Postharvest handling of Brassica vegetables

Page last updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2017 - 8:43am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.


(Brassica oleracea L. capitata group)

Minimum requirements

  • Cabbage should be intact, free of cracks, rot, mould and adhering soil and insects.
  • No off smell.
  • The head should be firm, compact and without discolouration of the inner or outer leaves.
  • The stem should be cut off directly below the lowest leaf.

Shelf life

0°C, 90–95% RH        –          4–16 weeks

4°C, 80–90% RH        –          2–6 weeks

20°C, 60–70% RH      –          about 1 week

Lining of storage containers with perforated polyethylene reduces wilting and trimming loss. Perforation allows better air movement during cooling. The storage/shelf life of cabbage is greatly influenced by cultivars/varieties. Controlled atmosphere (CA) storage of cabbage at 2–3% oxygen and 3–6% carbon dioxide can achieve a shelf life of about nine months.

Preferred storage conditions

Pre-cooling and storage at 0°C, 90–95% RH.

Recommended storage and transit temperature: 0–4°C.