Sie sind auf Seite 1von 138

MATURITY INDICES & STORAGE CONDITIONS FOR

FRESH FRUITS & VEGETABLES

T.L.V.PEIRIS
Contents Page numbers

Introduction 4

Vegetables
Bell Pepper 5
Breadfruit 7
Brussels Sprouts 8
Broccoli 10
Cabbages (Round and Chinese types) 13
Carrot 15
Cauliflower 18
Celery 20
Cucumber 23
Eggplant 25
Globe Artichoke 28
Garlic 30
Green Asparagus 32
Jackfruit 35
Mushroom 36
Lettuce: Crisphead or Iceberg 38
Okra 41
Onion: Dry 43
Onion: Green Bunching 45
Pepino 47
Pumpkin & Winter Squash 49
Quince 51
Radish 53
Spinach 55
Sweet Potato 60
Tomato 62

2
FRUITS
Avocado 66
Banana 69
Cantaloupe 73
Durian 76
Grape 80
Guava 82
Honeydew Melon 85
Kiwifruit 88
Lemon 90
Lime 93
Mango 95
Mangosteen 100
Papaya 102
Pineapple 105
Plantain Banana 108
Pomegranate 111
Orange 113
Pawpaw 115
Strawberry 119
Watermelon 121
Compatible Fresh Fruits and Vegetables during 7 day storage 124
Storing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Better Taste 125
Proprties and recommended conditions for long term
storage of Fresh fruits and vegetables 127

3
Introduction

This report was a result of the project which was executed by Quality Assurance
Department of CBS (Consolidated Business Systems (Pvt) Ltd) in order to find a solution
for never ending customer complains which we receive for our fresh fruits and vegetable
products which we export.

This report gives factors such as maturity indices Quality Indices, Optimum Temperature
for storage, Optimum Relative Humidity, Rates of Respiration Rates of Ethylene
Production, Responses to Ethylene, Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA),
Physiological Disorders and Insect Control which are useful in maintaining of post
harvest quality of fresh fruits and vegetables.

There is no doubt that the post harvest quality maintaining procedures should start at farm
it self. This report mainly aims on criteria which are helpful in selection and sorting of
fruits, storage and method to extend its shelf life.

Furthermore this report gives some tips on designing of a vegetable packing floor and
transportation systems to maintain quality of our food products.

It should be emphasized that methods and procedures are very specific to a company. It
should be designed according to the necessities of the company and according to
customer requirements. The base for such planning is given by this report.

4
Vegetables

Bell Pepper

Maturity Indices

Green Peppers: fruit size, firmness, color


Colored Peppers: minimum 50% coloration

Quality Indices

• Uniform shape, size and color typical of variety


• Firmness
• Freedom from defects such as cracks, decay, sunburn

Optimum Temperature

Peppers should be cooled as soon as possible to reduce water loss. Peppers stored above
7.5°C (45°F) suffer more water loss and shrivel. Storage at 7.5°C (45°F) is best for
maximum shelf-life (3-5 weeks); peppers can be stored at 5°C (41°F) for 2 weeks, and
although this reduces water loss, chilling injury will begin to appear after that period.
Symptoms of chilling injury include pitting, decay, discoloration of the seed cavity,
softening without water loss. Ripe or colored peppers are less chilling sensitive than
green peppers.

Optimum Relative Humidity

> 95%; firmness of peppers is directly related to water loss

Rates of Respiration

Temperture 5°C(41°F) 10°C(50°F) 20°C(68°F)


ml CO2/kg·hr 3-4 5-8 18-20

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/ day or by


122 to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Bell peppers are nonclimacteric in behaviour and produce very low levels of ethylene:
0.1-0.2 µl/kg·hr at 10°-20°C (50°-68°F).

5
Responses to Ethylene

Bell Peppers respond very little to ethylene; to accelerate ripening or color change,
holding partially colored peppers at warm temperatures of 20-25°C (68-77°F) with high
humidity (>95%) is most effective.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

Peppers generally do not respond well to CA. Low O2 atmospheres (2-5% O2) alone have
little effect on quality and high CO2 atmospheres (>5%) can damage peppers (pitting,
discoloration, softening) especially if they are stored below 10°C (50°F). Atmospheres of
3% O2+ 5% CO2were more beneficial for red than green peppers stored at 5°C (41°F) to
10°C (50°F) for 3-4 weeks.

Physiological Disorders

Blossom end rot. This disorder occurs as a slight discoloration or a severe dark sunken
lesion at the blossom end; it is caused by temporary insufficiencies of water and calcium
and may occur under high temperature conditions when the peppers are rapidly growing.

Pepper speck. This disorder appears as spot-like lesions that penetrate the fruit wall;
cause is unknown; some varieties are more susceptible than others.

Chilling injury. Symptoms of chilling injury include surface pitting, water-soaked areas,
decay (especially Alternaria), and discoloration of the seed cavity.

Pathological Disorders

On California-grown bell peppers, the most common decay organisms are Botrytis,
Alternaria, and soft rots of fungal and bacterial origin.

Botrytis or Grey mold decay. This is a common decay-causing organism on peppers;


field sanitation and prevention of wounds on the fruit help reduce its incidence. Botrytis
will grow well at the recommended storage temperatures. High CO2levels (>10%) which
can control Botrytis damage peppers. Hot water dips of peppers can effectively control
botrytis rot ( 55°C [130°F] water for 4 minutes) without causing fruit injury.

Alternaria rot. the presence of black Alternaria rot, especially on the stem end of the
pepper is a symptom of chilling injury; best control measure is to store at 7.2°C (45°F)

Bacterial Soft Rot. Soft rotting areas can be caused by several bacteria which attack
damaged tissue; soft rots can also be common on washed or hydrocooled peppers where
water sanitation was deficient.

6
Other Common Post harvest Defects

Mechanical damage (crushing, stem punctures, cracks, etc.) is very common on peppers;
physical injury not only detracts from the visual quality of the peppers but also causes
increased weight loss and decay.

Breadfruit

Maturity Indices

Fully mature fruits are dark-green and their segments are more rounded and smoother
than less mature fruits. Latex stains may be present on the skin of mature fruits.
Yellowing of the skin indicates over-maturity (partial ripeness). In some cases, fruits are
picked when fully ripe and sweet for consumption as a dessert.

Mature bread fruit immature bread fruit

Quality Indices

Good quality breadfruits are mature-green, firm, with intact stem, and free from defects
(such as blemishes, sunscald, cracking, bruising, and insect damage) and decay.
Uniformity of shape, size, and weight is also important as quality factors. Breadfruit pulp
(edible portion) contains 25-30% (fresh weight basis) carbohydrates, half of which is
starch. The pulp is boiled, baked, fried, or roasted, but never eaten raw. It is also ground
into flour that is used in bread-making.

Optimum Temperature

13 ± 1°C (56 ± 2°F); storage potential = 2-4 weeks, depending on cultivar and maturity
stage.

Optimum Relative Humidity

85-95%

Rates of Respiration

7
The range of respiration rates at 20°C (68°F) is 38 (preclimacteric) to 178 (climacteric
peak) ml CO2/kg·hr.

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

The range of ethylene production at 20°C (68°F) is 0.1 (preclimacteric) to 1.6


(climacteric peak) µl/kg·hr.

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure to 50ppm or higher concentrations of C2H4 for 24 hours at 20°C (68°F)


accelerates ripening of breadfruits (as indicated by color changes from green to yellow
and softening) and shortens their postharvest-life.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

A CA of 5% O2 + 5% CO2 or use of modified atmosphere packaging (5-8% O2 + 8-10%


CO2) may be useful in delaying ripening (softening) and extending postharvest-life of
mature-green breadfruits kept within the optimum ranges of temperature and relative
humidity.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling Injury: Fruits kept at temperatures below 12°C (54°F) before transfer Disorders
to higher temperatures exhibits the following symptoms of chilling injury: brown
discoloration of the skin, pulp browning and off-flavor development, and increased
susceptibility to decay.

Pathological Disorders

Pathological disorders usually follow mechanical damage and/or chilling injury of


breadfruits. Decay may be caused by Phytophthora palmivora or Rhizopus artocarpi or
Botryobasidium salmonicola.

Brussels Sprouts

Maturity Indices

Brussels sprouts are the compact vegetative buds that develop along the stem of the
Brussels sprouts plant. They should be harvested when the buds are firm, but not
overmature which is indicated by splitting of the outer leaves.

Quality Indices

8
Good quality Brussels sprouts should be bright green, without yellowing or discoloration,
and have a firm texture. The butt end may be slightly discolored, but should not be dark.
Brussels sprouts should be sweet and mild in flavor when cooked. Bitterness varies
among cultivars and is associated with high concentrations of specific glucosinolates
(sinigrin and progoitrin). Bitterness can also be induced by storage conditions (see
Responses to Controlled Atmospheres).

Optimum Temperature and Relative Humidity

Brussels sprouts are moderately perishable and can be stored 3-5 weeksat temperatures
near the optimum of 0°C (32°F) with >95% RH. Shelf life at 5°C (41°F) is 10-18 days
and at 10°C (50°F) is less than 7 days. Brussels sprouts are often hydrocooled, but can be
air cooled as well. Although they have considerable wax on their leaves, they become
flaccid due to water loss if high relative humidity is not maintained.

Freezing Injury

Brussels sprouts freeze at about -0.6°C (30.9°F). Slight freeze damage on the outer leaves
of buds may result in small dark and translucent areas. Severe freeze damage results in
the entire bud becoming dark and translucent, and very soft after thawing.

Rates of Respiration

Brussels sprouts have relatively high respiration rates. The highest rate at each
temperature corresponds to measurements within 1-2 days of harvest.
Temperature 0°C (32°F) 5°C (41°F) 10°C (50°F) 15°C (59°F) 20°C (68°F)
ml CO2 / kg·hr 5 - 15 11 - 24 20 - 40 30 - 50 45 - 75

§ To calculate heat production, multiply ml CO2 / kg·hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/day or by


122 to get kcal/metric ton-day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Ethylene production rates are slightly higher than those of other green and leafy
vegetables, but can still be classified as low: <0.25 µl/kgo·hr at 2.5-5°C (36-41°F). Rates
are higher in Brussels sprouts that show any yellowing, and in sprouts removed from
beneficial controlled atmospheres.

Responses to Ethylene
Brussels sprouts are sensitive to exposure to ethylene. Leaf yellowing and leaf abscission
are the most common symptoms of ethylene injury.

Responses to Controlled Atmosphere (CA)

9
Brussels sprouts can be benefited by 1-4% O2 with 5-10% CO2 atmospheres at 2.5-5°C
(32-41°F). The main benefits are reduced yellowing and decay, reduced butt
discoloration and inhibition of ethylene production. No benefits of CA are observed if the
Brussels sprouts are kept at their optimum storage temperature 0°C (32°F). Low oxygen
storage (<1%) can cause extreme bitterness and may also cause internal discoloration.
Atmospheres of 10-12% CO2 can result in off-flavors and off-odors.

Physiological Disorders

Puffiness or lack of firmness is undesirable in the buds and may vary among cultivars
and growing conditions.

Internal browning can occur under very wet production conditions and is associated
with condensation on the developing leaves.

Physical Injury

Rough handling at harvest can bruise the buds and increase decay.

Pathological Disorders

Brussels sprouts are not very prone to postharvest decay, but may be affected by the same
organisms that infect other Brassica vegetables. Bacterial decay due to various soft-rot
causing organisms (Erwinia, Pseudomonas) may infect sprouts, but bacterial decay is
usually associated with physical injury. Less common are fungal pathogens, which can
occur under rainy and cool growing conditions.

Broccoli

Maturity Indices

Head diameter and compactness; all florets (beads) should be closed.

Quality Indices

Good quality broccoli should have dark or bright green closed florets, and the head
should be compact (firm to hand pressure), with a cleanly cut stalk of the required
length. There should be no yellow florets and there should be no discoloration on the
stem bracts.

Optimum Temperature and Relative Humidity

Low temperature is extremely important to achieve adequate shelf-life in broccoli. A


temperature of 0°C (32°F) with >95% RH is required to optimize broccoli storage life
(21-28 days). Heads stored at 5°C (41°F) can have a storage life of 14 days; storage life
at 10°C (50°F) is about 5 days. Broccoli is usually rapidly cooled by liquid-icing the

10
field-packed waxed cartons. Hydrocooling and forced-air cooling also can be used, but
temperature management during distribution is more critical than with iced broccoli.

Freezing Injury

Broccoli will freeze if stored at -0.6°C (30.6°F) to -1.0°C (30°F). This may also occur if
salt is used in the liquid-ice cooling slurry. Frozen and thawed areas on the florets appear
very dark and translucent, may discolor after thawing and are very susceptible to bacterial
decay.

Rates of Respiration

Broccoli heads have relatively high respiration rates:

Temperature 0°C (32°F) 5°C (41°F) 10°C (50°F) 15°C (59°F) 20°C (68°F)
ml CO2/kg·hr 10-11 16-18 38-43 80-90 140-160

The respiration rates of florets are slightly more than twice the rates of the intact heads.

To calculate heat of production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton-day or by


122 to get kcal/metric ton-day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Very low, <0.1 µL/kg·h at 20°C (68°F).

Responses to Ethylene

Broccoli is extremely sensitive to exposure to ethylene. Floret yellowing is the most


common symptom. Exposure to 2 ppm ethylene at 10°C (50°F) reduces shelf-life by
50%.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

Broccoli can be benefitted by 1-2% O2 with 5-10% CO2 atmospheres at a temperature


range of 0-5°C (32-41°F). Although under controlled conditions such low O2 levels
extend shelf-life, temperature fluctuations during commercial handling make this risky as
broccoli can easily produce offensive sulfur-containing volatiles. As a result, a high rate
of air exchange is recommended in standard marine container shipments of broccoli.
Most modified atmosphere packaging for broccoli is designed to maintain O2 at 3-10%
and CO2 at about 7-10% to avoid the development of these undesirable off-odor
volatiles.

Physiological Disorders

11
Hollow stem is an open area in the stem at the cut surface which may become discolored
and decay; growing conditions and variety selection affect development of this disorder.

Floret (bead) yellowing. The florets are the most perishable part of the broccoli head;
yellowing may be due to overmaturity at harvest, high storage temperatures, and/or
exposure to ethylene. Any development of yellow beads ends commercial marketability.
Bead yellowing due to senescence should not be confused with the yellow-light green
color of areas of florets not exposed to light during growth, sometimes called "marginal
yellowing".

Brown floret (bead). Is a disorder in which areas of florets do not develop correctly, die
and lead to brown discolored areas. This is thought to be caused by plant nutritional
imbalances.

Physical Injury

Rough handling at harvest can damage the florets and increase decay. The force used to
apply the water-ice slurry for cooling can also damage the florets on the heads and
increase susceptibility to bacterial decay.

Pathological Disorders

Bacterial decay. Various soft-rot causing organisms (Erwinia, Pseudomonas) may affect
broccoli shelf-life. Rots due to these organisms are usually associated with physical
injury.

Fungal pathogens. Although not as common as bacterial rots, gray mold rot (Botrytis
cinerea) and black mold (Alternaria spp.) can infect broccoli heads; this may occur under
rainy, very cool growing conditions.

