The shelf-life of raw or processed food is a measure of the time such products retain their optimum quality, during transport, storage and display at reduced or ambient temperatures. The rapid deterioration of fruit and vegetables during these times is an on-going problem for producers and retailers of food products, particularly of fresh produce, since it results in wastage as products rapidly become unsaleable. Consequently, any extension of shelf-life and improvements in and durability of quality of freshly harvested vegetables is of considerable benefit to both producers and consumers. Genetic manipulation technologies can be exploited to understand and, ultimately, to manipulate both preharvest and post-harvest ripening and senescence of fruits and vegetables.
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