Since over 10 years fresh-cut products represent a new opportunity for consumers to purchase fresh produce of good quality, healthy, and easy to consume. On the other hand, they represent for the industry a good chance to increase market sales with a type of product characterized by a high added value. The aim of this work is to present the state of the art on quality of fresh-cut products, in terms of sensorial, nutritional, and safety attributes, and on the aspects which, from farm to fork, may have an effect on it, including genotype, growing conditions, cultural practices, maturity at harvest, postharvest handling and processing. In addition, the physiological implications of cutting in terms of wound response and their effects on colour and texture are described. Fresh-cut process is outlined and commented and most critical steps discussed such as pre- and post-cutting treatments, water sanitation, and modified atmosphere packaging. Finally, major research trends in the near future are outlined and briefly discussed.
Keywords: vegetables, fruit, convenience, physiology, quality, equipments, packaging