Special Considerations

Storage life varies considerably among broccoli cultivars. Shelf-life (appearance of any
yellow beads = end of shelf-life) may vary from 12 to >25 days depending on cultivar:
Shelf-life of different broccoli cultivars stored at 5°C (41°F), and 95% RH:

Short (<20 Days): Baccus, Brigadier, Cruiser, Mariner, Symphony, Zeus

Moderate (20 to 25 days): Cascade, Embassy, Emperor, Esquire, Galaxy, Gem, Green
Lady, Green Valiant, Hi Caliber, Midori #8, Pinnacle, Sakata #12, Schooner, Southern
Comet, Vantage

Long (>25 days): Citation, Galaxy, Glacier, Greenbelt, Legacy, Marathon, Mercedes,
Packman, Pirate, Premium Crop, Shogun, Skiff

12
Cabbages (Round and Chinese types)

General Information

Round hard cabbages and Chinese (also called Napa) cabbages are from the same genus
(Brassica) but different species (B. oleracea var capitata = cabbage, B. campestris var.
pekinensis = Chinese cabbage). Chinese cabbages may be cylindrical or rounded and may
be less compact than round cabbages. Information mentioned here applies to both types
unless stated otherwise.

Maturity Indices

Maturity is based on head compactness. A compact head can be only slightly compressed
with moderate hand pressure. A very loose head is immature, and a very firm or hard
head is mature.

Quality Indices

After trimming outer wrapper leaves, cabbage heads should be a color typical of the
cultivar (green, red, or pale yellow-green), firm, heavy for the size and free of insect,
decay, seed stalk development and other defects. Leaves should be crisp and turgid. For
round cabbages, grades are U.S. no. 1 and U.S. commercial.

Optimum Temperature and Relative Humidity

Most cabbage is room cooled. Storage at 0°C (32°F) with >95% RH is required to
optimize cabbage storage life. Early crop round cabbage can be stored 3-6 weeks, while
late crop cultivars can be stored for up to 6 months. For the latter, storage at -0.5°C
(31°F) is sometimes recommended. Chinese cabbage can be stored from 2 to 6 months,
depending on cultivar, at 0° to 2.5°C (32° to 36°F). Deterioration of cabbage during
storage is associated with stem or seed stalk growth (bolting), root growth, internal
breakdown, leaf abscission, discoloration, decay and black speck. Long-term storage
usually results in extensive trimming of heads to remove deteriorated leaves.

Freezing Injury
Freeze damage appears as darkened translucent or water-soaked areas that will
deteriorate rapidly after thawing. Freeze damage can occur if round cabbages are stored
below -0.9°C (30.4°F) and if Chinese cabbage is stored below -0.6°C (31°F).
Rates of Respiration

Round and Chinese cabbages have similar moderately low respiration rates:

Temperature 0°C (32°F) 5°C (41°F) 10°C (50°F) 15°C (59°F) 20°C (68°F)
ml CO2/kg·hr 2-3 4-6 8 - 10 10 - 16 14 - 25

13
Respiration rates of shredded cabbage are 13-20 mL CO2/kg·hr at 5°C (41°F).

To calculate heat production multiply mL CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Ethylene production rates are generally very low: <0.1 µL/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F), although
higher rates have been reported for Chinese cabbage.

Responses to Ethylene

Cabbages are sensitive to ethylene, which causes leaf abscission and leaf yellowing.
Adequate ventilation during storage is important to maintain very low ethylene levels.
Ethylene does not increase the disorder "black speck" or "pepper spot".

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

Some benefit to shelf-life can be obtained with low O2 (2.5-5%) and high CO2 (2.5-6%)
atmospheres at temperatures of 0-5°C (32-41°F). CA storage will maintain color and
flavor of cabbage, retard root and stem growth, and reduce leaf abscission. O2
atmospheres below 2.5% for round cabbage and 1% for Chinese cabbage will cause
fermentation, and CO2 atmospheres >10% will cause internal discoloration.

Physiological Disorders

Black speck: Black leaf speck (also called pepper spot, petiole spot, gomasho) is a
disorder that consists of very small to moderate size discolored lesions on the midrib and
veins of the leaves. The symptoms can occur after low temperatures in the field and by
harvesting overmature heads, but are usually associated with transit and storage
conditions. Low storage temperatures followed by warmer temperatures enhance
development. Ethylene does not promote development of black speck in Chinese
cabbage. Both round and Chinese cabbage cultivars vary widely in their susceptibility to
this disorder. Storage with high CO2 atmospheres (10%) can reduce pepper spot
development on round cabbage.

Chilling injury: in Chinese cabbage is purported to occur during storage at 0°C (32°F)
after 3 months or longer. The main symptom is midrib discoloration, especially on outer
leaves. Cultivars differ greatly in their susceptibility to develop midrib discoloration.

Physical Injury

Breakage of the midribs often occurs during field packing and causes increased browning
and increased susceptibility to decay. Outer midribs of overmature heads will crack
easily.

14
Pathological Disorders

The most common decays found in stored cabbage are watery soft rot (Sclerotinia), gray
mold rot (Botrytis cinerea), alternaria leaf spot (Alternaria spp.), and bacterial soft rot
(caused by various bacterial species including Erwinia, Pseudomonas, Xanthomonas).
Bacterial soft-rots result in a slimy breakdown of the infected tissue, and may follow
fungal infections. Trimming outer leaves, rapid cooling and low temperature storage
reduce development of these rots, although Botrytis and Alternaria will grow at low
storage temperatures.

Special Considerations

Fresh-cut or shredded cabbage pieces brown during storage and atmospheres of 3-5% O2
and 5-15% CO2 retard discoloration. Too low oxygen levels lead to fermentation and
package blow-up, especially if product is not held below 5°C (41°F).

Carrot

Maturity Indices

• In practice, harvest decisions for carrots are based on several criteria depending
on the market outlet or sales endpoint.
• Typically carrots are harvested at an immature state when the roots have achieved
sufficient size to fill in the tip and develop a uniform taper.
• Length may be used as a maturity index for harvest timing of ‘cut and peel'
carrots to achieve a desired processing efficiency.

Quality Indices

There are many visual and organoleptic properties that differentiate the diverse varieties
of carrots for fresh market and minimal processing. In general, Carrots should be:

• Firm (not flacid or limp)


• Straight with a uniform taper from ‘shoulder' to ‘tip'
• Bright orange
• There should be little residual "hairiness" from lateral roots
• No "green shoulders" or "green core" from exposure to sunlight during the growth
phase.
• Low bitterness from terpenoid compounds
• High moisture content and high reducing sugars are most desireable for fresh
consumption.

15
U.S. Grades:
Bunched Carrots - No. 1 and Commercial Grade
Topped Carrots - Extra No.1, U.S. No. 1, No. 1 Jumbo, No. 2

Quality Defects include lack of firmness, non-uniform shape, roughness, poor color,
splitting or cracking, green core, sunburn, and poor quality of tops or trimming.

Optimum Temperature

0°C(32°F)

Storage life at 0°C is typically:


Bunched: 10-14 days Immature roots: 4-6 weeks
Fresh-cut: 3-4 weeks Mature roots: 7-9 months
(Lightly processed)

Common storage conditions rarely achieve the optimum temperature for long- term
storage to prevent decay, sprouting, and wilting. At storage temperatures of 3-5 °C,
mature carrots can be stored with minimal decay for 3-5 months.

Common ‘Cello-pack' carrots are typically immature and may be stored successfully for
2-3 weeks at 3-5°C. Bunched carrots are highly perishable due to the presence of the
shoots (tops). Good quality is generally maintained only for 8-12 days, even with contact
ice.

Lighlty processed (fresh-cut, cut and peel) carrots typically maintain quality of 2-3 weeks
at 3-5°C.

Optimum Relative Humidity

98-100 % ; High relative humidity is essential to prevent dessication and loss of


crispness. Free moisture from the washing process or unevaporated condensation,
common with plastic bin-liners ( and due to fluctuating temperatures ) will promote
decay.

Rates of Respiration

Temperature ml CO2 / kg·hr


°C (°F) Topped Bunched
0 32 5-10 9-18
5 41 7-13 13-25
10 50 10-21 16-31
15 59 13-27 28-53
20 68 23-48 44-60

16
25 77 NA NA

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day. NA= not applicable

Rates of Ethylene Production

>0.1µl / kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure to ethylene will induce the development of bitter flavor due to isocoumarin
formation. Exposure to as little as 0.5ppm exogenous ethylene will result in perceptible
bitter flavor, within 2 weeks, at normal storage conditions. Thus, carrots should not be
mixed with ethylene-producing commodities.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres(CA)

Controlled atmosphere is of limited use for carrots and does not extend postharvest life of
carrots beyond that in air. CO2 concentrations above 5% have been shown to increase
spoilage. Low oxygen concentrations, below 3 %, are not well tolerated and generally
results in increased bacterial rot.

Physiological & Physical Disorders

Intact Roots
Bruising, shatter-cracks and tip-breakage are signs of rough handling. Nantes-type
carrots are particularly susceptible. Sprouting will continue as carrot roots develop new
shoots after harvest. This is one reason low temperature postharvest management is
critical. Common associated disorders include wilting, shriveling, or rubberiness due to
dessication. White Root is a physiologic disorder due to suboptimal production
conditions which results in patchy or streaks of low color on the carrot roots.

Intact or Fresh-cut
Bitterness may be caused by preharvest stress (improper irrigation scheduling) or
exposure to ethylene from ripening rooms or mixing with commodities such as apples.
Freezing injury will likely result at temperatures of -1.2°C ( 29.5°F) or lower. Frozen
carrots generally exhibit an outer ring of water-soaked tissue, viewed in cross section,
which blackens in 2-3 days.

Fresh-cut
White Blush, due to dehydration of cut or abrasion-peeled surfaces, has been a problem
on fresh-cut carrots. Sharp cutting blades and residual free-moisture on the surface of the
processed carrots will significantly delay the development of the disorder.

17
Pathological Disorders

The most prominent postharvest disease concerns are Gray Mold (Botrytis rot ) Watery
Rot ( Sclerotinia rot ), Rhizopus rot, Bacterial Soft Rot, induced by Erwinia carotovora
subsp. carotovora and Sour Rot ( Geotrichum rot ). Proper handling and low temperature
storage and transportation conditions are the best methods to minimize losses.

Special Considerations

Rapid hydrocooling soon after harvest is strongly recommended.

Cauliflower

Maturity Indices

Cauliflowers are selected for size and compactness of the head or curd. Mature curds are
at least 15 cm (6 inches) in diameter. Loose or protruding floral parts, creating a ‘ricy’
appearance, are a sign of overmaturity. Cauliflower is packaged after being closely
trimmed into single layer cartons of 12 to 24 heads, with 12’s most common.

Cauliflower is primarily marketed with closely trimmed leaves and overwrapped with
perforated film. Overwraps should provide four to six 1/4-inch holes per head to allow
adequate ventilation.

Quality Indices

A firm and compact head of white to cream white curds surrounded by a crown of well-
trimmed, turgid green leaves. Additional quality indices are size, freedom from severe
yellowing due to sunlight exposure, freedom from handling defects and decay, and an
absence of ‘riciness’.

U.S. grade No. 1

Optimum Temperature

0°C (32°F); 95-98% R.H.

Storage of cauliflower is generally not recommended for more than 3 weeks for good
visual and sensory quality. Wilting, browning, yellowing of leaves, and decay are likely
to increase following storage beyond 3-4 weeks or at higher than recommended storage
temperatures.

18
Rates of Respiration

Temperature °C Temperature °F ml CO2/kg·hr


0 32 8-9
5 41 10-11
10 50 16-18
15 59 21-25
20 68 37-42
25 77 43-48

§ To calculate heat production, multiply ml CO2 / kg·hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/day or by


122 to get kcal/metric ton /day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

< 0.1 µl /kg· hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Cauliflower is highly sensitive to exogenous ethylene. Discoloration of the curd and


accelerated yellowing and detachment of wrapper leaf stalks will result from low levels
of ethylene during distribution and short-term storage. Do not mix loads such as apples,
melons and tomatoes with cauliflower.

Responses to Controlled Atmosphere (CA)

Controlled or modified atmospheres offer moderate to little benefit to cauliflower. Injury


from low O2 (< 2%) or elevated CO2 (> 5%) may not be visual and will only be evident
after cooking. When the curds become grayish, extremely soft, and emit strong off-odor.
Higher levels (>10%) of CO2 will induce this injury within 48 hours. Combined low O2
and slightly elevated CO2 levels (3-5%) delay leaf yellowing and the onset of curd
browning by a few days.

Physiological Disorders

Freezing Injury- Freezing injury will be initiated at - 0.8°C (30.6°F). Symptoms of


freezing injury include a watersoaked and greyish curd and watersoaked or wilted crown
leaves. The curd will become brown and gelatinous in appearance following invasion by
soft-rot bacteria.

Physical Injury

Harvesting should be done with great care to prevent damage to the highly sensitive
turgid curds. Cauliflower should never be handled by the curd portion of the head.

19
Cauliflower should never be allowed to roll or scuff across a harvest -conveyor belt,
table, or other work surface.

Bruising is very common and leads to rapid browning and decay when attention to
careful harvest and handling practices are not followed.

Pathological Disorders

Diseases are an important source of postharvest loss, particularly in combination with


rough handling and poor temperature control. A large list of bacterial and fungal
pathogens cause postharvest losses in transit, storage, and to the consumer. Bacterial
Soft-Rot (primarily Erwinia and Pseudomonas), Black Spot (Alternaria alternata.), Grey
Mold (Botrytis cinerea), and Cladosporium Rot are common disorders.

Special Considerations

For fresh-cut applications, the sensitivity of cauliflower to improper modified atmosphere


(See Responses to CA) demands very careful selection of packaging films and proper
temperature management.

Celery

Maturity Indices

Celery is harvested when the overall field reaches the desired marketable size and before
the outer petioles develop "pithiness" (See Pith Breakdown below). Celery has very
uniform crop growth and fields are harvested only once and stalks are packed by size
after trimming outer petioles and leaves.

Quality Indices

High quality celery consists of stalks which are well formed, have thick petioles, are
compact (not significantly bowed or bulging), have minimal petiole twisting, and have a
light green and fresh appearance. Additional quality indices are stalk and midrib length,
freedom from defects such as blackheart, pithy petioles, seedstalks, cracks or splits, and
freedom from insect damage and decay.

U.S. Grades : Extra No. 1; No. 1; No. 2 ( Grade Standards established 1957)
Celery may be sold as "Unclassified" to designate a lot which has not been graded within
U.S. standards.

Optimum Temperature

0°C (32°F)

20
At optimum conditions, celery should have good quality after storage up to 5 to 7 weeks.
Commonly, celery is rapidly pre-cooled and then stored at 0 to 2°C (32 to 36°F) if
storage is intended to be less than one month storing celery at 5°C (41°F) is not
recommended for more than 2 weeks. To maintain good visual and sensory quality. Some
continued growth of inner stalks will occur postharvest at temperatures >0°C (32°F) .

Optimum Relative Humidity

98-100% R.H.

Rates of Respiration

Temperature 0°C (32°F) 5°C (41°F) 10°C (50°F) 15°C (59°F) 20°C(68°F)
ml CO2/kg·hr* 3 5 12 17 32

*To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

< 0.1 µl / kg· hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Celery is not very sensitive to exogenous ethylene at low levels and low temperatures.
Loss of green color can result from exposure to 10ppm or higher ethylene concentrations
at above 5°C (41°F).

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

Controlled or modified atmospheres offer moderate benefit to celery. Delayed


senescence and decay development have been observed at 2-4% O2 and 3-5% CO2.

Injury from low O2 (< 2%) or elevated CO2 (> 10%) will induce off-odors, off-flavors,
and internal leaf browning. CA for mixed storage or long distance transport of celery and
lettuce has some commercial application. Elevated CO2 levels delay leaf yellowing and
decay but could not be used in mixed loads with lettuce (lettuce does not tolerate CO2
enriched atmosphere).

Physiological and Physical Disorders

Blackheart. Internal leaves develop a brown discoloration which eventually becomes


deep black. The cause is similar to tip-burn of lettuce or blossom-end rot of tomato.
Although many predisposing factors may be involved, water-stress results in a calcium
deficiency disorder causing cell death.

