Postharvest environmentally and human-friendly pre-treatments to minimize carrot waste in the supply chain caused by physiological disorders and fungi

Konstantinos Papoutsis*, Merete Edelenbos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

55 Downloads (Pure)


Carrot is one of the most important horticultural crops, with an annual worldwide production exceeding 40 million tonnes. Carrots are sold either fresh intact or fresh-cut as minimally processed vegetables (MPV). In the postharvest supply chain, physiological disorders, fungal decay, and their combinations reduce the quality of fresh intact and MPV carrots. MPV carrots are more susceptible to quality changes than fresh intact carrots due to a higher loss of protective epidermis, greater number of wounded cells, and increased respiration rates.

Scope and approach
The current review summarizes different environmentally and human-friendly treatments applied in the postharvest supply chain to minimize the adverse effects of handling and storage on physiological disorders and fungal decay.

Key findings and conclusions
Bitterness, white blush, and browning are the most critical physiological disorders of fresh and MPV carrots. Bitterness can be prevented by storing carrots in well-ventilated rooms without ethylene-producing fruit and vegetables, while white blush and browning can be controlled by the application of heat treatment, ultraviolet (UV)-irradiation, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and edible films. Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Botrytis cinerea, Alternaria radicina, and Berkeleyomyces spp. (formerly Thielaviopsis spp.) are important fungi causing carrot postharvest losses and waste. Fungal decay of carrots can be controlled by selecting healthy carrots and applying natural compounds, ozone (O3), heat treatment, UV-irradiation, inorganic salt, and/or biocontrol agents, and their combinations. However, a successful combination of different sustainable treatment methods requires treatment compatibility, and -omics techniques may reveal the best combinations of sustainable treatment methods.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Food Science & Technology
Pages (from-to)88-98
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Cite this