Stopping the rot

May 04, 2018
Brian Owens, Canadian Geographic
A farmer in India sprays hexanal on mango trees. Hexanal is a naturally-occurring compound that’s being used to prevent fruit crops in India from spoiling.

Photo : IDRC / Vijay Kutty

India is the world’s second-largest producer of tropical fruit and vegetables, but a huge amount of the harvest — up to 40 per cent — is lost to spoilage. IDRC-supported researchers are finding ways to use a natural substance called hexanal to slow ripening, and reduce the waste.

This article is part of an ongoing series of stories about innovative projects in the developing world, a partnership between IDRC and Canadian Geographic.

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