21
Brown Checking. Splits, primarily along the inner surface of the petioles result from
boron deficiency.

Freezing Injury. Freezing injury will be initiated at - 0.5°C (31.1°F). Symptoms of


freezing injury include a watersoaked appearance on thawing and wilted leaves. Mild
freezing causes pitting or short streaks in the petiole which develop a brown discoloration
with additional storage.

Pith Breakdown. The breakdown of the internal tissue of the petiole, the pith, is often
refereed to as "pithiness" or pithy stems. The aerenchyma tissue of the petiole becomes
white, spongy or vacuolated, and appears dry. Pith breakdown is induced by several
factors that result in the induction of senescence, including cold stress, water stress, pre-
bolting changes (seed stalk induction), and root infections. Pith breakdown will develop
after harvest, but slowly under proper storage conditions.

Crushing or cracking. Common and leads to rapid browning and decay. Harvesting,
packing and handling should be done with great care to prevent damage to the highly
sensitive turgid petioles.

Pathological Disorders

Diseases are an important source of postharvest loss, particularly in combination with


rough handling and poor temperature control. The major bacterial and fungal pathogens
that cause postharvest losses in transit, storage, and to the consumer are Bacterial Soft-
Rot (primarily Erwinia and Pseudomonas), Gray Mold (Botrytis cinerea), and Watery
Rot (Sclerotinia spp.). Botrytis and Sclerotinia will develop over a period of a few weeks,
even at 2°C (35.6°F).

Special Considerations

Cut petioles of celery, as for fresh-cut, are very prone to bacterial decay. Less decay and
greatly delayed decay symptoms will result from the use of sharp blades, minimizing
abrasions or other damage to cut-ends during packaging, and good sanitation.

22
Cucumber

Maturity Indices

Cucumbers are harvested at a range of developmental stages. Depending on cultivar and


temperature, the time from flowering to harvest may be 55 to 60 days. Generally fruit are
harvested at a slightly immature stage, near full size but before seeds fully enlarge and
harden. Firmness and external glossiness are also indicators of a pre-maturity condition.
At proper harvest maturity, a jellylike material has begun to form in the seed cavity.

USDA Colour for cucumber

Quality Indices

Table or slicing cucumber quality is primarily based on uniform shape, firmness and a
dark green skin color. Additional quality indices are size, freedom from growth or
handling defects, freedom from decay, and an absence of yellowing.

U.S. grades are Fancy, Extra 1, No. 1, No. 1 Small, No. 1 Large and No. 2.

Industry grades and specifications follow the packing conventions SuperSelect, Select,
Small Super, Small, Large, and Plain. These terms have no enforceable contractual
value.

Optimum Temperature and Relative Humidity

10 - 12.5°C (50 - 55°F); 95% R.H.

Storage of cucumber is generally less than 14 days as visual and sensory quality
deteriorate rapidly. Shriveling, yellowing, and decay are likely to increase following
storage beyond two weeks, especially after removal to typical retail conditions. Short
term storage or transit temperatures below this range (such as 7.2°C / 45°F) are
commonly used but will result in chilling injury after 2-3 days.

Chilling Injury

Cucumbers are chilling sensitive at temperatures below 10°C (50°F) if held for more than
a day to 3 days depending on temperature and cultivar. Consequences of chilling injury
are water-soaked areas, pitting and accelerated decay. Chilling injury is cumulative and
may be initiated in the field prior to harvest. Cucumber varieties vary considerably in
their susceptibility to chilling injury.

23
Rates of Respiration

Temperature 10°C(50°F) 15°C(59°F) 20°C(68°F) 25°C(77°F)


ml CO2/kg·hr 12-15 12-17 7-24 10-26

Respiration varies widely above 10°C due to different stages of maturity. Less mature
cucumbers have higher respiration rates. To calculate heat production, multiply ml CO2 /
kg·hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/day or by 122 to get kcal/metric ton /day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

0.1 - 1.0µl / kg·hr at 20°C(68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Cucumbers are highly sensitive to exogenous ethylene. Accelerated yellowing and decay
will result from low levels (1-5ppm) of ethylene during distribution and short-term
storage. Do not mix commodities such as bananas, melons and tomatoes with cucumber.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

Controlled or modified atmosphere storage or shipping offer moderate to little benefit to


cucumber quality maintainence. Low O2 levels (3-5%) delay yellowing and the onset of
decay by a few days. Cucumber tolerates elevated CO2 up (CA) to 10% but storage life is
not extended beyond the benefit of reduced levels of O2 .

Physiological Disorders

Freezing Injury. Freezing injury will be initiated at - 0.5°C (31°F). Symptoms of


freezing injury include a watersoaked pulp becoming brown and gelatinous in appearance
over time.

Physical Injury

Harvesting should be done by cutting free of the vine rather than by tearing. "Pulled end"
is a quality defect used in establishing grade quality.

Bruising and compression injury are very common when attention to careful harvest and
handling practices are not followed.

24
Pathological Disorders

Diseases are an important source of postharvest loss, particularly in combination with


chilling stress. A large list of bacterial and fungal pathogens cause postharvest losses in
transit, storage, and to the consumer. Alternaria spp., Didymella Black Rot, Pythium
Cottony Leak, and Rhizopus Soft Rot are common disorders.

Special Considerations

Cucumbers are often treated with approved waxes or oils to reduce water loss, reduce
abrasion injury and enhance appearance.

Yellowing during the postharvest period is a very common defect. Harvesting fruit at an
advanced stage of development, exposure to ethylene, or storage at too high temperature
all cause yellowing.

Eggplant

Maturity Indices

Eggplant fruit are harvested at a range of developmental stages. Depending on cultivar


and temperature, the time from flowering to harvest may be 10 to 40 days. Generally fruit
are harvested immature before seeds begin to significantly enlarge and harden. Firmness
and external glossiness are also indicators of a pre-maturity condition. Eggplant fruit
become pithy and bitter as they reach an over mature condition.

Quality Indices

The diversity of eggplant types being marketed has increased greatly in recent years.
Standard (American) eggplant quality is primarily based on uniform egg to globular
shape, firmness and a dark purple skin color. Additional quality indices are size, freedom
from growth or handling defects, freedom from decay, and a fresh green calyx. Other
eggplant types include:
Japanese - elongated, slender, light to dark purple, very perishable
White - small egg shaped to globular, thin skinned
Mini-Japanese - small elongate, striated purple and violet
Chinese - elongated, slender, light purple

U.S. grades are Fancy, No. 1, and No. 2, and No. 3. Distinction among grades is based
solely on size, external appearances, and firmness.

25
Optimum Temperature and Relative Humidity

10 - 12°C (50 - 54°F); 90-95% R.H.

Storage of eggplant is generally less than 14 days as visual and sensory qualities
deteriorate rapidly. Decay is likely to increase following storage beyond two weeks,
especially after removal to typical retail conditions. Short term storage or transit
temperatures below this range are used often to reduce weight loss, but will result in
chilling injury after several days.

Chilling Injury

Eggplant fruit are chilling sensitive at temperatures below 10°C (50°F). At 5°C (41°F)
chilling injury will occur in 6-8 days. Consequences of chilling injury are pitting, surface
bronzing, and browning of seeds and pulp tissue. Accelerated decay by Alternaria spp. is
common in chilling stressed fruit. Chilling injury is cumulative and may be initiated in
the field prior to harvest.

Days to Visible Chilling Symptoms on each type:


Temperature O°C (32°F) 2.5°C (36°F) 5°C (41°F) 7.5°C (45°F)
American 1-2 4-5 6-7 12
Japanese - 5-6 8-9 12-14
Chinese 2-3 5-6 10-12 15-16

Rates of Respiration

Temperature 12.5°C (55°F)


ml CO2/ kg·hr American 30-39
ml CO2/ kg·hr White egg 52-61
ml CO2/ kg·hr Japanese 62-69

To calculate heat production, multiply ml CO2/ kg·hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/day or by


122 to get kcal/metric ton /day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

0.1 - 0.7µl / kg·hr at 12.5°C (55°F)

Responses to Ethylene

26
Eggplant fruit have a moderate to high sensitivity to exogenous ethylene. Calyx
abscission and increased deterioration, particularly browning, may be a problem if
eggplants are exposed to >1ppm ethylene during distribution and short-term storage.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

Controlled or modified atmosphere storage or shipping offer little benefit to eggplant


quality maintenance. Low O2 levels (3-5%) delay deterioration and the onset of decay by
a few days. Eggplant tolerates up to 10% CO2 but storage life is not extended beyond the
benefit of reduced levels of O2.

Physiological Disorders

Freezing Injury - Freezing injury will be initiated at - 0.8°C (30.6°F), depending on the
soluble solids content. Symptoms of freezing injury include a watersoaked pulp
becoming brown and desiccated in appearance over time.

Physical Injury
Harvesting should be done by cutting the calyx-stem free from the plant rather than by
tearing. Cotton gloves are often used.

Bruising and compression injury are very common when attention to careful harvest
and handling practices are not followed. Eggplant cannot withstand stacking in bulk
containers.

Pathological Disorders

Diseases are an important source of postharvest loss, particularly in combination with


chilling stress. Common fungal pathogens are Alternaria (Black Mold Rot), Botrytis
(Gray Mold Rot), Rhizopus (Hairy Rot), and Phomopsis Rot.

Special Considerations

Rapid cooling, primarily to reduce water loss, soon after harvest is essential for optimal
postharvest keeping quality. The precooling endpoint is typically 10°C (50°F). Forced-air
cooling is the most effective practice. Room cooling after washing or hydrocooling is the
most common practice. Moistened paper or waxed cartons are often used to reduce water
loss. Japanese eggplants lose water 3 times more rapidly than American-type eggplants.
Visible signs of water loss are reduction of surface sheen, skin wrinkling, spongy flesh,
and browning of the caylx.

27
Chilling injury and water loss can be reduced by storing of eggplant in polyethylene bags
or polymeric film overwraps. Increased decay from Botrytis is a potential risk of this
practice.

Globe Artichoke

Maturity Indices

The edible bud, composed of a cone of bracts, is harvested at an immature stage and
selected for size and compactness. Overdeveloped buds have an open or spreading
structure; the bracts have a brownish cast and are tough and stringy; the centers have a
fuzzy, pink to purple appearance.

Quality Indices

Quality indices are compact and well-formed buds, typical green color, a smooth and
uniform stem-cut, freedom from insect damage or handling damage and defects.
Artichoke buds should feel heavy for their size. Stems are generally cut 2.5 to 3.8 cm (1
to 1.5 in) below the base.

Optimum Temperature and Relative Humidity

0°C (32°F) with >95% RH

Hydrocooling, forced-air cooling, and package-icing are common methods of postharvest


cooling of artichokes.

Storage potential of artichoke is generally less than 21 days as visual and sensory quality
deteriorate rapidly.

Rates of Respiration

Temperature ml CO2 / kg·hr


0°C (32°F) 8 – 22
5°C (41°F) 13 – 30
10°C (50°F) 22 – 49
15°C (59°F) 38 – 72
20°C (68°F) 67 – 126

§ To calculate heat production, multiply ml CO2 / kg·hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/day or by


122 to get kcal/metric ton · day.

28
Rates of Ethylene Production

Very low ; < 0.1 µl / kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Artichokes have a low sensitivity to exogenous ethylene and therefore it is not considered
a factor in postharvest handling and distribution.

Responses to CA

Controlled or modified atmospheres offer moderate to little benefit to sustaining


artichoke quality. Conditions of 2-3% O2and 3-5% CO2 delay discoloration of bracts and
the onset of decay by a few days at temperatures around 5°C (41°F). Atmospheres below
2% O2may result in internal blackening of artichokes.

Physiological Disorders

Freezing Injury. Freezing injury will be initiated at - 1.2°C (29.9°F). Symptoms of light
freezing injury are blistering of the cuticle and a bronzing of the outer bracts. This may
occur in the field with winter harvested buds and is used in marketing as an index of high
quality. More severe freeze injury results in watersoaked bracts and the heart becoming
brown to black and gelatinous in appearance over time.

Physical Injury

Bruising and compression injury. Very common when attention to careful harvest and
handling practices are not followed.

Pathological Disorders

Grey Mold (Botrytis cinerea) and Bacterial Soft Rot (Erwinia carotovora) may be a
problem in storage and distribution if optimum temperature conditions are not met.
Opportunistic fungi (such as Fusarium spp.) may develop on cut stems or bracts with
prolonged low temperature storage.

29
Garlic

Maturity Indices

Garlic can be harvested at different stages of development for specialty markets, but most
garlic is harvested when the bulbs are well mature. Harvest occurs after the tops have
fallen and are very dry.

Quality Indices

High quality garlic bulbs are clean, white (or other colors typical of the variety), and well
cured (dried neck and outer skins). The cloves should be firm to the touch. Cloves from
mature bulbs should have a high dry weight and soluble solids content (>35% in both
cases).

Grades include U.S. No. 1 and unclassified, and are based primarily on external
appearance and freedom from defects. Minimum diameter for fresh market is about 4 cm.
(1.5 inches).

Optimum Temperature

-1°C to 0°C (30°-32°F) The variety of garlic affects potential storage life, and the
recommended conditions for commercial storage depend on the expected storage period.
Garlic can be kept in good condition for 1-2 months at ambient temperatures (20°-30°C
[68-86°F]) under low relative humidity (<75%). However under these conditions, bulbs
will eventually become soft, spongy and shriveled due to water loss. For long-term
storage, garlic is best maintained at temperatures of -1°C to 0°C (30°-32°F) with low
relative humidity (60-70%). Good airflow is also necessary to prevent any moisture
accumulation. Under these conditions garlic can be stored for more than 9 months.

Garlic will eventually lose dormancy, signaled by internal development of the sprout.
This occurs most rapidly at intermediate storage temperatures of 5°-18°C (41°-65°F).
Garlic odor is easily transferred to other products and should be stored separately. High
humidity in the storages will favor mold growth and rooting. Mold growth can also be
problematic if the garlic has not been well cured before storing.

Optimum Relative Humidity

60 to 70 %

30
Rates of Respiration
Temperature 0°C (32°F) 5°C (41°F) 10°C (50°F) 15°C (59°F) 20°C (68°F)
ml CO2/kg·hr
Intact bulbs 2-6 4 - 12 6 - 18 7 - 15 7 - 13
Fresh peeled cloves 12 15 - 20 35 - 50

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO 2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Garlic produces only very low amounts of ethylene (<0.1 µ/kg·hr)

Responses to Ethylene

Not sensitive to ethylene exposure.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres(CA)

Atmospheres with high CO2 (5-15%) are beneficial in retarding sprout development and
decay during storage at 0-5°C. Low O2 alone (0.5%) did not retard sprout development of
'California Late' garlic stored up to 6 months at 0°C. Atmospheres with 15% CO2 may
result in some yellow translucent discoloration occurring on some cloves after about 6
months

Physiological Disorders

Freeze injury. Due to its high solids content, garlic freezes at temperatures below -1°C
(30°F).

Waxy breakdown is a physiological disorder that affects garlic during latter stages of
growth and is often associated with periods of high temperature near harvest. Early
symptoms are small, light yellow areas in the clove flesh that darken to yellow or amber
with time. Finally the clove is translucent, sticky and waxy, but the outer dry skins are
not usually affected. Waxy breakdown is commonly found in stored and shipped garlic
but rarely in the field. Low oxygen levels and inadequate ventilation during handling and
storage may also contribute to development of waxy breakdown.

Pathological Disorders

Penicillium rots (Pencillium corymbiferum and other spp.) are common problems in
stored garlic. Affected garlic bulbs may show little external evidence until decay is
advanced. Affected bulbs are light in weight and the individual cloves are soft and
spongy and powdery dry. In an advanced stage of decay, the cloves break down in a
green or gray powdery mass. Low humidity in storage retards rot development. Less
common storage decay problems include Fusarium basal rot (Fusarium oxysporum

31
cepae) which infects the stem plate and causes shattering of the cloves, dry rot due to
Botrytis allii, and bacterial rots (Erwinia spp., Pseudomonas spp.).

