Cereals and legumes are prone to perishability and have very short shelf-life if not given proper treatment. During different handling and marketing operations, there is a huge postharvest loss of agricultural produce. The qualitative and quantitative losses incurred in cereals and legumes commodities between harvest and consumption are huge. Qualitative losses such as loss inedibility, nutritional quality, calorific value, and consumer acceptability of fresh produce are much more difficult to assess than are quantitative losses. The major cause of postharvest loss (PHL) is the availability of poor infrastructure for postharvest technology (PHT) and processing of commodities. These losses can only be minimized by proper handling, marketing, and processing of the agricultural commodities; as well as the use of modern preservation technologies such as irradiation, radio frequency heating, etc. The sufficient knowledge of pre-and post-harvest preservation technologies and the provision of adequate and sufficient storage facilities for cereals and legumes handling and distribution would help to mitigate the incidence of postharvest deterioration and therefore improve the availability of cereals and legumes in the market and subsequent reduction in malnutrition for increased food security. Postharvest preservation technology of cereals and legumes is very fundamental in reducing postharvest losses and increasing food security.
Part of the book: Postharvest Technology