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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Almost 50 percent of fruit and vegetables in the EU not consumed

According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, almost 50% of fruits and vegetables in the EU are not consumed with the main losses being connected to the production of fresh produce. 20 percent of fresh produce is lost due to accidental damage during threshing or fruit picking, damage by insects, mechanical damage and/or spillage during harvest operation and crops sorted out post-harvest following quality requirements by supermarkets and other companies, lack of tuning between supply and demand and other reasons. Further down the food supply chain, 13 percent of what is initially produced gets lost due to consumer behavior by throwing away edible fruit and vegetables, or by wasting due to storing the fresh produce for too long or at the wrong temperature.
Within the European Project Veg-i-Trade, scientists of Ghent University and Wageningen University are trying to reduce the losses within the fruits and vegetables chain by developing statistical models to predict the degradation and the safety of fresh produce. These models can be used to improve the planning and logistics of food processors, transporters and supermarkets. By adapting for instance the size of the produced batches of food, the amount of stock and the storage conditions, less food would be lost.

Source: Science Daily