Special Considerations

To control sprout development and lengthen the storage period, garlic may be treated
with preharvest applications of sprout inhibitors (i.e., maleic hydrazide) or be irradiated
after harvest. Outer cloves of bulbs are easily damaged during mechanical harvest and
these damaged areas discolor and decay during storage. Therefore high quality garlic for
the fresh market is usually harvested manually to avoid mechanical damage.

Curing garlic is the process by which the outer leaf sheaths and neck tissues of the bulb
are dried. Warm temperatures, low relative humidity, and good airflow are conditions
needed for efficient curing. Under favorable climatic conditions in California, the garlic
is usually cured in the field. Curing is essential to obtain maximize storage life and have
minimal decay.

Garlic flavor is due to the formation of organosulfur compounds when the main odorless
precursor alliin is converted by the enzyme alliinase to allicin and other flavor
compounds. This occurs at low rates unless the garlic cloves are crushed or damaged.
Alliin content decreases during storage of garlic bulbs, but the effect of time, storage
temperatures and atmospheres has not yet been well documented.

Green Asparagus

Maturity Indices

Asparagus spears are harvested as they emerge through the soil from the underground
crowns. Typically, spears are cut when they reach approximately 23cm (9 in.). Stalk
diameter is not a good indicator of proper maturity and associated tenderness. (See
Quality Indices)

Quality Indices

Quality, fresh asparagus will be dark green and firm with tightly closed, compact tips.
Stalks are straight, tender and glossy in appearance.

32
U.S. grades are No. 1 and No. 2. California grades range from small (0.47cm / 3/16 in.) to
Jumbo (2.1cm / 13/16) but diameter is not a good indicator of tenderness quality.
Washington state standards, XF (Extra Fancy), are being adopted that specify tolerances
which are somewhat more stringent than U.S. No. 1.

Optimum Temperature

0°-2°C (32°-35.6°F)

Storage life is typically 14-21 days at 2°C and can be extended up to 31 days by 7-10
days storage at 0°C and atmospheric modification. Extended storage (~10-12 days) in air
at 0°C may cause chilling injury.

Optimum Relative Humidity

95-100%; High relative humidity is essential to prevent dessication and loss of


glossiness. Drying of the butt-end of spears is a negative quality factor. Commonly
asparagus is packed and shipped in cartons with a water-saturated pad to maintain high
humidity.

Rates of Respiration
Temp.
ml CO2/kg·hr
°C °F
0 32 14-40
5 41 28-68
10 50 45-152
15 59 80-168
20 68 138-250
25 77 250-300

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

< 0.1µl/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

33
Exposure to ethylene will accelerate the lignification (toughening) of asparagus spears in
controlled studies. The concentration and duration of exposure to exogenous ethylene, to
cause this effect, at commonly encountered levels during storage and distribution are not
available.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres(CA)

Elevated CO2 at 5-10% (typically 7%) in air is beneficial in preventing decay and
reducing the rate of toughening of the spears. The beneficial effect is most pronounced if
temperatures cannot be maintained below 5°C (41°F). Short (CA) exposure to higher CO2
concentrations (12-20%) is safe and beneficial only if temperatures can be maintained at
0° - 1°C (32° - 33.8°F).

Signs of CO2 injury are small to elongated pits, generally first observed just below the
tips. Severe injury results in ribbiness.

Physiological Disorders

• Asparagus will continue to develop after harvest which is why low temperature
postharvest management is critical. Common disorders include upward bending of
tips away from gravity and "feathering" (expansion and opening) of tips. Bending
will also occur if tips expand to the top of the packaging and are deflected.
• Spear toughening occurs rapidly at temperatures above 10°C ( 50°F).
• Bruising and tip-breakage are signs of rough handling and can result in
toughening of the spears from wound ethylene.
• Asparagus is sensitive to chilling injury after 10 days at 0°C (32°F). Symptoms of
chilling injury include loss of sheen or glossiness and graying of the tips. A limp,
wilted appearance may be observed. Severe chilling injury may result in
darkening near tips in spots or streaks
• Freezing injury (water-soaked appearance leading to extreme softening) will
likely result at temperatures of -0.6°C (30.9°F) or lower.

Pathological Disorders

The most prominent postharvest disease concern is bacterial soft rot, induced by Erwinia
carotovora subsp.carotovora. Decay may initiate at the tips or the butt end. Spears that
are re-cut above the white portion of the butt end are reported to be most susceptible to
bacterial decay.

Special Considerations

34
Rapid hydrocooling soon after harvest is strongly recommended. Pyramid-shaped
wooden or waxed corrugated boxes for hydrocooling combined with center-loading
during shipment promote good cooling-air circulation

Jackfruit

Maturity Indices

Jackfruits can reach very large size (as much as 90 cm long, 50 cm wide, and 25 kg in
weight), depending on the cultivar, production area, and the fruit load on the tree. Color
change from green to yellow to brown is used as an indication of maturity and ripeness
stages. Optimum harvest for long-distance transport is when the fruit changes color from
green to yellowish-green. Fruits are harvested with a portion of the stalk attached to be
used in handling them.

Quality Indices

Fruit size, shape, color, and freedom from defects (sunburn, cracks, bruises) and decay.

Jackfruits contain 25-30% carbohydrates (fresh weight basis) including about 15-20%
starch in unripe fruits that is converted to sugars (sucrose + glucose + fructose) in ripe
fruits.

The unripe fruit is used as a starchy vegetable, either boiled or roasted, and when ripe it is
used as a dessert fruit. Average acidity is 0.25% citric acid.

Jackfruit fruitlets are commonly sold in producing countries as a fresh-cut product.

Optimum Temperature

13 ± 1°C (56 ± 2°F); potential postharvest-life = 2-4 weeks, depending on cultivar and
maturity stage.

Optimum Relative Humidity

85-95%

Rates of Respiration

20-25 (preclimacteric) to 50-55 (climacteric peak) ml CO2/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

35
No published information.

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure to 100ppm ethylene for 24 hours accelerates ripening of mature-green


jackfruits at 20-25°C (68-77°F). During ripening, the starch is converted into sugars, the
pulp color changes from pale white or light yellow to golden yellow, and the fruit aroma
becomes intense.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

No published information.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling Injury: Jackfruits exposed to temperatures below 12°C (54°F) before transfer to
higher temperatures exhibit chilling injury symptoms, including dark-brown discoloration
of the skin, pulp browning and off-flavor development, and increased susceptibility to
decay.

Pathological Disorders

Pathological disorders usually follow mechanical and/or chilling injuries. No published


information on postharvest pathogens of jackfruits.

Mushroom

Maturity Indices

Agaricus bisporus mushrooms (Button Mushrooms) are harvested by maturity and not by
size. Maturity is reached when the caps are well- rounded and the partial veil is
completely intact. The stipe (stalk) should have a small length to thickness ratio. Stipe
length should be sufficient to permit some trimming without cutting flush to the veil.

Quality Indices

Good quality, fresh ‘Agaricus' mushrooms should be white to dark brown. White forms
are most prevalent. Uniform, well rounded cap with a smooth glossy surface and fully
intact veil are indicators of best quality. Stipes are straight and glossy in appearance with
an even cut edge. Cleanliness (minimal growth medium residue) and absence of
browning or other discoloration are additional quality factors. Visible, open gills and
absence of a stipe are negative factors.

U.S. grades are No. 1 and No. 2. Sizes range from Small {Button} ( 1.9 - 3.2cm / .75 -
1.25 in. ), Medium ( 3.2 - 4.5cm / 1/25 - 1.75 in.), to Large ( 4.5 cm / 1.75 in. and larger)

36
measured as cap diameter. Grades discriminate for maturity, shape uniformity,
cleanliness and trim quality.

Optimum Temperature

0° - 1.5°C ( 32° - 35°F ) Storage life is typically 5-7 days at 1.5°C(35°F) and 2 days at
4.5°C (40°F).

Optimum Relative Humidity

95-98 %; High relative humidity is essential to prevent desiccation and loss of glossiness.
Drying is correlated with blackening of the stipe and gills and curling of the cap.
Commonly mushrooms are packed and shipped in cartons with a perforated overwrap to
maintain high humidity.

Rates of Respiration

Temperature
ml CO2/kg·hr
°C °F
0 32 14-22
5 41 35
10 50 50
15 59 NA
20 68 132-158
25 77 NA

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day. NA= not applicable

Rates of Ethylene Production

>0.1µl / kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Agaricus mushrooms are not significantly impacted by exogenous ethylene.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres(CA)

Extended storage ( ~12-15 days ) in 3% O2 and 10% CO2 at 0°C has been Controlled
demonstrated. Elevated CO2 at 10-15 % ( typically 10% ) in air is beneficial in
Atmosphere (CA) preventing decay and reducing the rate of blackening of the stipe and
gills. The beneficial effect is most pronounced if temperatures cannot be maintained
below 5°C ( 41°F ). Short exposure to higher CO2 concentrations (20 %) is safe and
beneficial only if temperatures can be maintained at 0° - 1°C (32° - 34°F).

37
Improper control of controlled atmospheres or improper packaging can rapidly lead to
depletion of oxygen resulting in conditions favorable for Clostridium botulinum. For this
reason, primarily, the use of CA and MA is not common.

Physiological & Physical Disorders

Mushrooms will continue to develop after harvest which is why low & Physical
temperature postharvest management is critical. Common disorders include Disorders
upward bending of caps and opening of the veil.

Mushrooms are easily bruised by rough handling and develop patches of browning
discoloration.

Freezing injury ( water-soaked appearance leading to extreme softening ) will likely


result at temperatures of -0.6°C ( 30.9°F) or lower.

Signs of CO2 injury are blackening and pitting.

Pathological Disorders

Disease is generally not an important source of postharvest loss in comparison with


physiological senescence and improper handling or bruising. Diseases, such as Bacterial
Blotch, and spoilage due to other Pseudomonas spp. are generally eliminated during the
harvest or sorting phases although development of patches of decay can occur with
elevated temperature or extended storage.

Special Considerations

Rapid forced-air cooling soon after harvest is strongly recommended. Center-loading


during shipment promotes good cooling-air circulation necessary for this commodity.
Good arrival following surface transportation is enhanced when trailers are equipped with
‘air-shocks' suspension. Agaricus mushrooms are reported to acquire strong odors, such
as onion, in mixed loads or short term storage.

Lettuce: Crisphead or Iceberg

Maturity Indices

38
Maturity is based on head compactness. A compact head which can be compressed with
moderate hand pressure is considered ideal maturity. A very loose head is immature and a
very firm or hard head is overmature. Heads that are immature and mature have much
better flavor than overmature heads and also have fewer postharvest problems.

Quality Indices

After trimming outer wrapper leaves, the leaves should be a bright light green color.
Leaves should be crisp and turgid.

Optimum Temperature and Relative Humidity

0°C (32°F) with >95% RH are required to optimize lettuce storage life. A shelf-life of 21-
28 days can be expected at this temperature and RH. At 5°C (41°F) a shelf-life of 14 days
can be expected as long as no ethylene is in the environment. Vacuum cooling is usually
used for iceberg lettuce, but forced-air cooling may also be used successfully.

Freezing Injury

Freeze damage can occur in the field and cause separation of the epidermis from the leaf.
This weakens the leaf and leads to more rapid bacterial decay. During storage, freeze
damage can occur if the lettuce is stored at <-0.2°C (31.7°F). This appears as a darkened
translucent or water-soaked area which will turn slimy and deteriorate rapidly after
thawing.

Rates of Respiration

Iceberg lettuce heads have moderate respiration rates

Temperature 0°C (32°F) 5°C (41°F) 10°C (50°F) 15°C (59°F) 20°C (68°F)
ml CO2/kg·hr 3-8 6-10 11-20 16-23 25-30

To calculate heat of production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton-day or by


122 to get kcal/metric ton-day.

Rates of Ethylene Production


Very low, <0.1 µL/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F).

Responses to Ethylene
Iceberg lettuce is extremely sensitive to ethylene. Russet spotting (see physiological
disorders) is the most common symptom of ethylene exposure.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

39
Some benefit to shelf-life can be obtained with low O2 atmospheres (1-3%) at
temperatures of 0-5°C (32-41°F). Low O2 atmospheres will reduce respiration rates and
reduce the detrimental effects of ethylene. Intact heads are not benefitted by atmospheres
containing CO2 and injury may occur with >2% CO2 (see physiological disorders, brown
stain). Lettuce cut for salad products, however, is commonly packaged in low O2(<1%)
and high CO2 (10%) atmospheres because these conditions control browning on the cut
surfaces. On salad pieces, cut surface browning occurs more rapidly and more
extensively than do symptoms of brown stain caused by CO2.

Physiological Disorders

Many disorders have been identified for iceberg lettuce. Some very common and
important disorders are the following:

Tipburn. A disorder caused in the field and is related to climactic conditions, cultivar
selection and mineral nutrition. Leaves with tipburn are unsightly and the damaged leaf
margins are weaker and susceptible to decay.

Russet Spotting. A common disorder due to exposure to low concentrations of ethylene


which stimulates the production of phenolic compounds which lead to brown pigments.
Russet spots appear as dark brown spots especially on the midribs. Under severe
conditions, russet spots are found on the green leaf tissue and throughout the head. The
disorder is strictly cosmetic but makes the lettuce unmarketable. Ethylene contamination
may occur from propane fork lifts, transport in mixed loads, or storage with ethylene-
generating fruits such as apples, pears and peaches.

Brown Stain. The symptoms of this disorder are yellowish-reddish-brown large,


depressed spots on the midribs mostly. These may darken or enlarge with time. Brown
stain also appears as reddish-brown streaks in some cases. Brown stain is caused by
exposure to above 3% CO2 atmospheres, especially at low temperatures.

Pink rib. A disorder in which the midribs take on a pinkish coloration. Overmature heads
and high storage temperatures increase the disorder. Ethylene exposure does not increase
the disorder and low O2 atmospheres do not control it.

Physical Disorders

Breakage of the midribs often occurs during field packing and causes increased browning
and increased susceptibility to decay.

Pathological Disorders

40
Bacterial soft-rots are caused by numerous bacteria species and result in a slimy
breakdown of the infected tissue. Soft-rots may follow fungal infections. Trimming outer
leaves, rapid cooling and low temperature storage reduce development of bacterial soft-
rots.

Fungal pathogens. May also lead to a watery breakdown of lettuce (watery soft-rot
caused by Sclerotinia or gray mold rot caused by Botrytis cinerea) but are distinguished
from bacterial soft-rots by the development of black and gray spores. Trimming and low
temperatures also reduce the severity of these rots.

Okra

Maturity Indices

Okra pods are immature fruits and are harvested when they are very rapidly growing.
Harvest typically occurs 3 to 7 days after flowering. Okra should be harvested when the
fruit is bright green, the pod is fleshy and seeds are small. After that period, the pod
becomes pithy and tough, and the green color and mucilage content decrease.

Quality Indices

Okra pods should be tender and not fibrous, and have a color typical of the cultivar
(generally bright green). The pods should be well formed and straight, have a fresh
appearance and not show signs of dehydration. Grade is U.S. no. 1. Pods are packed
based on length with Fancy, Choice and Jumbo designations for size categories. Okra
should be free of defects such as leaves, stems, broken pods, insect damage, and
mechanical injury. The tender pods are easily damaged during harvest, especially on the
ridges and this leads to unsightly brown and black discoloration. Quality losses that occur
during marketing are often associated with mechanical damage, water loss, chilling
injury, and decay.

Optimum Storage Temperature

7-10°C (45-50°F)
Very good quality can be maintained up to 7 to 10 days at these temperatures. If stored at
higher temperatures, the pods lose quality due to dehydration, yellowing and decay.
When stored at lower than recommended temperatures, chilling injury will be induced
(see physiological disorders). Chilling symptoms include surface discoloration, pitting
and decay. Okra can be successfully hydrocooled or forced-air cooled.

Optimum Relative Humidity

Weight loss is very high in immature okra pods and cultivars may vary in rate of water
loss. A very high relative humidity (95-100%) is needed to retard dehydration, pod
toughening, and loss of fresh appearance.

41
Rates of Respiration

Okra pods have very high respiration rates.

Temperature 5°C (41°F) 10°C (50°F) 15°C (59°F) 20°C (68°F)


ml CO2>/kg·hr 27 - 30 43 - 47 69 - 72 124 - 137

To calculate heat production multiply mL CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production and Responses to Ethlylene

Okra pods have low ethylene production rates (<0.5 µL/kg·hr at 10°C). Exposure to
ethylene reduces shelf-life by increasing pod yellowing.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

Okra is not stored in modified atmospheres commercially. At recommended storage


temperatures, CO2 concentrations of 4-10% can help maintain green color and reduce
discoloration and decay on damaged pods. CO2 concentrations higher than 10% can lead
to off flavors. Low O2 concentrations (3-5%) reduce respiration rates and may also be
beneficial.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury: The typical symptoms of chilling injury in okra are discoloration,
pitting, water-soaked lesions and increased decay (especially after removal to warmer
temperatures, as during marketing). Different cultivars may differ in their susceptibility
to chilling injury. Calcium dips and modified atmospheres have been reported to reduce
chilling symptoms.

Freeze damage: occurs at temperatures of -1.8°C (28.7°F) or below.

Pathological Disorders

Decay on okra can be due to various common bacterial and fungal organisms, but chilling
and injury-enhanced rots are probably the most common causes of loss. Rhizopus,
Geotrichum and Rhizoctonia fungal rots as well as bacterial decays due to Pseudomonas
sp. have been reported to cause postharvest losses.

Onion: Dry

Maturity Indices

42
• Indicated when approximately 10 to 20 percent of tops have fallen over
• Conversion from active growth to dormancy accelerated by undercutting bulbs 1
to 2 inches
• "Field-dry" maturity is indicated when bulb neck is completely dry to the touch
and not slippery. Typically reached at 5-8% weight loss following harvest.

Quality Indices

• Mature neck and scales


• Firmness
• Diameter (Bulb size)
• Absence of decay, insect damage, sunscald, greening, sprouting, freezing injury,
bruising, and other defects
• Degree of pungency

Optimum Temperature

Curing. Field curing when temperatures are at least 24°C(75°F) or exposure for 12 hrs.
to 30 to 45°C (86 to 113°F) for forced air-curing.
Storage. Mild onions: Typically 0.5 to 1 month at 0°C(32°F)
Pungent Onions: Typically up to 6 to 9 months at 0°C(32°F) depending on the cultivar

Optimum Relative Humidity

Curing. 75 to 80% for best scale color development


Storage. 65 to 70% with adequate air circualtion (1m3/min/ m3 of onion )

Rates of Respiration

• Whole Onions- 3-4 ml/kg·hr @ 0-5°C (32-41°F); 27-29 ml/kg/hr @ 25-27°C(75-


79°F). Storage between 5-25°C(41-75°F) favors sprouting and is not
recommended for extended periods.
• Diced Onions- 40-60 ml/kg·hr @ 0-5°C(32-41°F)

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Whole Onions: < 0.1 µl/kg·hr at 0-5°C (32-41°F)


Diced Onions: NA

Responses to Ethylene

43
Ethylene may encourage sprouting and growth of decay-causing fungi.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

No commercial benefit has been identified for varieties with long storage potential.
Onions are damaged by < 1% O2 and 10% CO2. There is some commercial use of CA
(3% O2and 5-7% CO2) for sweet onion varieties (short storage potential) . Diced onions
benefit from CA conditions of 1.5% O2 and 10% CO2.

Physiological Disorders

• Freezing Injury. Soft water-soaked scales rapidly decay from subsequent


microbial growth.
• Translucent Scales. Resembles freezing injury and is prevented by prompt cold
storage following curing; 3-4 week delay in cold storage increases risk
significantly.
• Greening. Exposure to light following curing causes green-coloration of outer
scales.
• Ammonia Injury. Brown-black blotches result from ammonia gas leakage during
storage.

Pathological Disorders

Botrytis Neck Rot. Watery-decay initiates at neck area and moves downward through
entire bulb. Light gray to Gray fungal growth is generally visible at neck infection and on
outer scales. Proper drying and curing of onion essentially prevents this storage disorder.
Storage conditions (as above) should be maintained to prevent condensation from
forming on the bulbs.

Black Mold. Black discoloration and shriveling at neck and on outer scales caused by the
fungus Aspergillus niger. Often associated with bruising and leads to bacterial soft rot.
Low temperature storage will delay growth of fungus following field or handling
infestation but growth will resume above 15°C (59°F).

Blue Mold. Watery soft rot of neck and outer scales followed by the appearance of
green-blue mold (occasionally yellow-green) spores of the fungus Penicillium. Minimize
bruising and other mechanical injuries, sunscald, and freezing injury.

Bacterial Rots/Soft Rot. Water-soaked, foul-smelling, viscous liquidy rot caused by


Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora.
Slippery Skin: Generally visible only at neck area and upon cutting to expose inner
scales. Scales have a watery-cooked appearance.
Sour Skin: Slimy, yellow-brown decay generally limited to inner scales which give off a
sour odor when exposed.

General Bacterial Rot Control:

44
1. Harvest only at full maturity
2. Proper drying and curing
3. Minimizing bruising and scraping;
4. Maintaining proper storage conditions (as above) to prevent condensation from
forming on the bulbs.

Special Considerations

Onions are both storage-odor sources for other commodities, such as apples, celery and
pears, and storage-odor absorbers from commodities such as apples.

Onion: Green Bunching

Maturity Indices

Maturity of green onions is determined primarily by size which is largely determined by


seeding density. Green or "bunching" onions are selected varieties of white onion (Allium
cepa) planted at high density or from the non-bulbing onion group (Allium fistulosum)
generally called Japanese-bunching. Harvest maturity is generally accepted as mean
diameter of 0.6 to 1.3 cm (1/4 to 1/2 inch) in diameter at the base plate of the immature
bulb.

Quality Indices

Quality green onions have a thin, white shank or neck at least 5 to 7.5 cm (2-3 inches) in
length. Green onions should be well-formed (at most slightly curved or angular), uniform
in shape, thin-necked, turgid, bright in color, well cleaned, and free from excessive roots,
decay, insect-injury, mechanical damage, broken or crushed leaves, or dehydrated
clipped-ends.

U.S. Grade No. 1, No. 2 (Standards established June 1947)

Optimum Storage

0°C (32°F); > 98% R.H.

Green onions held at 32°F and 98 to 100 % relative humidity will remain fresh and
flavorful for up to 4 weeks. Green onions are highly perishable and normally marketed
over a short period. Lowering and removing the heat of respiration as well as preventing
water loss is critical. Package-icing and perforated polyethylene film liners are used to
maintain quality. Typically, storage life of green onions at 10°C (50°F) is 7 to 10 days.
Higher temperatures greatly accelerate yellowing and decay of the leaves. Green onions
benefit from light misting.

Rates of Respiration

45
Temperature ml CO2/ kg·hr
°C °F
0 32 5-16
5 41 9-19
10 50 18-31
15 59 33-58
20 68 40-90
25 77 49-105

§ To calculate heat production, multiply ml CO2 / kg · hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/day or


by 122 to get kcal/metric ton /day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

<0.1 µl/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Green onions are not sensitive to external ethylene.

Responses to Controlled Atmosphere (CA)

Information varies widely on the optimal conditions and extent of benefit of CA for green
onions. In general, a controlled atmosphere of 2 % oxygen with 5% carbon dioxide at
0°C (32°F) should allow 6 to 8 weeks storage. Visually, green onions tolerate 1% O2 and
10% CO2 but off-flavors have been associated with extended storage above 5°C (41°F).

Physiological Disorders

Freezing Injury. Freezing injury will be initiated at -1.0°C (30.6°F). Symptoms of


freezing injury include a water-soaked appearance of bulb or leaves and wilted or
gelatinous leaves, after thawing. The bulb will become soft or gelatinous in texture in
outer tissue. Freeze-injury is rapidly followed by bacterial soft-rot decay.

Curvature. Upward bending of young, elongating shoots will occur in horizontally


packed green onions. Prompt cooling and storage at 0°C (32°F) will largely prevent this
defect. CA-packaging can further retard curvature (See Responses to CA).

Physical Injury

Harvesting, trimming, and banding should be done gently to prevent crushing or other
injuries. At harvest, pulling is usually done without undercutting. Bunching is done in the
field or in a packing shed. Bruising is common and leads to rapid decay when attention
to rapid cooling (within 3 hours of harvest) and cold chain control are not applied.

46
Pathological Disorders

Diseases may be an important source of postharvest loss in combination with rough


handling and poor temperature control. Common diseases are Bacterial Soft-Rot
(primarily Erwinia carotovora and Pseudomonas spp) and Grey Mold (Botrytis cinerea).
Grey Mold is often associated with barely visible preharvest injury to tender foliage by
chemical applications or ozone injury from air pollution.

Special Considerations

Odor. Green onions produce odors that may be adsorbed by many other commodities
such as apples, grapes, and mushrooms.

Package-Ice used for transportation of green onions has been implicated on several
occasions as the cause of outbreaks of food-borne illness due to the pathogens Shigella,
Cryptosporidium, and others. Water quality and hygienic handling of ice is essential.

Proper selection of packaging films together with proper temperature management can
greatly extend the shelf-quality of green onions trimmed or prepared for bulk ready-to-
use format.

Pepino

Maturity Indices

Pepino dulce (Solanum muricatum Ait.) should be harvested when ripe (yellow) to have
the best flavor quality. Skin color changes with ripening from green to pale white to
cream to yellow (with purple stripes). Pepinoes soften as they ripen.

Quality Indices

• Fruit shape varies from round to elongate and length varies from 5 to 20cm,
depending on cultivar and number of fruit/plant.
• Skin color (yellow to golden-yellow) and flesh color (light orange).
• Freedom from defects (such as sunburn and bruising) and decay.
• Juiciness (more than 40% juice)
• Sweetness (soluble solids range from 6-12%; minimum acceptability at 10% or
higher.
• Titratable acidity is low (0.04-0.10%); citric acid is predominant.
• Vitamin C content varies among cultivars from 30 to 70mg/100g fresh weight.

Optimum Temperature

7.5-10° C (45-50°F); storage potential = 4-6 weeks, depending on cultivar and ripeness
stage.

47
Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration

8-12ml CO2/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F); non-climacteric respiratory pattern

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2 /kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Less than 0.1 ml/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure to 10-100ppm ethylene stimulates chlorophyll degradation (loss of green color)


and respiration rate of mature-green pepino fruit, but has no effect fully ripe (yellow)
fruit.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

No published information.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury. Storing pepinoes at temperatures below 7.5°C (45°F) for two weeks or
longer, depending on temperature, will result in chilling injury. Symptoms develop upon
transfer to higher temperatures and include pitting, skin browning, and flesh browning.
Ripe pepinoes are less sensitive to chilling injury than partially-ripe or mature-green fruit.

Pathological Disorders

Alternaria Rot. Pepino fruit, especially when chilled, are susceptible to Alternaria Rot
caused by Alternaria solani. Symptoms include dark-brown to black spots beginning at
the stem end and expanding to the rest of the fruit. Control strategies include minimizing
mechanical injuries during harvesting and handling and avoiding chilling injury and
water stress by maintaining the optimum ranges of temperature and relative humidity
throughout the handling system.

Pumpkin & Winter Squash

48
Maturity Indices

Corking of the stem and subtle changes in rind color (bright green to dull green in
‘Kabocha’ for example) are the main external indications of maturity. Immature fruit
have a fleshy stem, maturing fruit will have some stem corking, and well mature fruit will
have a well corked stem. Internal color should be intense and typical of the cultivar. The
concentrations of the yellow and orange carotenoids generally increase only slightly
during storage. Maturity at harvest is the major determinant of internal color. Immature
fruit will be of inferior eating quality because they contain less stored carbohydrates.
Immature fruit will have more decay and weight loss during storage than mature fruits.

Quality Indices

Pumpkin and winter squash should be full sized and well formed with the stem intact.
They should be well matured with good rind development typical of the cultivar. Internal
quality attributes are high color due to a high carotenoid content, and high dry weight and
sugar and starch contents.

Optimum Temperature

12.5-15°C (55-59°F)
Pumpkins and winter squash are very chilling sensitive when stored below 10°C (50°F).
Depending on the cultivar a storage life of 2 to 6 months can be expected at 12.5-15°C
(55-59°F). Recent research at Oregon State University showed that for 8 currently
produced winter squash cultivars stored at 10-15°C (50-59°C), 90%, 70% and 50% were
marketable after 9, 15 and 20 weeks, respectively. For green rind squashes, storing at
15°C (59°F) may cause degreening, undesirable yellowing, and texture loss. The green
rind squashes can be stored at 10-12°C (50-55°F) to prevent degreening, although some
chilling injury may occur at the lower temperature. High storage temperature (>15°C)
will result in excessive weight loss, color loss and poor eating quality.

Optimum Relative Humidity

50-70% with 60% usually considered optimum Moderate relative humidity with good
ventilation is essential for optimum storage. High humidity will promote decay. Although
50-70% RH will reduce decay during storage, significant weight loss will occur. For
example, mature Kabocha squash lose 1.0 and 1.5% of their fresh weight per week of
storage at 12.5°C (59°F) and 20°C (68°F), respectively.

Rates of Respiration

30-60 ml CO2 / kg·hr at 25°C (77°F)


§ To calculate heat production, multiply ml CO2 / kg·hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/day or by
122 to get kcal/metric ton /day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

49
<0.5µL C2H4 /kg·hr at 20°C. If the fruit are chilled, ethylene production rates can be 3-5
times higher.

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure to ethylene will degreen squash with green rinds. Ethylene will also cause
abscission of the stem, especially in less mature fruit.

Responses to Controlled Atmosphere (CA)

Atmospheres containing 7% CO2 can be beneficial by reducing loss of green color.


Yellow squash, however, appear not to be benefited by 5 or 10% CO2 atmospheres.
Lowering the O2 concentration does not appear to provide any benefit.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury. Caused if pumpkins and squashes are stored below 10-12.5°C (50-
55°F). Symptoms of chilling injury are sunken pits on the surface and high levels of
decay once fruit are removed from storage. Storing fruit 1 month at 5°C (41°F) is
sufficient to cause chilling injury symptoms. Depending on the cultivar, storage for
several months at 10°C (50°F) may cause some chilling injury.

Freezing injury. Can occur at temperatures below -0.8°C (30.5°F).

Pathological Disorders

Several fungi are associated with decay during storage of pumpkins and winter squashes.
Fusarium, Pythium and anthracnose (Colletotrichum) and gummy stem blight or black rot
(Mycosphaerella) are common fungi. Alternaria rot will develop on chill-damaged winter
squashes. Fruit that are overmature at harvest (>2 weeks beyond optimal harvest date)
will tend to have more storage decay.

Special Considerations

Curing. The fruits may have tender rinds when freshly harvested. Curing in the field
(with protection from the sun by placing under the leaves) before handling and stacking
into bins or wagons will help to harden or cure the rind. The recommended storage
conditions also favor curing or hardening of the rind.

Quince

Maturity Indices

50
Change of skin color from green to yellow is the primary maturity index. Quinces should
be picked when full-yellow and firm.

