Science Into Practice - Reducing loss in radish crops

Pre and post-harvest splitting in radishes results in significant product wastage.

Splits can be as high as 30 per cent on arrival at the packhouse, exceeding imposed supermarket tolerances of 10 per cent. Affected batches often have to be sorted by hand. Despite these problems, the issue has received very little investigation.

HDC Studentship CP 083 - Minimising post-harvest losses in radish through an understanding of preand post-harvest factors that influence root splitting - is being undertaken by PhD student Rachel Lockley at Harper Adams University.

It aims to identify preand postharvest factors affecting splitting in radish by looking at varietal susceptibility, the effect of water availability on splitting and the effect of radish hypocotyl water content on the susceptibility of postharvest splitting.

To date, results indicate that those cultivars with thinner periderms tend to split less than those with thicker ones. There was a positive correlation between splitting and high water content at the secondary stage of thickening in immature radishes and crops were more susceptible to damage from dropping and puncture if they had a high water content. A key has also been developed for the growth stages of radish.

The aim of this work is to identify the factors governing splitting or splitting susceptibility and may enable the development of field production, harvesting and handling practices that minimise hypocotyl damage leading to fewer financial losses for the grower.

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activity, visit

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What is being done to develop biocontrols against orchard pests?

What is being done to develop biocontrols against orchard pests?

The SIVAL horticultural trade show in Angers, France, this week (16-18 January) heard about several initiatives to promote more environmentally sustainable orchard growing.

What does the 25-year plan mean for growers?

What does the 25-year plan mean for growers?

Published on 11 January, the Government's long-awaited 'A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment' brings together a number of policy strands into a single framework that will impact many sectors, not least fresh produce, over the coming decades.

What will 'embracing change' mean for horticulture?

What will 'embracing change' mean for horticulture?

At the Oxford Farming Conference, whose theme was "embracing change", Defra secretary Michael Gove expanded on what a post-Brexit UK agriculture and land-use policy will look like and how it will impact farmers and growers.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon