Role Of Microorganisms In Post-Harvest Loss Of Agricultural Products: A Review
Naresh Singh Bist, Pratibha Bist
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The measurable quantitative (weight or volume) and qualitative (changed physical condition or characteristics) loss of agricultural products after harvest is considered as a post-harvest loss. Microbiological postharvest loss is one of the major types of postharvest loss and it refers to losses caused by microorganisms like moulds, yeasts, and bacteria. Microorganisms have a cosmopolitan distribution in the terrestrial ecosystem and are responsible for the contamination of agricultural products. Poor post-harvest management of agricultural products makes them susceptible to microbial contamination. Different genera of fungi, bacteria, protista even viruses are responsible for spoilage of food agricultural products rendering them unsuitable for consumption. Some microorganisms like Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Fusarium expel or produce mycotoxins on food material which is detrimental to human health. Thus, appropriate control measures should be applied to minimize microbial post-harvest loss for not only reducing risk to human health but also obtaining sustainable food security.