Quality Indices

• Size, color, freedom from defects and decay.


• Quinces must be handled carefully as they bruise easily.
• Quinces are not eaten fresh because of their astringency (due to high tannin
content).

Optimum Temperature

0°C (32°F)
Highest freezing point = - 2°C (28.4°F)
Storage potential = 2-3 months

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration

Climacteric respiratory pattern.

Temperature 0°C (32°F) 10°C (50°F) 20°C (68°F)


ml CO2/kg·hr 2.3 - 5.2 10.2 - 14.1 21.2 - 39.0

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production


Temperature 0°C (32°F) 10°C (50°F) 20°C (68°F)
µl C2H2kg·hr 2.3 - 6.1 6.9 - 7.4 11.0 - 31.9

Responses to Ethylene

Ethylene (100ppm) treatment for 2 days at 18-21°C (65-70°F) and 90-95% relative
humidity can be used after removal from cold storage to stimulate more uniform and
faster ripening of quinces before processing.

51
Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

No published information.

Physiological Disorders

No published information.

Pathological Disorders

Blue mold, caused by Penicillium expansum, is the most common postharvest disease of
quinces. Control strategies include careful handling to minimize wounding, prompt
cooling to 0°C (32°F), and maintenance of optimum temperature and relative humidity
during storage.

Radish

Maturity Indices

Radish (Raphanus sativus L.) is a diversely formed root vegetable and has many uses
worldwide. Red and icicle radish are most common but Asian "daikon" types are
increasing in popularity outside of countries such as Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China.
The number of days post-seeding or emergence, which may vary from 30 to 70 days,
depending on type, typically determines maturity. A minimum size standard for common
red radish is 5/8 inch (1.6cm) equatorial diameter. Current crop management practices
stress rapid growth to ensure a mild flavor and crisp texture. Fertilization and irrigation
management, or environmental conditions that slow growth may result in a woody
texture and high pungency. Over-mature radish tends to be pithy (vacuolated) or spongy
in texture and may develop harsh flavors, for most palates.

Quality Indices

Roots of Bunched or Topped Common Red Radish should, ideally, be of uniform and
similar shape for the variety, well formed, smooth, firm but of tender texture, and free of
growth or harvest damage, and free of decay, disease or insects. Bunched radish tops

52
should be fresh in appearance, turgid, and free of freeze injury or other serious injury,
seed stalk, yellowing or other discoloration, disease, decay, or insects

U.S. Grade Standards effective October 1968 includes U.S. No. 1 and Commercial

Optimum Temperature

32°F (0°C). Rapid cooling is essential to achieve the full storage potential of both
bunched and topped roots. Radish is often top-iced to maintain temperature and
contribute moisture for retaining a crisp texture. Under these conditions common red
radish may be expected to maintain acceptable quality for 7 to 14 days with tops and 21
to 28 days if topped. Daikon-type radish may last from 3 to 4 months at these same
conditions.

Optimum Relative Humidity

95 - 100%

Rates of Respiration

Common Red Radish

Temperature 0°C (32°F) 5°C (41°F) 10°C (50°F) 20°C (68°F)


ml CO2/kg·hr
Bunched 6-7 8-9 14 - 16 58 - 62
Topped 2-4 3-5 6-7 19 - 26

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Very low; <0.1 mL/kg·hr at 20°C

Responses to Ethylene

Not Sensitive. Bunched tops may exhibit yellowing with prolonged storage and ethylene
exposure.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres(CA)

Atmospheres of 1 to 2% O2 and 2 to 3 % CO2 are slightly beneficial in maintaining


quality of topped radish when storage temperatures are 5 to 7°C (41 to 45°F). CA helps
retard the re-growth of shoots and rootlets in "topped and tailed" roots. Even short

53
exposure to temperatures above 7°C (45°F) will result in the development of off-flavors,
browning, and soft-rot.

Physiological Disorders

Freeze injury. As radish is, ideally, stored and transported just above the freezing point
(30.5°F/ -1.0°C), freeze injury is not uncommon. Shoots become water-soaked, wilted,
and turn black. Roots appear water-soaked and glassy, often only at the outer layers if the
freezing temperature is not too low. Roots become soft quickly on warming and
pigmented roots may "bleed" (lose pigment).

Pathological Disorders

Bacterial Black Spot. (Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria) is a problem in some


production locations and will develop in postharvest storage at warmer than optimum
temperatures. Refrigeration is the primary control but washing roots in chlorinated water
is reported to significantly control this disease.

Prompt cooling, chlorination, and refrigeration are also effective in controlling Bacterial
Soft Rot (Erwinia carotovora subsp carotovora).

Rhizotonia spp. lesions may develop in storage at warmer than optimal temperatures but
is more effectively controlled in the field. Botrytis (Grey Mold) and Sclerotinia (Watery
Soft Rot) can develop, especially around harvest wounds, even at temperatures below
5°C (41°F) but is not common on radish in the U.S.

Snap Beans

Maturity Indices

Snap beans (yellow, green and purple types) are harvested when they are rapidly growing
and developing. Harvest occurs about 8-10 days after flowering for typical mature snap
beans. Beans should be harvested when the fruit is bright green, the pod is fleshy and
seeds are small and green. After that period, seed development reduces quality and the
pod becomes pithy and tough and looses green color.

Quality Indices

54
Beans should be well formed and straight, bright in color with a fresh appearance, and
tender but firm. They should snap easily when bent. Leaves, stems, broken beans,
blossom remains, insect damage should not be present. Decreased quality during
postharvest handling is most often associated with water loss, chilling injury, and decay.

Optimum Temperature and Relative Humidity (RH)

5-7.5°C (41-45°F) and 95-100% (RH)


Very good quality can be maintained for a few days at temperatures below 5°C but
chilling injury will be induced (see physiological disorders). Some chilling may occur
even at the recommended storage temperature of 5°C after 7-8 days. At 5-7.5°C (41-
45°F) a shelf-life of 8-12 days is expected.

Water loss is a common postharvest problem with green beans. About 5% weight loss is
needed before shrivel and limpness are observed. After 10-12% weight loss, the beans are
no longer marketable. The weight loss of mature green beans can be estimated from the
equation: % weight loss per day = 0.754 x vapor pressure deficit. The VPD can be
obtained from a psychrometric chart when temperature and relative humidity are
measured. The rate of water loss of immature beans is higher than for mature beans.

Rates of Respiration
Temperature ml CO2>/kg·hr

°C °F Snap Beans Long beans

0 32 10 20

5 41 17 23

10 50 29 46

15 59 46 101

20 68 65 110

To calculate heat production, multiply ml CO2/kg· hr by 440 to get BTU/ton× day or by


122 to get kcal/metric ton× day

Rates of Ethylene Production

<0.05 µL/kg·hr at 5°C (41°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure to ethylene at usual storage temperatures causes loss of green pigment and
increased browning. Concentrations above 0.1 ppm reduce green bean shelf-life by 30-
50% at 5°C .

55
Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

At recommended storage temperature, O2 concentrations of 2-5% reduce respiration


rates. Snap beans tolerate and are benefited by CO2 concentrations between 3-10%. The
main benefit is retention of color and reduced discoloration on damaged beans. Higher
CO2 (20-30%) concentrations can be used for short periods, but can cause off-flavors.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury. The typical symptom of chilling injury in beans stored <5°C (<41°F) for
longer than 5-6 days is a general opaque discoloration of the entire bean. A less common
symptom is pitting on the surface. The most common symptom of chilling injury is the
appearance of discrete rusty brown spots which occur in the temperature range of 5-7.5°C
(41-45°F). These lesions are very susceptible to attack by common fungal pathogens.
Beans can be held about 2 days at 1°C (34°F), 4 days at 2.5°C (36°F), or 8-10 days at 5°C
(41°F) before chilling symptoms appear. No discoloration occurs on beans stored at 10°C
(50°F). Different varieties differ significantly in their susceptibility to chilling injury.

Freezing injury. Appears as water-soaked areas which subsequently deteriorate and


decay. Freezing injury occurs at temperatures of -0.7°C (30.7°F) or below.

Pathological Disorders

Decay due to various pathogens occurs after beans have been chill damage. Surface
decay may also occur on stems and beans if free moisture is present during storage at
>7.5 (>45°F). Common postharvest decay organisms on green beans are the fungi
Pythium, Rhizopus, and Sclerotinia, all of which may occur as "nests" of decay or on
broken or damaged beans.

Special Considerations

Haricot Verts. Extra careful handling is required for tender immature green beans or
haricot verts to avoid physical damage and dehydration.

Long beans have similar postharvest requirements as green beans and similar responses
to chilling temperatures. Long beans may yellow more and have more seed development
during postharvest handling than snap bean

Spinach

Maturity Indices

56
Spinach is selected for size and maximal recovery of clean leaves that are mid-maturity to
young. Older and yellowing leaves are avoided when making the harvest cut. Generally
3-4 weeks of re-growth are required before a second harvest will yield adequate volume.

Quality Indices

Spinach, whether bunched or as leaves, should be uniformly green (generally not yellow-
green), fully turgid, fairly clean, and free from serious damage. For bunched spinach,
roots should be trimmed short to grade standards and petioles should be predominantly
shorter than the leaf blade.

U.S. Grades:
Bunched — U.S. No. 1, No. 2 (Oct. 1987)
Leaves — U.S. Extra No. 1, No. 1, Commercial (Dec. 1946)

Optimum Temperature

0°C (32°F); 95-98% R.H.

Spinach is highly perishable and will not maintain good quality for more than 2 weeks.
Wilting, yellowing of leaves, and decay are likely to increase following storage beyond
10-14 days; faster at common distribution conditions of 5 to10°C(41 to 50°F).

In a 1994 UC Davis study, an average of 17, 28, and 45% of leaves of 16 varieties had
decay after 2, 3, and 4 weeks at 5°C, respectively. After the same periods at 5°C, 18, 25,
and 45% of the leaves showed some yellowing. Commercial varities such as Imperial
Spring, Shasta, Polka, Spectrum and Sporter had notably longer shelf- life than did
varieties Bossanova, Spark and Space.

Rates of Respiration
Temperature Temperature ml CO2 /
°C °F kg·hr
0 32 9-11
5 41 17-29
10 50 41-69
15 59 67-111
20 68 86-143

§ To calculate heat production, multiply ml CO2 / kg·hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/day or by


122 to get kcal/metric ton /day.

57
Rates of Ethylene Production

< 0.1µl / kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Spinach is highly sensitive to exogenous ethylene. Accelerated yellowing will result from
low levels of ethylene during distribution and short-term storage. Do not mix loads such
as apples, melons and tomatoes with spinach.

Responses to Controlled Atmosphere (CA)

Atmospheres of 7-10% O2 and 5-10% CO2 offer moderate benefit to spinach by delaying
yellowing. Spinach is tolerant to higher CO2 concentration but no increase in benefits has
been observed. Package film for prewashed spinach leaves is selected to maintain 1-3%
O2 and 8-10% CO2 .

Physiological Disorders

Freezing Injury. Freezing injury will be initiated at - 0.3°C (31.5°F). Freezing injury
results in watersoaking typically followed by rapid decay by soft-rot bacteria.

Yellowing. Spinach is highly sensitive to exogenous ethylene (See Response to


Ethylene).

Physical Injury

Harvesting and handling should be done with care to prevent damage to the petioles and
leaves. Bunching ties should not be too tight as crushed or spilt petioles may lead to rapid
decay.

Pathological Disorders

Bacterial Soft-Rot (primarily Erwinia and Pseudomonas) is a common problem. Decay


is usually associated with damaged leaves and stems.

Special Considerations

Package-icing and top-icing loads may be used. Frequent light misting may be done in
displays to delay wilting of bunched spinach.

Sweet Potato

General

58
The sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) is a warm season root crop. Moist, sweet flesh types
of sweetpotatoes are sometimes called "yams", but these should not be confused with true
yams (Dioscorea sp.). Cultivars with high orange-colored flesh contain much higher
levels of carotenoids than less pigmented types. Sweetpotato flavor is largely based on
starch and sugar concentrations, and these are affected by cultivars and storage
conditions.

Maturity Indices

Sweetpotatoes are harvested when roots have reached the desirable size. Irrigation is
typically stopped 2 to 3 weeks before harvest so that vines begin drying before they are
removed and roots are harvested.

Quality Indices

Good quality sweetpotatoes should be smooth and firm, with uniform shape and size, be
free from mechanical damage, and have a uniform peel color typical of the variety. There
are four U.S. Grades for sweetpotato (U.S. Extra No. 1, U.S. No.1, U.S. commercial and
U.S. No. 2), and grades are based on degree of freedom from defects (dirt, roots, cuts,
bruises, growth cracks, decay, insects, and diseases), but also size and weight categories.

Optimum Temperature

The recommended conditions for commercial storage are to keep roots cool and dry.
Sweetpotato roots are chilling sensitive and should be stored between 12.5°C and 15°C
(55°F to 59°F) with high relative humidity (>90%). A storage life of 6-10 months can be
expected under these conditions, although sprouting may begin to occur after about 6
months depending on cultivar. Temperatures above 15°C (59°F) lead to more rapid
sprouting and weight loss. Careful handling during harvesting will minimize mechanical
damage to the skin and reduce decay incidence during storage. Roots are not washed
before storing in bins or crates, but only after removal for selection and packing for
marketing. Sweetpotato roots are commonly stored in evaporatively cooled rooms,
supplemented by mechanical refrigeration late in the storage period when warm ambient
temperatures occur.

Optimum Relative Humidity

>95 % for long-term storage; 70-90% for short-term handling for marketing

Rates of Respiration
Temperature 10°C (50°F) 15°C (59°F) 25°C (77°F)
ml CO2/kg·hr
Cured 7 10 - 12 ---
Noncured --- 15 27 - 35

59
To calculate heat production multiply mL CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production and Responses to Ethylene

Sweetpotato roots produce very low amounts of ethylene (~0.1 µL/kg·hr), although much
higher rates can occur after chilling, wounding and decay development. Exposure to
ethylene (1 to 10 ppm) increases respiration rates and phenolic metabolism and adversely
affects flavor and color of cooked roots.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

There is no commercial use of controlled atmospheres for sweetpotato storage.


Respiration rates of roots are reduced as oxygen is lowered from 21 to 3%. Oxygen
concentrations below 3% may results in increased respiration rates due to fermentative
metabolism. Response of roots to increased carbon dioxide levels is not known.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury. Sweetpotato roots are very sensitive to chilling injury at temperatures of
12.5°C (55°F) or below. Symptoms of chilling injury include fungal decay, internal pulp
browning, and root shriveling. Chilled roots that have been cooked can have "hardcore"
defect and a darker color than non-chilled roots.

Pathological Disorders

Chilling and mechanical injury predispose sweetpotatoes to decay, especially Rhizopus


soft rot. Postharvest fungicides may be applied to reduce the risk of Rhizopus after
handling for marketing. There are numerous other decay-causing fungi including black
rot (Ceratocystis) and Fusarium rot. Seed piece treatment and postharvest curing are the
main control measures for these organisms. In warm wet production conditions, bacterial
rots can also cause postharvest losses.

Special Considerations

Curing. The periderm of sweetpotato roots is easily damaged during harvest and
handling, and this leads to an unsightly appearance, high rates of water loss, and
increased susceptibility to decay. The process of curing the damaged skin or "wound

60
healing" can be achieved by holding roots at 25-32°C (77-90°F) under high relative
humidity (>90 to 100%) for several days to 1 week. The conditions for curing
sweetpotatoes are similar to those used for other tropical root and tuber crops. Growers
often load bins of warm roots into storage rooms and do not turn on the fans for
evaporative cooling until after about 1 week. This interval before cooling provides the
warm humid conditions necessary for curing wounds.

