Vegetable quality is generally at a peak during harvest and decreases in quality from packing to the final consumer. Processes that effect vegetable quality include respiration, water loss and bacteral contamination, all of which are temperature dependant. The lower the holding temperature, the lower the effect of these three factors,the higher the final product quality and the longer the shelf life.
Another important factor is cooling rate. The faster that the vegetables are cooled down to their optimum storage temperature following harvest, the less the changes to the flavour, sweetness and appearance of the product.