Non-destructive techniques for mitigating losses of fruits and vegetables




image analysis, biosensors, temperature monitoring, cold chain


Fruits and vegetables losses and wastage have massive impacts on the economy, as they constitute about half of the 1.3 billion tons of food annually lost; on the environment, because its elimination generates 10%-12% of greenhouse gases, and on society, because one of every four calories produced is not consumed. Losses are generated during production, postharvest, and marketing periods. In developing countries, only in postharvest, losses reach between 40% and 50% depending on the product considered. Losses can be grouped into physical, biological, and physiological, and their reduction constitutes a challenge that countries are attempting to tackle through both individual and collaborative actions. For applying successful mitigation strategies, not only their quantification but also the identification of factors and occasions in which losses occur are of utmost importance. In this sense, the use of non-destructive techniques is especially useful as such techniques facilitate the detection of physical damages before they are visible or the identification of pathogens before they develop. Other aspects include the possibility of monitoring refrigeration conditions during storage and transport, identifying the occurrence of a cold chain break, and making it possible to rectify the same. In this paper, various techniques applicable to the identification and reduction of losses are reviewed.


Download data is not yet available.


Abad E, Palacio F, Nuin M, de Zárate AG, Juarros A, Gómez J, Marco S. RFID smart tag for traceability and cold chain monitoring of foods: demonstration in an 340 intercontinental fresh fish logistic chain. J Food Eng. 2009;93:394-9.

Abasi S, Minaei S, Jamshidi B, Fathi D. Dedicated non-destructive devices for quality measurement: a review. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2018;78:197-205.

Abbasi AZ, Islam N, Shaikh ZA. A review of wireless sensors and networks' applications in agriculture. Comput Stand Inter. 2014;36:263-70.

Badia-Melis R, Garcia-Hierro J, Ruiz-Garcia L, Jiménez-Ariza T, Villalba JIR, Barreiro P. Assessing the dynamic behavior of WSN motes and RFID semi-passive tags for temperature monitoring. Comput Electron Agr. 2014;103:11-6.

Badia-Melis R, McCarthy U, Ruiz-García L, García-Hierro J, Robla Villalba JI. New trends in cold chain monitoring applications: a review. Food Control. 2018;6:170-82.

Barrett D, Beaulieu JC, Shewfelt R. Color, flavor, texture, and nutritional quality of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables: desirable levels, instrumental and sensory measurement, and the effects of processing. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010;50:369-89.

Beausang C, Hall C, Toma L. Food waste and losses in primary production: qualitative insights from horticulture. Resour Conserv Recycl. 2017;126:177-85.

Bouzembrak Y, Klüche M, Gavai A, Marvin HJ. Internet of Things in food safety: 355 literature review and a bibliometric analysis. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2019;94:54-64.

Canneyt TV, Tijskens E, Ramon H, Verschoore R, Sonck B. Characterisation of a potato-shaped instrumented device. Biosyst Eng. 2003;86:275-85.

Cheng T, Ji D, Zhang Z, Li B, Qin G, Tian S. Advances and strategies for controlling the quality and safety of postharvest fruit. Engineering. 2021;7:1177-84.

Chiu YC, Chou XL, Grift TE, Chen MT. Automated detection of mechanically induced bruise areas in golden delicious apples using fluorescence imagery. Trans ASABE. 2015;58:215-25.

Clune S, Crossin E, Verghese K. Systematic review of greenhouse gas emissions for different fresh food categories. J Cleaner Pro. 2017;140:766-83.

Commere B, Billard F. La chaîne du froid dans l’agroalimentaire. Tech ing Agroaliment. 2008;2:3230-1.

Committee on World Food Security. Food Losses and Waste in the Context of Sustainable Food Systems: A Report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security [Internet]. Rome: FAO; 2014 [cited 2021 Nov 23]. 116p. Available from:

Corrado S, Ardente F, Sala S, Saouter E. Modelling of food loss within life cycle assessment: From current practice towards a systematisation. J Cleaner Pro. 2018;140:847-59.

Defraeye T, Shrivastava C, Berry T, Verboven P, Onwude S, Bühlmann A, Cronje P, Rossi RM. Digital twins are coming: will we need them in supply chains of fresh horticultural produce? Trends Food Sci Technol. 2021;109:245-58.