Tomato

Maturity Indices

Standard Tomatoes: Minimum harvest maturity (Mature Green 2) is defined by internal


fruit structure indices. Seeds are fully developed and are not cut upon slicing the fruit.
Gel formation is advanced in at least one locule and jellylike material is forming in other
locules.

ESL* Tomatoes: Off-vine ripening is severely affected if fruit are harvested at the MG2
stage. Minimum harvest maturity is better defined as equivalent to ripeness class Pink
(USDA Color Stage 4 more than 30 percent but no more than 60 percent of the fruit
surface, overall, shows a pink-red color.)

* Extended Shelf-Life trait is due, in part, to either the presence of the rin or nor gene.

Quality Indices

Standard tomato quality is primarily based on uniform shape and freedom from growth or
handling defects. Size is not a factor of grade quality but may strongly influence
commercial quality expectations.

Shape - well formed for type (round, globe, flattened globe, roma)
Color - Uniform color (orange-red to deep red; light yellow). No green shoulders.
Appearance - Smooth and small blossom-end scar and stem-end scar. Absence of
growth cracks, catfacing, zippering, sunscald, insect injury, and mechanical injury or
bruises.
Firmness - Yields to firm hand pressure. Not soft and easily deformed due to an overripe
condition.

61
U.S. grades are No. 1, Combination, No. 2, and No. 3. Distinction among grades is based
predominantly on external appearances, bruising and firmness.

Greenhouse grown tomatoes are graded as U.S. No. 1 or No. 2 only.

Optimum Temperature

Mature Green 12.5 - 15°C (55 - 60°F)


Light Red (USDAColor Stage 5) 10 - 12.5°C (50 - 55°F)
Firm-ripe (USDA Color Stage 6) 7 - 10°C (44 - 50°F) for 3-5 days

Mature-green tomatoes can be stored up to 14 days prior to ripening at 12.5°C (55°F)


without significant reduction of sensory quality and color development. Decay is likely to
increase following storage beyond two weeks, at this temperature. Typically 8-10 days of
shelflife are attainable within the optimum temperature range after reaching the Firm-ripe
stage. Short term storage or transit temperatures below this range are used by some in the
trade but will result in chilling injury after several days. Extended storage with controlled
atmosphere has been demonstrated. (See Responses to CA)

Ripening Temperatures

18° -21°C (65 - 70°F); 90-95% R.H. for standard ripening 14° -16°C (57- 61°F) for slow
ripening (i.e. in transit).
For more details on ripening conditions see Ripening.

Chilling Injury

Tomatoes are chilling sensitive at temperatures below 10°C (50°F) if held for longer than
2 weeks or at 5°C (41°F) for longer than 6-8 days. Consequences of chilling injury are
failure to ripen and develop full color and flavor, irregular (blotchy) color development,
premature softening, surface pitting, browning of seeds, and increased decay (especially
Black mold caused by Alternaria spp.). Chilling injury is cumulative and may be initiated
in the field prior to harvest.

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%; High relative humidity is essential to maximize postharvest quality and prevent
water loss (desiccation). Extended periods of higher humidity or condensation may
encourage the growth of stem-scar and surface molds.

Rates of Respiration

62
Temperature ml CO2/ kg·hr
Mature-green Ripening
5°C (41°F) 3-4NR
10°C (50°F) 6-9 7-8
15°C (59°F) 8-14 12-15
20°C (68°F) 14-20 12-22
25°C (77°F) 18-26 15-26

To calculate heat production, multiply ml CO2 / kg·hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/day or by


122 to get kcal/metric ton /day.
NR
- not recommended for more than a few days due to chilling injury

Rates of Ethylene Production

1.2 - 1.5µl / kg·hr at 10°C (50°F)


4.3 - 4.9µl / kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Tomatoes are sensitive to exogenous ethylene and exposure of mature-green fruit to


ethylene will initiate ripening. Ripening tomatoes produce ethylene at a moderate rate
and co-storage or shipment with sensitive commodities, such as lettuce and cucumbers,
should be avoided.

Ripening

Faster ripening results from higher temperatures between 12.5 -25°C (55-77°F); 90-95%
R.H.; 100 ppm ethylene. Good air circulation must be maintained to ensure temperature
uniformity within the ripening room and to prevent the accumulation of CO2. CO2 (above
1%) retards the action of ethylene in stimulating ripening.

The optimum ripening temperature to ensure sensory and nutritive quality is 20°C (68°F).
Color development is optimal and retention of vitamin C content is highest at this
ripening temperature. Tomatoes allowed to ripen off-the-vine above 25°C (77°F) will
develop a more yellow and less red color and will be softer.

Ethylene treatment typically extends for 24-72 hours. A second treatment period may
follow repacking if immature green fruit were included in the harvest.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

63
Controlled atmosphere storage or shipping offer a moderate level of benefit. Low O2
levels (3-5%) delay ripening and the development of surface and stem-scar molds without
severely impacting sensory quality for most consumers. Storage times of up to 7 weeks
have been reported for tomatoes using a combination of 4% O2, 2% CO2, and 5% CO.
More typically, 3% O2 and 0-3% CO2 are used to maintain acceptable quality for up to 6
weeks prior to ripening. Elevated CO2 above 3-5 % is not tolerated by most cultivars and
will cause injury. Low O2( 1%) will cause off-flavors, objectionable odors, and other
condition defects, such as internal browning.

Physiological Disorders

See Chilling injury.

Freezing Injury. Freezing injury will be initiated at -1°C (30°F), depending on the
soluble solids content. Symptoms of freezing injury include a watersoaked appearance,
excessive softening, desiccated appearance of the locular gel.

Physical Disorders

Tomatoes are sensitive to many production and environment-genetic interaction disorders


which may Disorders be manifested during postharvest ripening or postharvest
inspection. Fertilizer and irrigation management, weather conditions, insect feeding
injury, asymptomatic virus infection, and unknown agents may interact to affect
postharvest quality. Examples are Blossom-end Rot, Internal White Tissue, Rain
Checking, Concentric and Radial Cracking, Puffiness, Persistent Green Shoulder, and
Graywall. Several references with photographic keys to disorders are available.

Pathological Disorders

Diseases are an important source of postharvest loss depending on season, region and
handling practices. Commonly, decay or surface lesions result from the fungal pathogens
Alternaria (Black Mold Rot), Botrytis (Gray Mold Rot), Geotrichum (Sour Rot), and
Rhizopus (Hairy Rot). Bacterial Soft Rot caused by Erwinia spp. can be a serious
problem particularly if proper harvest and packinghouse sanitation is not used. Treatment
with hot air or hot water immersion (55°C for 0.5 - 1.0 min.) has been effective in
preventing surface mold but has not been used extensively for commercial treatments.
CA can be effective in delaying fungal growth on the stem-end and fruit surface.

Greenhouse tomatoes marketed on-the-vine ("cluster tomatoes") are very susceptible to


Botrytis Gray Mold, especially if film-wrapped in a tray.

64
Special Considerations

Rapid cooling soon after harvest is essential for optimal postharvest keeping quality. The
precooling endpoint is typically 12.5°C (55°F). Forced-air cooling is the most effective
practice but room cooling is more common.

FRUITS
Avocado

Maturity Indices

Percent of dry matter is highly correlated with oil content and is used as a maturity index
in California and most other avocado production areas; minimum dry matter required
ranges from 19 to 25%, depending on cultivar (19.0% for 'Fuerte', 20.8% for 'Hass', and
24.2% for 'Gwen').

Florida-grown avocado cultivars have lower oil content and are harvested on the basis of
a calendar date (days after full bloom).

Quality Indices

Size (range of consumer preference); shape (cultivar-dependent); skin color; freedom


from defects such as misshapen, sunburn, wounds and skin blemishes (rubs, insect
damage, hail, and wind scars), rancidity and flesh browning; and freedom from disease,
including anthracnose and stem-end rot.

Some cultivars are held on the tree for extended periods after achieving horticultural
maturity. On-tree storage may result in development of off-flavors or rancidity with
overmaturity. Off-flavors may also develop when fruit are harvested during periods of
hot weather.

Avocado Abrasions

Optimum Temperature

65
5-13°C (41-55°F) for mature-green avocados, depending on cultivar and duration. 2-4°C
(36-40°F) for ripe avocados.

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration

Temperatura 5°C (41°F) 10°C (50°F) 20° (68°F)


ml CO2/ kg·hr 10-25 25-80 40-150

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2 /kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/ day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Avocado fruits do not ripen on the tree and ethylene production begins after harvest and
increases greatly with ripening to > 100µl C2H4/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F).

Responses to Ethylene

Treatment with 100ppm ethylene at 20°C (68°F) for 48 hours (early-season fruits), 24
hours (mid-season fruits), or 12 hours (late-season fruits) induces avocados to ripen in 3-
6 days, depending on cultivar and maturity. Ripening indices include flesh softening and
change of skin color from green to black in some cultivars such as 'Hass'. Ripe (soft)
avocados require care in handling to minimize physical damage.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

• Optimum CA (2-5% O2 and 3-10% CO2) delay softening and skin color changes
and reduce respiration and ethylene production rates.
• CA reduces chilling injury of avocado. Mature-green 'Hass' avocado can be kept
at 5-7°C (41-45°F) in 2% O2 and 3-5% CO2 for 9 weeks, then ripened in air at
20°C (68°F) to good quality. Exclusion and/or removal of ethylene from CA
storage are recommended.
• >10% CO2 may increase skin and flesh discoloration and off-flavor development,
especially when O2 is <1%.

Physiological Disorders

66
Chilling injury. Skin pitting, scalding, and blackening are the main external chilling
injury symptoms on mature-green avocado kept at 0-2°C (32-36°F) for more than 7 days
before transfer to ripening temperatures. Avocados exposed to 3-5°C (37-41°F) for more
than two weeks may exhibit internal flesh browning (grey pulp, pulp spot, vascular
browning), failure to ripen, and increased susceptibility to pathogen attack. The timing of
chilling injury development and its severity depend on cultivar, production area, and
maturity-ripeness stage.

Pathological Disorders

Anthracnose. Caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and appears as the fruit begins


to soften as circular black spots covered with pinkish spore masses in later stages. Decay
can penetrate through the flesh and induce browning and rancid flavor.

Stem-end rot. Caused by Botryodiplodia theobromae and appears as dark-brown to


black discoloration which begins at the stem and advances toward the blossom end,
finally covering the entire fruit. Dothiorella gregaria is another cause of stem-end rot in
ripe avocados.

Control methods include good orchard sanitation, effective preharvest fungicide


application, careful handling to minimize physical injuries, prompt cooling to optimum
temperature for the cultivar and maintaining that temperature during marketing.

Insect Control

• Cold treatment (1°C for 14 days) can be tolerated without chilling injury if
avocados are conditioned for 12-18 hours at 38°C before the cold treatment.
• Avocados do not tolerate heat treatments and/or controlled atmospheres needed
for insect control.

67
Banana

Maturity Indices

Degree of fullness of the fingers, i.e., disappearance of angularity in a cross section.


Bananas are harvested mature-green and ripened upon arrival at destination markets since
fruits ripened on the plant often split and have poor texture.

Quality Indices

Maturity (the more mature the better the quality when ripe); finger length (depending on
intended use and demand for various sizes); freedom from defects, such as insect injury,
physical damage, scars, and decay.

As bananas ripen their starch content is converted into sugars (increased sweetness).
Other constituents that influence flavor include acids and volatiles.

Optimum Temperature

13-14°C (56-58°F) for storage and transport


15-20°C (59-68°F) for ripen

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration Production

Temperature 13°C(56°F) 15°C(59°F) 18°C(65°F) 20°C(68°F)


ml CO2/kg·hr1, 2 10-30 12-40 15-60 20-70
1
Low end for mature-green bananas and high end for ripening bananas
2
To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·h by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

68
Rates of Ethylene Production
Temperature 13°C(56°F) 15°C(59°F) 18°C(65°F) 20°C(68°F)
ul C2H4/kg·hr1 0.1-2 0.2-5 0.2-8 0.3-10
1
Low end for mature-green bananas and high end for ripening bananas

Responses to Ethylene

Most commercial cultivars of bananas require exposure to 100-150 ppm ethylene 24-48
hours at 15-20°C (59-68°F) and 90-95% relative humidity to induce uniform ripening.
Carbon dioxide concentration should be kept below 1% to avoid its effect on delaying
ethylene action. Use of a forced-air system in ripening rooms assures more uniform
cooling or warming of bananas as needed and more uniform ethylene concentration
throughout the ripening.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

• 2-5% O2 and 2-5% CO2


• CA delays ripening and reduces respiration and ethylene production rates.
• Postharvest life potential of mature-green bananas: 2-4 weeks in air and 4-6
weeks in CA at 14°C (58°F)
• Exposure to<1% O2 and/or >7% CO2 may cause undesirable texture and flavor.
• Use of CA during transport to delay ripening has facilitated picking bananas at the
full mature stage.

Physiological & Physical Disorders

Chilling injury. Symptoms include surface discoloration, dull or smokey anal color,
subepidermal tissues reveal dark-brown streaks, failure to ripen, and, in severe cases,

69
flesh browning. Chilling injury results from exposing bananas to temperatures below
13°C (56°F) for a few hours to a few days, depending on cultivar, maturity, and
temperature. For example, moderate chilling injury will result from exposing mature-
green bananas to one hour at 10°C (50°F), 5 hours at 11.7°C (53°F), 24 hours at 12.2°C
(54°F), or 72 hours at 12.8°C (55°F). Chilled fruits are more sensitive to mechanical
injury.

Skin abrasions. Abrasions result from skin scuffing against other fruits or surfaces of
handling equipment or shipping boxes. When exposed to low (<90%) relative humidity
conditions, water loss from scuffed areas is accelerated and their color turns brown to
black.

Impact bruising. Dropping of bananas may induce browning of the flesh without
damage to the skin.

Pathological Disorders

70
Crown rot. This disease is caused by one or more of the following fungi: Thielaviopsis
paradoxa, Lasiodiplodia theobromae, Colletotrichum musae, Deightoniella torulosa, and
Fusarium roseum--which attack the cut surface of the hands. From the rotting hand tissue
the fungi grow into the finger neck and with time, down into the fruit.

Anthracnose. Caused by Colletrichum musae, becomes evident as the bananas ripen,


especially in wounds and skin splits.

Stem-end rot. Caused by Lasiodiplodia theobromae and/or Thielaviopsis paradoxa,


which enter through the cut stem or hand. The invaded flesh becomes soft and water-
soaked.

Cigar-end rot. Caused by Verticillium theobromae and/or Trachysphaera fructigena.


The rotted portion of the banana finger is dry and tends to adhere to fruits (appears
similar to the ash of a cigar).

Control strategies. Minimizing bruising; prompt cooling to 14°C (58°F); proper


sanitation of handling facilities; hot water treatments [such as 5 minutes in 50°C (120°F)
water] and/or fungicide (such as Imazalil) treatment to control crown rot.

71
Cantaloupe

Introduction

Cantaloupe (Cucumis melo L. var. reticulatus Naud.) is often, incorrectly, referred to


interchangeably as Muskmelon. This botanical group, however, includes honeydew,
crenshaw, Persian, casaba and other 'mixed melons.

Maturity Indices

Cantaloupes are harvested by maturity and not by size. Commercial maturity is ideally at
the firm-ripe stage or "3/4 to full-slip" when a clear abscission (slip, separation) from the
vine occurs with light pressure. Cantaloupes ripen after harvest but do not increase in
sugar content (see below).

Cultivars vary in their external color at this stage of maturity and may retain a greenish
cast. This skin color typically transitions from gray to dull green when immature, deep
uniform green at maturity, and light yellow at full ripeness. A raised and well-rounded
netting on the fruit surface is another indicator of proper commercial maturity.

