Assessment and characterizing mechanical damage in packaged bananas in the post-harvest supply chain
Fernando, I and Fei, J and Stanley, R and Enshaei, H, Assessment and characterizing mechanical damage in packaged bananas in the post-harvest supply chain, MATEC Web of Conferences, 21-23 August 2019, Paris, France, pp. 1-10. ISSN 2261-236X (2019) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Quality deterioration in packaged bananas caused by mechanical damage along the post-harvest supply
chains (SC) remains obscure until the packages are unpacked for sale at the retail stores and therefore, the mechanism
of damage occurrence remains unclear. This study assessed the mechanical damage levels of bananas in 300 cartons
from pack houses to retail stores in Australia. The damage across the SC were shown to be progressive across the SC.
Bruising and neck damage levels in bananas increased from the distribution centre (DC) to the retail stores.
Mechanical damage in unripe bananas was influenced by the package location in the stacked-pallet, and the transport
and handling of packages within the last-mile of the SC (DC to retail) further exacerbated the damage. This study
further characterized the damage development by subjecting packaged bananas to simulated vibration, top-load
compression and drop impact. It was revealed that the exposure to vibration resulted in rubbing; top-load package
compression contributed to bruising and, the drop impact caused severe neck injuries in bananas. The knowledge of
the damage incidences across the SC and causes of damage may contribute to the development of interventions
targeted at improving the quality of bananas in the post-harvest SC in Australia.