There are three major causes of postharvest losses of Santol Fruit. They are: lack of available processing technologies, lack of storage facilities and lack of knowledge on proper handling.
1) Lack of available processing technologies. Perhaps it is the major cause of postharvest losses. When the santol Bangkok variety came to existence, lots of farmers in our area planted many trees and started getting bountiful harvest after several years. However, the santol fruit has very few processing technologies available and no commercially available product is made from such. There are few available on market but no being produced on commercial scale. These lead to a very low market demand bringing down the price per sack to only 50 pesos. Such low price cannot cover for the cost of harvesting and hauling. Santol fruit only commands higher price at the beginning of the season. It dramatically drops towards the middle forcing many farmers to leave the fruits rotting on trees.
2) Lack of cold storage facilities. Farmers, wholesalers and retailers never have the means to store the products at colder temperature. The marketing channels have to do their best to sell the product before it reach its end life. The best way to do this is lower the price instead of extending the life span. If they are unsuccessful, all the commodity left behind will be gone to rot.
3) Lack of knowledge on proper handling. The fruit has a very low demand and so postharvest studies are also rare. There is limited information about shelf life, cold storage and proper packing, including modified atmosphere packaging.
Santol is usually packed in sacks with the bottom and top cushioned with santol leaves for damage protection. However, the thin sack and the leave cushioning are not enough to protect it during transport. Two sacks are secured with ropes on side of horse and another sack on horseback. The handler thinks the santol thick rind can handle the pressure.
The sacks are usually left under the heat of sun for several hours to days. It has no protection against extreme heat and considerable moist from rain.
During vehicular transport, the sacks are pack in such a way to maximize the space. The hired vehicle should carry the maximum possible load to cover the transport cost. No shelves to reduced pressure and provide ample ventilation. This practice is detrimental to fruits. Fruits at the bottom suffer heat and pressure damage.
Another bad thing is the mixed mode of transport. Wholesalers never transport a single type of commodity. All types are arranged in a single compartment, which is the whole vehicle. Goods producing large amount of ethylene are causing premature ripening of the others, and rot before reaching the market destination.