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This publication describes types of packaging for fresh fruits and vegetables, including each packaging's functions, uses and limitations.
North Carolina’s climate and soils are well suited to grow many types tree fruits. This publication will focus on the three main tree fruits produced for market in North Carolina: peaches, apples, and pecans. In addition to these main crops, information on pears, persimmons, plums, nectarines, Asian pears, and figs is presented as they grow well in North Carolina’s temperate climate. These tree fruits require similar management regimes described in this publication.
This factsheet offers information on which frozen foods can be safely refrozen after an extended power outage.
This publication is a useful resource that shell egg producers can use to identify egg defects and possible factors contributing to egg quality issues. It also provides corrective measures for each defect so that producers can incorporate these solutions into their production systems.
This publication has been prepared to acquaint growers, shippers and processors with energy-efficient handling and cooling methods useful in preserving the quality of fresh green beans and field peas.
This publication covers the characteristics and benefits of forced-air cooling to cool fresh produce to its lowest safe storage temperature as quickly as possible.
This publication is intended to help growers, packers, and shippers of fresh produce make informed decisions concerning the application of hydrocooling. It discusses various types of hydrocoolers, calculation of hydrocooling rates, postharvest disease control, wastewater￼ discharge considerations, and the energy efficiency of hydrocooling compared to other types of cooling.
This publication provides information on cooling basics, common produce cooling methods and other steps for maintaining quality.
Proper temperature control is essential to protecting the quality of fresh produce. By constructing and maintaining their own cooling facilities, farmers, packers, and roadside vendors can substantially reduce the overall cost of owning one of these useful structures. This publication describes how to plan a postharvest cooling facility of modest size and how to determine the structural and energy requirements.
This publication has been prepared to acquaint growers, shippers and processors with energy-efficient handling and cooling methods useful in preserving the quality of fresh blueberries.
This publication, part of the Farm to Food Bank Resource Guide, discusses food donations given directly to food banks and food pantries in North Carolina.
This publication has been prepared to acquaint growers, shippers and processors with energy-efficient handling and cooling methods useful in preserving the quality of fresh onions.
Harvested squash and pumpkins are still very much alive even though they are mature and have been removed from the vine. The objective of curing and storing is to prolong the storage life of the fruit by slowing the rate of respiration and protecting against storage rots.
This publication provides practical tips on how to promote health eating by incorporating fresh, local foods into nutrition education and cooking classes. Topics include getting started, knowing what's in season, and where to buy local foods.
This publication provides information and success stories related to food banks, food pantries, food donation programs, and other resources for addressing food insecurity.
This factsheet acquaints growers, shippers and processors with energy-efficient cooling and handling methods useful in preserving the quality of fresh strawberries.
This comprehensive guide covers crop management, fertilizers, irrigation and drought management, tillage, insect and disease management, and marketing concerns for corn production.
Field heat should be removed from fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers as quickly as possible after harvest. Each commodity should be maintained at its lowest safe temperature.
This publication provides introductory information about growing and wild-harvesting medicinal herbs in North Carolina. The practices suggested here apply to all raw herbal plant material used to make herbal products, dietary supplements, cosmetics, foods, and drugs.
This publication is intended to help growers, packers, and shippers of fresh produce make informed decisions concerning the application of crushed and liquid ice cooling. Included are discussions of icemaking equipment and ways to purchase ice, types of produce that may be suitably iced, various produce-icing methods, how to calculate the amount of ice required to cool a given amount of produce, and the economic considerations of cooling with ice.
This publication discusses the necessity of acid in many foods and how to meet government standards for these food products.
This factsheet acquaints growers, shippers and processors with energy-efficient cooling and handling methods useful in preserving the quality of fresh sweet corn.
This document offers a set of steps for food producers to take when issuing a food safety recall.
The impact of honey bees on not only North Carolina, but the entire world is immense.
Gardens bring communities together. Not only are community gardens a good way to get more fresh fruits and vegetables in our diets, they also allow us to be active outdoors and build a strong community.
This publication gives instruction for building and using an inexpensive postharvest cooling system. The cool and ship system provides rapid cooling for modest amounts of small fruit and is versatile, portable, reusable, and inexpensive. The system uses an air-conditioning system and common building materials, and may be easily assembled by the user.
