Saturday, July 1, 2023

Sweet corn postharvest

Proper management of sweet corn after harvest is crucial to minimize waste and maintain product quality throughout the supply chain. Given the high perishability of fresh-cut produce, it is essential to handle it correctly from the moment of harvest in order to reduce losses and ensure a long shelf life of superior quality.

In the fresh market, sweet corn is typically hand-harvested using a knife, with nighttime harvests being common in California. However, for corn intended for the processing market, a corn combine machine is employed to efficiently harvest the kernels by traversing the rows of corn.

Preserving taste, aroma, and color is of utmost importance as these are the primary characteristics appreciated by customers. Among the post-harvest disorders that affect sweet corn, the main issues impacting quality and resulting in losses are the loss of sweetness, dehydration, fungal growth, and post-cooking browning.

To optimize the supply chain, several essential steps must be taken, including cooling, handling, packaging, and shipment. The sensitivity of fruits and vegetables to storage conditions can vary significantly depending on the specific commodity.

The ideal cooling process for sweet corn involves rapid removal of field heat and lowering the temperature to approximately 32°F. This is typically accomplished through a two-stage process, starting with hydrocooling of either packaged or loose corn. Hydrocooling, which involves immersing the corn in near-freezing water, effectively eliminates a significant portion of the heat (around two-thirds or three-quarters of the temperature difference between the harvest temperature and the water temperature).

When it comes to storing corn, careful attention should be given to two factors: biotic and non-biotic elements. Biotic factors encompass all living agents that utilize the crop as a source of nutrients, resulting in damage. Examples of biotic factors include insects, pests, and microorganisms. On the other hand, non-biotic factors include relative humidity, temperature, and time.
Sweet corn postharvest

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