For many horticultural products the event of harvest is the start of a series of changes that in many cases results in a loss of value. The deterioration of cut-flowers is a clear example, but similar changes can be seen in vegetables, fruits and other fresh products. In this BSc minor you will learn to understand the basis of post-harvest deterioration, quality control and quality improvement. Attention will be paid to different quality aspects (shelf life, taste, flavor, health promoting compounds) of fruits and vegetables and how quality is influenced by genotype, cultivation practices and the post-harvest environment (storage, packaging and transport conditions). Research into quality control involves pathology, microbiology and physiology. Firstly, to identify which processes contribute to the overall loss of quality, and secondly, to analyse these processes in order to develop strategies to reduce quality loss and maintain quality throughout the chain.
After successful completion of this minor students are expected to be able to:
- understand different quality concepts and technological factors influencing product quality;
understand developments in food quality management in chain perspective;
- understand the basic sensory methods and their appropriate application regarding the research question;
-understand the function and physiology of the senses (smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing);
- the importance of post-harvest changes in the economics and practice of horticulture;
- respiration, its role in the post-harvest deterioration of products, and its regulation by environmental management;
- the underlying principles and practical applications of cooling, storing and packaging of products;
- describe microbial interactions with living and non-living environments;
- explain the influence of environmental factors on microbial activity.
BSc Minor Coordinator
Dr ir U. van Meeteren
This minor is interesting for WU-students of the BSc-programmes BAT, BBI, BBT, BML, BPW and BBC (with VWO-Biology).
University-students of programmes in Biology and/or Life Sciences.
Components of the BSc Minor