concerning quality-driven logistics and support investors in making strategic decisions on food systems design (link to proposition 4): setting up and structuring sustainable food chains and systems. In addition, we help companies collect, analyse and interpret data on quality and shelf life.