Temperature is the element in the post-harvest environment that has the greatest impact on the storage life of fruits and vegetables. In some regions of the globe, mostly tropical and subtropical climates, post-harvest losses of horticultural crops are estimated to be more than 50% of the production due to poor handling techniques such as improper temperature management.
In the past thirty years, the market for cut flowers has become a global one; flowers and cut foliage sourced from throughout the world are sold as bunches or combined into arrangements and bouquets in major target markets such as North America, Japan and the EU. The high export value of cut flowers has led to dramatic increases in production in many developing countries.
The increased worldwide trade in fresh fruits and vegetables arose from the importance of these commodities to the human diet. They bring to our daily diet variety, flavour and aesthetic appeal while they meet certain essential nutritional necessities. Furthermore, the nutritional importance of fruit and vegetables can be seen as an advantage since they offer a high concentration of vitamins and minerals with a low contribution of calories and fats.
Fish and seafood products consist of an enormous variety of species. On the international market ground fish, pelagic and fresh water fish, shellfish and other molluscs or crustaceans are imported and exported from one country to another. These products are brought to the market in a variety of forms and conditions such as “fresh whole”, frozen (whole or in parts), dried, pickled or salted and cuts (such as in the form of fillets or steaks), as well as “live”.
Meat or meat products can be fresh, frozen or chilled. However, a large part of meat products are air-shipped fresh or chilled. They must be kept under cold conditions at all times during the whole distribution process.