This factsheet offers information on how to deal with food that may have come into contact with floodwaters.
At present, chlorination is one of the few chemical options available to help manage postharvest diseases. When used in connection with other proper postharvest handling practices, chlorination is effective and relatively inexpensive. It poses little threat to health or the environment. This publication has been prepared to acquaint growers, packers, and shippers with the proper use of chlorination.
This 8-page publication will help producers make decisions about growing or buying forage, and about harvesting, storage, and feeding options. Forages are an essential part of a ruminant animal's diet and are an important factor in a profitable farm business.
This publication covers a variety of foods that can be prepared even if there is no gas or electricity for cooking.
This online publication describes how cover crops affect the soil, how to establish cover crops, and how to manage their residue. It includes a review of the winter and summer cover crops recommended for North Carolina. The authors also discuss the economics of planting cover crops and some concerns to consider when planting cover crops.
SmartFresh℠ (1-methylcyclopropene, MCP) is a relatively new tool for postharvest management of apples. In 2002, SmartFresh was approved for commercial use on apples by the Environmental Protection Agency under a reduced risk program because of the very low toxicity of the product and the fact that treated fruit have no detectable residue. It is thought to bind irreversibly to the ethylene receptors in plant tissues making the crops insensitive to ethylene and subsequently retarding many of the ethylene mediated responses such as fruit softening in apples. SmartFresh can maintain apple firmness and acidity and decrease scald and greasiness even when stored under less than ideal storage temperatures.
The per-capita consumption of processed tomatoes has increased steadily in recent years. This has been due to changes in eating habits and development of new and better products. Over 8 million tons of processed tomatoes are produced in the United States annually. Average yields for the United States are 25 tons per acre while the range is 9 to 40 tons per acre. North Carolina growers can produce high yields of processing tomatoes. Satisfactory color, pH, sugar and acid content needed to produce a fine quality canned product can be attained if tomatoes are grown according to recommended practices.
At times, it is necessary to transport or store different commodities together. In such mixed loads, it is very important to combine only those commodities that are compatible with respect to their requirements for: Temperature, Relative humidity, Atmosphere; oxygen and carbon dioxide, Protection from odors, Protection from physiologically active gases, such as ethylene.
This manual covers Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), a food safety plan for schools to reduce the likelihood of foodborne illness by handling food safely from the time it is received until the time it is served.
In preparation for an emergency, keep the following food items that do not need refrigeration on hand or in an evacuation kit.
After a power failure, you might not have heat, refrigeration, or water. This publication explains how to safely prepare food when you have no power.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers must be in excellent condition and have excellent quality if maximum shelf life is desired. The best possible quality of any commodity exists at the moment of harvest. From that point on, quality cannot be improved, only maintained. Remember that shelf life begins at harvest.
New and existing professionals working in the realm of climate education, research, and outreach need to be clear in their terminology and usage. This glossary compiles the most commonly used terms and definitions for academics, researchers, and educators to communicate effectively in this emerging arena. To enhance understanding, key terms include a separate interpretative explanation of the concept “Why this matters.”
This publication describes fertilizer management strategies for optimum potato yields and to prevent problems (such as reduced stands, diseases, or poor tuber quality) that can be caused by improper fertilization.
Increasingly, fresh produce growers, packers and sellers are being asked to prepare and maintain written Recall Programs. Elements for FDA "Product Recalls" are in 21CFR7.40, et. seq. Adopting that statutory approach to create Fresh Produce Recall Programs may help the Fresh Produce Industry convert public concern into strategic aid.
This publication lists the references used in parts 1-4 of the Postharvest Handling and Cooling of Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, and Flowers for Small Farms series.
The most important key to quality maintenance of fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers is careful handling; Tender Loving Care! Symptoms of injuries incurred during harvesting, handling, grading, and packaging usually are not evident until the products reach retail or consumer levels; too late to do anything about your quality image. Bruises and other mechanical damage not only detract from the appearance of the product, but are good avenues of entrance for decay organisms.
This publication provides information to help produce growers understand the variety of insurance coverage or policies available to best cover their farms.