Postharvest losses of pomegranate fruit at the packhouse and implications for sustainability indicators

Ikechukwu Kingsley Opara, Olaniyi Amos Fawole, Umezuruike Linus Opara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Pomegranate fruit, like other types of fresh horticultural produce, are susceptible to high incidence preharvest and postharvest losses and waste. Several studies have been done to improve the production and handling of pomegranate fruit to meet market standards, but little has been done in loss quantification, especially in the early stage of the value chain such as the packhouse. Therefore, the aim of this study was to quantify the magnitude of pomegranate fruit losses at the packhouse, identify the causes, and estimate the impacts of losses. The study was conducted on a case study packhouse in the Western Cape Province of South Africa from February to March 2020. The direct measurement method, which involved physical identification of the causes of loss on individual fruit, was used for data collection. Loss quantification involved the calculation of lost fruit proportional to the amount put in the packhouse processing line. The results showed that losses ranged between 6.74% to 7.69%, which translated to an average of 328.79 tonnes of pomegranate fruit removed during packhouse operation per production season at the investigated packhouse. This magnitude of lost fruit was equivalent to over ZAR 29.5 million (USD 1,754,984) in revenue, in addition to the opportunity costs of resources used to produce lost fruit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5187
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • Environmental
  • Impacts
  • Losses
  • Nutrition
  • Packhouse
  • Pomegranate
  • Postharvest
  • Resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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