Defraeye T, Wu W, Prawiranto K, Fortunato G, Kemp S, Hartmann S, Conje P, Verboven P, Nicolai B. Artificial fruit for monitoring the thermal history of horticultural produce in the cold chain. J Food Eng. 2017;215:51-60.

Diezma B, Correa EC. Biosensores y sistemas ópticos y de visión avanzados: su aplicación en la evaluación de la calidad de productos IV gama. Agrociencia Uruguay. 2018;22:13-25.

Du Z, Zeng X, Li X, Ding X, Cao J, Jiang W. Recent advances in imaging techniques for bruise detection in fruits and vegetables. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2020;99:133-41.

Everard CD, Kim MS, Lee H. Assessment of a handheld fluorescenceimaging device as an aid for detection of food residues on processing surfaces. Food Control. 2016;59:243-9.

FAO. Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction [Internet]. Rome: FAO; 2015 [cited 2021 Nov 23]. 8p. Available from:

FAO. Hunger and food insecurity [Internet]. Rome: FAO; 2019 [cited 2021 Nov 23]. Available from:

Huang W, Li J, Wang Q, Chen L. Development of a multispectral imaging system for online detection of bruises on apples. J Food Eng. 2015;146:62-71.

Hussain A, Pu H, Sun DW. Innovative nondestructive imaging techniques for ripening and maturity of fruits: a review of recent applications. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2018;72:144-52.

James S, James C. The food cold-chain and climate change. Food Res Int. 2010;450:1944-56.

Jiménez C, León D. Biosensores: aplicaciones y perspectivas en el control y calidad de procesos y productos alimenticios. Vitae. 2009;16:144-54.

Kader AA. Quality and safety factors: definition and evaluation of fresh horticultural crops. In: Kader AA, editor. Post Harvest Technology of Horticultural Crops. California: University of California; 2002. p. 279-87.

Khater M, de la Escosura-Muñiz A, Merkoçi A. Biosensors for plant pathogen detection. Biosens Bioelectron. 2017;93:72-86.

Kumar V, Arora K. Trends in nano-inspired biosensors for plants. Mat Sci Energ Technol. 2020;3:255-73.

Kumar V, Shankar R, Kumar G. Strategies used for reducing postharvest losses in fruits and vegetables. Int J Eng Res. 2015;6:130-7.

Laguerre O, Duret S, Hoang H, Flick D. Using simplified models of cold chain equipment to assess the influence of operating conditions and equipment design on cold chain 460 performance. Int J Refrig. 2014;47:120-33.

Laguerre O, Hoang H, Flick D. Experimental investigation and modelling in the food cold chain: thermal and quality evolution. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2013;29:87-97.

Loisel J, Duret S, Cornuéjols A, Cagnon D, Tardet M, Derens-Bertheau E, Laguerre O. Cold chain break detection and analysis: Can machine learning help? Trends Food Sci Technol. 2021;112:391-9.

Lu F, Xu F, Li Z, Liu Y, Wang J, Zhang L. Effect of vibration on storage quality and ethylene biosynthesis-related enzyme genes expression in harvested apple fruit. Sci Hort. 2019;249:1-6.

Mercier S, Marcos B, Uysal I. Identification of the best temperature measurement position inside a food pallet for the prediction of its temperature distribution. Int J Refrig. 2017;76:147-59.

Nagraik N, Sharma A, Kumur D, Mukherjee S, Sen F, Kumar AP. Amalgamation of biosensors and nanotechnology in disease diagnosis: mini-review. Sens Int [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 Nov 23];2:100089. Doi: 10.1016/j.sintl.2021.100089.

Opara UL, Pathare PB. Bruise damage measurement and analysis of fresh horticultural produce: a review. Postharvest Biol Tec. 2014;91:9-24.

Özdoğan G, Lin X, Sun D. Rapid and noninvasive sensory analyses of food products by hyperspectral imaging: recent application developments. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2021;111:151-65.

Porter SD, Reay DS, Higgins P, Bomberg E. A half-century of production-phase greenhouse gas emissions from food loss & waste in the global food supply chain. Sci Total Environ. 2016;571:721-9.

Qi L, Xu M, Fu Z, Mira T, Zhang X. C2 SLDS: a WSN-based perishable food shelf-life prediction and LSFO strategy decision support system in cold chain logistics. Food Control. 2014;38:9-29.

