Friday, April 27, 2012
Understanding technology Post-harvesting
When it comes to processing perishable crops, what is done to the crops the moment they are uprooted from the ground determines the final quality of the said crop, to a very large extent. As the name suggests, the act of processing the crop ( Dusting, sorting, cleaning and packing the crops) after the harvest, is called Post harvesting. It becomes a critical part in processing perishable food crops because these crops have a tendency to deteriorate from the moment they are uprooted from the farms. Processed food items, fresh farm produce or whatever it is that the crop ought to be sold for, the out put of the post harvesting technology largely determines the caliber of the processed food crop.
Though it might seem like an obvious thing to do post harvesting the crop, it is still a difficult task to be achieved either due to lack of awareness or due to the lack of infrastructure. Post harvest usually consists of cleaning up of the crops, removing moisture and bringing down the pace of the chemical reactions that usually occur then. These chemical reactions can also occur, in some cases, when two crops are stored together, given a particular temperature. To avoid this and also to streamline the post harvesting operations a lot of expensive equipment has to be put in place like complicated sorting, packing, storing and facilities for moving perishable crops about in storage areas are duly put in place, more so,if we are talking about a fully functional industrial size which comes equipped with conveyor belts for moving these crops around, cold-storage facilities,atmosphere-controllable storage equipment and advanced sorting and harvesting machinery.
The above mentioned sophisticated equipment, coupled with state-of-the-art technology managed efficiently with superbly trained staff should be able to battle with the time constrained challenge of being able to produce the best quality output, especially with regards to the perishable food crops and hence becomes an important element in the food processing chain.
Be it your home garden which delivers some kind of perishables or an industrial unit, a few things have to be considered carefully and attended to. Firstly, the crops need to be culled (removal of damaged crop elements). Secondly, the perishables need to be cooled immediately and maintained at that temperature to avoid further possible degradation of crops and finally, the crops have to be handled expertly and with care.