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Postharvest - Biology and Technology

The course is about how different factors affect the quality of horticultural products after harvest. How to maintain quality after harvest, and reduce food losses and waste at all stages are important parts. The course provides an in-depth understanding of the physiology, handling and technology for the postharvest period of horticultural products, from harvest to consumption.

Information from the course leader

Welcome to the course!

We will start Tuesday January 17th at 9.15 with a course introduction, and then continue with postharvest issues and product quality. The lectures and seminars will be held through the program Zoom, which is available through SLU student web.

Once you have been accepted to the course it is important that you look through this checklist:

Checklist for international programme students and students taking freestanding courses | Studentwebben (

Once you are registered you will have access to different programs you will need in the course. You will need the program Zoom:

Software and tools for studies and distance teaching | Studentwebben (

Most of the information about the course you will find on the platform Canvas, which is avilable through the student web. The scedule for the course will be updated on Canvas.

The course literature will consist of the book

Postharvest . An Introduction to the Physiology and Handling of Fruit and Vegetables. By Ron Wills and John Golding. 2016, 6 ed. CABI Publishing. ISBN 9781786391483.

This book is available both as paperback book and E-book. PLEASE NOTE! there are previous editions of this book for sale online, so note that you get the latest edition.

In addition to this book there will be a literature list on Canvas, consisting of articles and book chapters, which will be available online for free when you are a SLU student..

If you are new student at SLU, you will find some useful information here:

New SLU student | Studentwebben

For international students, there will be an opportunity to join a Zoom-meeting at January 16th:

Orientation Programme Spring 2023 | Studentwebben (

Looking forward to see you on January 17th!

Best regards, Marie Olsson, course leader

Course evaluation

The course evaluation is now closed

BI1395-30288 - Course evaluation report

Once the evaluation is closed, the course coordinator and student representative have 1 month to draft their comments. The comments will be published in the evaluation report.

Additional course evaluations for BI1395

Academic year 2021/2022

Postharvest - Biology and Technology (BI1395-30146)

2022-01-17 - 2022-03-23

Syllabus and other information


BI1395 Postharvest - Biology and Technology, 15.0 Credits

Postharvest - Biology and Technology


Biology Horticultural Science

Education cycle

Bachelor’s level


Title Credits Code
Single module 15.0 ENDA

Advanced study in the main field

First cycle, has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirementsBachelor’s level (G2F)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Courses corresponding to 60 credits in biology or horticultural science.


The objectives of the course are to provide biological and technological knowledge for how quality of horticultural products can be maintained after harvest, as well as knowledge of which factors affect quality after harvest of horticultural products and how losses can be reduced. The course will provide an in-depth understanding of physiology, handling and technology for the postharvest period of horticultural products, from harvest to consumption.

After completing the course, the student shall be able to:

- demonstrate in-depth knowledge of biochemistry, physiology and structures of horticultural products that are important for harvest management and storage

- discuss different quality standards for horticultural products, as well as regulation associated with these

- account for different technologies in connection with storage and distribution, such as different cooling techniques, controlled atmosphere, as well as new technology development

- account for methods for quality assessment and sorting

- assess how genetic background, various environmental factors before and after harvest, packaging techniques, as well as handling during storage and distribution affect the quality and durability of horticultural products

- demonstrate knowledge of the importance of horticultural products for human nutrition and food safety

- describe regulation in laws, as well as voluntary certifications, concerning food safety, traceability and production systems, and discuss the importance of different certifications

- have knowledge of the product development and innovation process for new products.


The course includes the following sections:

- Genetic, physiological and plant pathological factors, as well as cultivation techniques and other environmental factors, which affect sustainability and quality.

- Factors that affect ripening processes, as well as maturity indices for fruits. Grading and sorting of horticultural products. Sensory quality - colour, shape and taste.

-Measures to maintain quality and reduce postharvest losses, including cold chain, packaging materials, modified and controlled atmosphere and storage techniques.

- Techniques for determining and analysing raw material quality and fruit ripening, as well as quality of processed foods.

- Identification and description of various pathological and physiological diseases after harvest, and causes of these

- Nutritional quality and content of fruits, berries and vegetables that affect health, as well as factors that affect the levels of these substances.

-Food safety for horticultural products and regulations inside and outside the EU.

- Food waste: measures to limit waste at all stages and possible alternative uses for by-products.

- Product development and innovation as a process

The course is a distance learning and online course and includes web-based modules and elective laboratory sessions on the Alnarp campus. Laboratories are optional and can be replaced with tasks. Scheduled guest lectures, seminars, tutorials and presentations are mandatory.

Formats and requirements for examination

The examination consists of submission and reporting of practical classes (can be replaced by other assignment) plus written and/or oral examination. To pass the course, pass grades in examination and assignments, approved participation in exercises, laboratory work (or other assignment) and seminars is required. If a student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.

If a student has been granted targeted study support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative form of assessment.

If this course is discontinued, SLU will decide on transitional provisions for the examination of students admitted under this syllabus who have not yet been awarded a Pass grade.

For the assessment an independent project (degree project), the examiner may also allow a student to add supplemental information after  the deadline for submission.  For more information, please refer to the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course instance which the student has been admitted to and registered on.

If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information, please refer to the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.

Responsible department

Department of Plant Breeding

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom landskap och trädgård (PN - LT)
Biology field: Övriga biologikurser
Replaces: BI0927, BI1235

Grading criteria

There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: Horticultural Management - Gardening and Horticultural Production, Bachelor's Programme Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 38060 SEK Cycle: Bachelor’s level (G2F)
Subject: Biology Horticultural Science
Course code: BI1395 Application code: SLU-30288 Location: Independent courses Distance course: Yes Language: English Responsible department: Department of Plant Breeding Pace: 100%