Mechanical damages and packaging methods along the fresh fruit supply chain: A review

Menghua Lin, Olaniyi Amos Fawole, Wouter Saeys, Di Wu, Jun Wang, Umezuruike Linus Opara, Bart Nicolai, Kunsong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanical damage of fresh fruit occurs throughout the postharvest supply chain leading to poor consumer acceptance and marketability. In this review, the mechanisms of damage development are discussed first. Mathematical modeling provides advanced ways to describe and predict the deformation of fruit with arbitrary geometry, which is important to understand their mechanical responses to external forces. Also, the effects of damage at the cellular and molecular levels are discussed as this provides insight into fruit physiological responses to damage. Next, direct measurement methods for damage including manual evaluation, optical detection, magnetic resonance imaging, and X-ray computed tomography are examined, as well as indirect methods based on physiochemical indexes. Also, methods to measure fruit susceptibility to mechanical damage based on the bruise threshold and the amount of damage per unit of impact energy are reviewed. Further, commonly used external and interior packaging and their applications in reducing damage are summarized, and a recent biomimetic approach for designing novel lightweight packaging inspired by the fruit pericarp. Finally, future research directions are provided.HIGHLIGHTS Mathematical modeling has been increasingly used to calculate damage to fruit. Cell and molecular mechanisms response to fruit damage is an under-explored area. Susceptibility measurement of different mechanical forces has received attention. Customized design of reusable and biodegradable packaging is a hot topic of research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10283-10302
Number of pages20
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Mechanical response
  • fruit susceptibility
  • mathematical modeling
  • packaging
  • physiological response
  • postharvest handling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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