Postharvest physiology and storage technology of horticultural products

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Disciplinary Sector: 
General Arboriculture and Tree Cultivation
Second semester
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Learning outcomes of the course unit

The aim of the course is to give knowledge and competence for all is about physiology and structural changes of plant products, from harvesting to consume. The student will have a higher awareness about the problems connected with plant product storage and, therefore, a better judgemental autonomy on the problem solving about the storage.



Course contents summary

First lessons are about plant physiology, chemistry and biochemistry, in order to give to the student a complete look of the phenomena happening in an alive plant organism.
Later on, the harvesting and physiological changing happening in the plant products will be treated.
In the second part of the course, the physiology of stored plant products will be addressed, evaluating the influence of different types of storage on stored product quality.

Course contents

Growing physiology: development, ripening of fruit crops, vegetables and cereals.
Respiration: Biochemical, physical and morphological transformations, development of organoleptic characters.
Choice of harvesting time: ripening indexes more suitable for the different species.
Harvest: advantages and disadvantages of different techniques, depending on the quality and storability of the productions.
Post harvest physiology of fruit and vegetables: physical factors linked to storage (temperature, humidity, light).
Refrigeration and pre-refrigeration
Controlled atmosphere, effect of oxygen variation, vapour, carbon dioxide, eyhilen.
Refrigeration machinery for plant products and other storage methods.
Principal pathologies linked to storage

Recommended readings

studying notes given by the professor

Teaching methods

During the lessons main problems linked to post harvest physiology are discuss with frontal lessons, debates and practical examples. AT the end of the course, a didctic visit will be organized in a company producing IV and V range products.

Assessment methods and criteria

oral exam

Other informations