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Reducing postharvest losses of apples

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Ondertitel:optimal transport routing (while minimizing total costs)
Fresh products may suffer considerable damage during postharvest transportation caused by vibrations and shocks (i.e. transient vibrations that damp out over time). The Belgian apple industry is yearly worth 125140 M euro (EBITDA to apple growers) and experiences losses between 10 and 25% corresponding to 1025 M euro. Apple losses can be attributed to fungal diseases that enter the apple through bruised or punctured tissue and contaminate the fruit. Vibrations occurring during transports are a major contributor to bruises or punctures on apples, and, as a consequence, need to be avoided. An effective method to reduce the apple loss rate is by minimizing the number and intensity of vibrations that occur during the transport route. In this paper, we suggest planning transport routes based on transportation costs as well as costs related to the loss rate of apples. As a consequence, the transport vehicle is able to avoid road segments with poorly maintained road segments or road segments that are more susceptible to induce higher vibration amplitudes. The results of transport simulations illustrate that the Belgian apple growers can gain industry profits of 2501500 thousand euros. Both from an economical as well as an ecological perspective our findings are substantial and relevant. The methods used in this research can be adopted by other fruit varieties by transforming the input parameters.
Tijdschrift: Computers & Electronics in Agriculture
ISSN: 0168-1699
Volume: 146
Pagina's: 136 - 144
Jaar van publicatie:2018