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I have “heard” that when fruits and veggies are picked prior to repening, they lose some nutritional value. That the major nutriants are developed in the item during the final ripening process. Is this true? If so, is there any scale or relationship to the time of harvest and the amount of nutriants. For example, if harvested at 80% ripe, it only has 80% of the nutriants. Also, does this all vary with the type of item. I am mostly interested in the affect on fruits and documented references regarding this matter. Also, any further people, publications and studies you can direct me to will be appreciated. Thanks, Tom.

It is true that harvesting too soon will have an effect on nutritional value.  However, given that many other factors such as soil, climate, amount of sunlight, etc. affect the nutritional value, it is not possible to say that there is a scale or relationship between the time of harvest and the amount of nutrients.  For more information on this subject, I suggest you contact the Agricultural Research Service at USDA for more information; you can click here.

 

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