Ray M, Ray A, Dash S, Mishra A, Achary G, Nayak S, Singh S. Fungal disease detection in plants: traditional assays, novel diagnostic techniques and biosensors. Biosens Bioelectron. 2017;87:708-23.

Ruiz-García L, Barreiro P, Robla Villalba JI. Performance of ZigBee-Based wireless sensor nodes for real-time monitoring of fruit logistics. J Food Eng. 2008;87:405-15.

Ruiz-García L, Lunadei L, Barreiro P, Robla I. A review of wireless sensor technologies and applications in agriculture and food industry: state of the art and current trends. Sensors. 2009;9:4728-50.

Ruiz-García L, Steinberger G, Rothmund M. A model and prototype implementation for tracking and tracing agricultural batch products along the food chain. Food Control. 2010;21:112-21.

Rutolo MF, Clarkson JP, Harper G, Covington JA. The use of gas phase detection and monitoring of potato soft rot infection in store. Postharvest Biol Tec. 2018;145:15-9.

Schulte N, Brown G, Timm E. Apple impact damage thresholds. Applied Eng Agric.1992;8:55-60.

Springael J, Paternoster A, Braet J. Reducing postharvest losses of apples: Optimal transport routing (while minimizing total costs). Comput Electron Agric. 2018;146:136-44.

Sun Y, Pessane I, Pan L, Wang X. Hyperspectral characteristics of bruised tomatoes as affected by drop height and fruit size. Lebensm Wiss Technol [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 Nov 23];141:110863. Doi: 10.1016/j.lwt.2021.110863.

Terao D, de Lima Nechet K, Silva Ponte M, Nunes Maia A, Delgado de Almeida Anjos V, de Aleida B. Physical postharvest treatments combined with antagonistic yeast on the control of orange green mold. Sci Hort. 2017;224:317-23.

Usall J, Ippolito A, Sisquella M, Neri F. Physical treatments to control postharvest diseases of fresh fruits and vegetables. Postharvest Biol Tec. 2016;122:30-40.

Van zeebroeck M, Van linden V, Ramon H, De Baerdemaeker J, Nicolaï BM, Tijskens E. Impact damage of apples during transport and handling. Postharvest Biol Tec. 2007;46:10-9.

Wisniewski M, Droby S, Norelli J, Liu J, Schena L. Alternative management technologies for postharvest disease control: the journey from simplicity to complexity. Postharvest Biol Tec. 2016;122:3-10.

Xu F, Liu S, Wang S. Effect of mechanical vibration on postharvest quality and volatile compounds of blueberry fruit. Food Chem [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 Nov 23];349(2):129216. Doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.129216.

Xu F, Lu F, Xiao Z, Li Z. Influence of drop shock on physiological responses and genes expression of apple fruit. Food Chem [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 Nov 23];303:125424. Doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.125424.

Xu R, Li C. Development of the second generation Berry Impact Recording Device (BIRD II). Sensors (Basel) [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2021 Nov 23];15(2):3688-705. Doi: 10.3390/s150203688.

Yu P, Li C, Rains G, Hamrita T. Development of the Berry Impact Recording Device sensing system: Hardware design and calibration. Comput Electron Agric. 2011;79:103-11.

Zhou R, Zeng YY. Effect of transportation vibration on different grades of road on antioxidant system of hami melons (Cucumis melo var. saccharinus) during storage. Food Sci. 2018;39:176-81.

Zhu X. Complex event detection for commodity distribution internet of things model incorporating radio frequency identification and wireless sensor network. Future Gener Comput Syst. 2021;125:100-11.

Zou Z, Chen Q, Uysal I, Zheng L. Radio frequency identification enabled wireless sensing for intelligent food logistics. Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2021 Nov 23];372(2017):20130313. Doi: 10.1098/rsta.2013.0313.




How to Cite

Silveira AC, Rodríguez S, Kluge R, Palaretti LF, Inestroza C, Escalona VH. Non-destructive techniques for mitigating losses of fruits and vegetables. Agrocienc Urug [Internet]. 2022 Jan. 5 [cited 2023 Feb. 1];25(NE2):e850. Available from:



Section 2. Sustainable Food Systems for Fruits and Vegetables