Quality Indices

Well-shaped nearly spherical and uniform in appearance. Smooth stem end with no
adhering peduncle (stem-attachment) which suggests premature harvest. Absence of
scars, sunburn or surface defects. Firm with no evidence of bruising or excessive
scuffing. Appears heavy for size and has firm internal cavity without loose seeds or liquid
accumulation.

U.S. grades are Fancy, No. 1, Commercial and No. 2. Distinction among grades is based
predominantly on external appearances and measured soluble solids. Federal Grade
Standards specify a minimum of 11% soluble solids for U.S. Fancy ("Very good internal
quality") and 9% soluble solids for U.S. 1 ("Good internal quality"). A calibrated

72
refractometer, measuring °Brix, is accepted as the current standard for soluble solids
measurements.

Sizing is based on count per 18.2 kg (40 lb.) container, most typically 9,12,15 and
occasionally 18 or 23 melons per carton. An 18 to 45 count crate may also be used.

Optimum Temperature

2.2° - 5°C ( 36°- 41°F) Storage life is up to 21 days at 2.2°C (36°F) but sensory quality
may be reduced. Typically 12-15 days of shelf life are attainable within the optimum
range. Short term storage or transit temperatures below this range are used by some in the
trade but may result in chilling injury after several days [for example,7 days or longer at
temperatures below 2.2°C (36°F)].

Optimum Relative Humidity

90%-95%; High relative humidity is essential to maximize postharvest quality and


prevent desiccation. Water loss through scuffed and damaged surface netting can be
significant. Extended periods of higher humidity or condensation may encourage the
growth of stem-scar and surface molds.

Rates of Respiration
0°C 5°C 10°C 15°C 20°C 25°C
Temperature
(32°F) (41°F) (50°F) (59°F) (68°F) (77°F)
ml CO2/kg·hr 2 - 3NR 4-5 7-8 17 - 20 23 - 33 65 - 71

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·h by 440 to get Btu/ton/ day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.
NR
- not recommended for more than a few days due to chilling injury.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Intact fruit - 40 - 80µl /kg·h at 20°C (68°F)


Production Fresh-cut - 7-10µl /kg·h at 5°C (41°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Cantaloupes are moderately sensitive to exogenous ethylene and over-ripening may be a


problem during distribution and short-term storage.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

73
Controlled atmosphere storage or shipping offer only moderate benefits for cantaloupes
under most conditions. With extended transit times (14-21 Atmospheres (CA) days),
cantaloupes are reported to benefit from delayed ripening, reduced respiration and
associated sugar loss, and inhibition of surface molds and decay. Consensus atmospheres
of 3% O2 and 10% CO2 at 3°C (37.4°F) has been demonstrated. Elevated CO2 at 10-20%
is tolerated but will cause effervescence in the fruit flesh. This carbonated flavor is lost
on transfer to air.

Low O2 (<1%) or high CO2 (> 20%) will cause impaired ripening, off-flavors and odors,
and other condition defects.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury typically occurs after storage at temperatures < 2°C Disorders ( 35.6°F)
for several days. Sensitivity to chilling injury decreases as melon maturity and ripeness
increases. Symptoms of chilling injury include pitting or sunken areas, failure to ripen,
off-flavors and increased surface decay.

Pathological Disorders

Disease can be an important source of postharvest loss depending on season, region and
handling practices. Commonly, decay or surface lesions result from the fungal pathogens
Alternaria, Penicillium, Cladosporium, Geotrichum, Rhizopus, and to a lesser extent
Mucor. Treatment with hot air or hot water immersion ( 55°C for 0.5 - 1.0 min.) has been
effective in preventing surface mold but has not been used extensively for commercial
treatments. CA can be effective in delaying fungal growth on the stem-end and fruit
surface.

Special Considerations

Rapid precooling soon after harvest is essential for optimal postharvest keeping quality.
The precooling endpoint is typically 10°C (50°F) but 4°C (39.2°F) is more desirable.
Forced-air cooling is the most common practice but Hydrocooling is also utilized.

Durian

Maturity Indices

The fruit is a large (1.5 to 2.5 kg), spiny capsule that opens into five segments containing
seeds covered with a pulpy, edible aril. External color changes with maturation from dull

74
olive-green to light yellowish-green. When mature, the fruit drops to the ground, but it
can be carefully harvested before this occurs and ripened in 4 to 6 days. Ease of fruit
abscission can be used as a maturity index. Fruit is picked with peduncle attached.

Quality Indices

• Fruit size (weight), shape, color, freedom from defects and decay.
• Internal quality: good color and flavor, fine texture, no wet core or browning.
• The overall smell of the ripe durian has three distinct aromas: one strong and
onion like, one delicate and fruity, and one offensive smell (due to hydrogen
sulfide and diethyldisulfide).

Optimum Temperature

13-15°C (55-59°F); storage potential is 3-5 weeks (mature unripe durians) or 7-14 days
(ripe durians).

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration

Vary by cultivar and ripeness stage from 6 to 60 ml CO2/kg·hr at 13ºC (55ºF) and from
100 to 250 ml CO2/kg·hr at 25ºC (77ºF); climacteric respiratory pattern.

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Vary from 1 to 7 µl/kg·hr at 13ºC (55ºF) and from 6 to 35 µl/kg·hr at 25ºC (77ºF),
depending on cultivar and ripeness stage.

Responses to Ethylene

Ethylene (100ppm) treatment can accelerate ripening and dehiscence of mature but
unripe durians and ethylene scrubbing can delay their ripening.

75
Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

An atmosphere of 3-5% O2 and 5-15% CO2 reduces respiration and ethylene production
rates, retards ripening, and extends postharvest-life of durians to 8 weeks (vs. 5 weeks in
air) at 14ºC (58ºF).

Physiological Disorders

Chilling Injury. Symptoms include black discoloration of durian surface (especially the
groove between thorns) and failure to ripen as indicated by loss of ability to convert
starch to sugars. Cultivars vary in their chilling sensitivity but all are damaged by storage
at 5ºC (41ºF) for one week or 10ºC (50ºF) for two weeks.

Uneven Fruit Ripening. A portion of the aril remains hard, leathery, whitish in color,
odorless, and tasteless. Larger fruits may have a higher incidence of this disorder than
smaller fruits. Incidence and severity are related to preharvest factors that have not been
identified yet.

Wet Core (Water Core). Flesh areas appear water-soaked and deteriorate faster than
unaffected areas. It is caused by rain just before harvesting.

Pathological Disorders

Fruit rot may be caused by Phytophthora palmivora. Symptoms first appear as small
water-soaked lesions on the outer skin which coalesce to form dark-brown lesions
followed by the appearance of white powdery masses of sporangia. Control strategies
include application of fungicides about one month before harvest, minimizing physical
injuries during harvesting and handling, and using good sanitation and temperature
management procedures.

Grape

Maturity Indices

In California, harvest date is determined by Soluble Solids Concentration (SSC) of 14 to


17.5% depending on cultivar and production area. In some situations, the SSC/titratable
acidity (TA) ratio of 20 or higher is used to determine maturity for early maturing
cultivars from early production areas. For red and black colored cultivars, there is also a
minimum color requirement.

Quality Indices

High consumer acceptance is attained for fruit with high SSC or SSC/TA ratio. Berry
firmness is also an important factor for consumer acceptance as are lack of defects such

76
as decay, cracked berries, stem browning, shriveling, sunburned or dried berries, and
insect damage.

Optimum Temperature

Berry storage at -1.0 to 0° C (30-32° F) is recommended.

The highest freezing point for berries is -2.1° C (28.1° F), but freezing point varies
depending on SSC. A -2.0° C (28° F) stem freezing point has been reported.

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95% RH and an air velocity of approximately 20-40 feet per minute (FPM) is
suggested during storage.

Rates of Respiration (of grape clusters, i.e. berries + stems)

Temperature ml CO2 /kg·hr*


0° C (32° F) 1-2
5° C (41° F) 3-4
10° C (50° F) 5-8
20° C (68° F) 12-15

Stem respiration rate is approximately 15 times higher than berry respiration.


* To calculate heat production, multiply ml CO2 /kg·hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/day or by
122 to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

<0.1 m l/kg·hr at 20° C (68° F)

Responses to Ethylene

Table grapes are not very sensitive to ethylene. However, exposure to ethylene (>10
ppm) may be a secondary factor in shatter.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

CA (2-5% O2 + 1-5% CO2 ) during storage/shipment is not currently recommended for


table grapes because its benefit is slight and SO2 used for decay control.

Effects of Genotype on Market Life

Market life varies among table grape cultivars grown in California and is also strongly
affected by temperature management and decay susceptibility.

77
Physiological Disorders

Shatter. (loss of berries from the cap stem) In general, shatter increases in severity with
increasing maturity, i.e., the longer the fruit remains on the vine. Berries of seedless
cultivars, are usually less well attached to the cap stem than seeded cultivars. Shatter
varies considerably from season to season, and there is a large difference among
varieties. Gibberellin applied at fruit set weakens berry attachment. Shatter occurs mainly
due to rough handling during field packing with additional shatter occurring all the way
to the final retail sale. Shatter incidence can be reduced by controlling pack depth and
fruit packing density (cubic inches per pound), using cluster bagging, gentle handling and
maintaining recommended temperature and relative humidity

Waterberry. Waterberry is associated with fruit ripening and most often begins to
develop shortly after veraison (berry softening). The earliest symptom is the development
of small (1-2 mm) dark spots on the cap stems (pedicles) and/or other parts of the cluster
framework. These spots become necrotic, slightly sunken, and expand to affect more
areas. The affected berries become watery, soft, and flabby when ripe. In California, this
disorder has been associated with a high nitrogen status vine, canopy shading, or cool
weather during veraison and fruit ripening. Avoid over fertilization with nitrogen. Foliar
nutrient sprays of nitrogen should be avoided in waterberry-prone vineyards. Trimming
off affected berries during harvest and packing is a common practice, although labor
intensive.

Pathological Disorders

Gray Mold. (Botrytis cinerea) Gray mold is the most destructive of the postharvest
diseases of table grapes, primarily because it develops at temperatures as low as 31° F (-
0.5° C) and grows from berry to berry. Gray mold first turns berries brown, then loosens
the skin of the berry, its white, thread-like hyphal filaments erupt through the berry
surface, and finally masses of gray colored spores develop. Wounds near harvest also
provide opportunities for infections. No wound is required for infection when wet
conditions occur.

Botrytis infection can be reduced by removing desiccated, infected grapes of the previous
season from vines, leaf-removal canopy management, preharvest fungicides, trimming
visibly infected, split, cracked, or otherwise damaged grapes before packing, prompt
cooling and fumigation with sulfur dioxide (100 ppm for one hour) or use of continuous
release SO2 pads.

Grapefruit

Maturity Indices

78
Color (more than 2/3 of fruit surface showing yellow color) and a minimum soluble
solids/acid ratio of 5.5 or 6 (depending on production area). Grapefruit do not continue to
ripen after harvest so they should be harvested fully-ripe (with good flavor).

Quality Indices

Color intensity and uniformity; firmness; size; shape; peel thickness; smoothness; and
freedom from decay and defects, such as freezing injury, rind staining, pitting, scars, and
insect damage. Flavor is related to soluble solids/acid ratio and concentration of
compounds that impart bitter flavor (limonin and naringin).

Optimum Temperature

12-14°C (54-57°F) depending on cultivar, production area, maturity-ripeness stage at


harvest, and storage & transport duration (up to 6-8 weeks).

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration
Temperature 10°C (50°F) 13°C (55°F) 15° (59°F) 20° (68°F)
ml CO2/ kg·hr 3-5 4-7 5-9 7-12

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2 /kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Less than 0.1 µl/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure of mature-green grapefruits for 1-3 days to ethylene (1-10ppm) at 20-30°C (68
to 86°F) accelerates loss of green color and appearance of yellow color (degreening).
This is accompanied by faster peel senescence and greater susceptibility to decay-causing
pathogens.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

• Low O2 (3-10%) and high CO2 (5-10%) concentrations delay senesence and
maintain firmness of grapefruits kept at 13-15°C (55-59°C).
• Exposure to O2 levels below 3% and/or CO2 levels above 10% may result in off-
flavors due to accumulation of acetaldehyde, ethanol, and ethyl acetate. This
precludes the use of fungistatic levels of CO2 (>10%) for longer than a few days.

79
• Commercial use of CA during transport and/or storage of grapefruits is very
limited.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury. Severity of chilling injury depends upon cultivar, maturity and ripeness
stage at harvest, production area and season (preharvest cultural practices and weather
conditions). Symptoms including pitting, reddish brown discoloration, scald, watery
breakdown, off-flavors, and increased decay incidence. Waxing or film wrapping to
minimize water loss and use of fungicides (especially thiabendazole) to control decay can
reduce severity of chilling injury symptoms. Conditioning at 15-18°C (59-65°F) in air or
in air + 10-20% CO2 for 5-7 days can reduce severity of chilling injury symptoms on
grapefruits that are subsequently exposed to chilling temperatures, such as those required
for quarantine treatments against tropical fruit flies.

Oil spotting (Oleocellosis). Physical stress on turgid fruits may result in breaking of oil
cells and release of oil that damages surrounding tissues.

Pathological Disorders
Important Diseases:

• Green mold (Penicillium digitatum)


• Blue mold (Penicillium italicum)
• Phomopsis stem-end rot (Phomopsis citri)
• Stem end rot (Lasiodiplodia theobromae)
• Brown rot (Phytophthora citrophthora)
• Sour rot (Geotrichum candidum)

Control Strategies:

• Careful handling to minimize physical damage.


• Good sanitation in the orchards and packing houses.
• Treatment with hot water dip (50-53°C = 120-125°F for 2-3 minutes) or drench
(55°C = 129°F for 20-30 seconds).
• Treatment with postharvest fungicides and/or biological antagonists.
• Prompt cooling and expedited handling.
• Removal and/or exclusion of ethylene.

Guava

80
Maturity Indices

Guava fruits are picked at the mature-green stage (color change from dark- to light-green)
in some countries where consumers eat them at that stage. In countries where consumers
prefer ripe guava, the fruits are picked at the firm-yellow to half-ripe (softer) stage for
long-distance transport or at the fully-ripe (yellow and soft) stage for local markets.

Quality Indices

Color is a good indicator of ripeness stage; size and shape may be important in some
markets; freedom from defects, insects, and decay; firmness and extent of gritty texture
due to the presence of stone cells (sclereids); flesh color depends on cultivar and can be
white, yellow, pink, or red; amount of seeds in the flesh (the fewer the better); aroma
intensity; soluble solids and acidity.

Guava is one of the richest sources of vitamin C (200 to 400 mg per 100g fresh weight)
and some cultivars are also rich in vitamin A.

Optimum Temperature

8-10°C (46-50°F) for mature-green and partially-ripe guavas (storage potential = 2-3
weeks)

5-8°C (41-46°F) for fully-ripe guavas (storage potential = 1 week)

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration

Temperature ml CO2 / kg·hr


10°C (50°F) 4-30
20°C (68°) 10-70

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2 /kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/ day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

81
Guava is a climacteric fruit. Rates of respiration and ethylene production depend upon
cultivar and maturity/ripeness stage. Ethylene production at 20°C (68°F) ranges from 1 to
20 µl /kg•hr.

Responses to Ethylene

Ethylene at 100 ppm for 1-2 days can accelerate ripening of mature-green guavas to full-
yellow stage at 15-20°C (59-68°F) and 90-95% relative humidity. This treatment results
in more uniform ripening, which is more important for guavas destined for processing.
Immature-green guavas do not ripen properly and develop 'gummy' texture.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

The limited research on guava indicates that 2-5% oxygen levels may delay ripening of
mature-green and partially-ripe guavas kept at 10°C (50°F). Tolerance to elevated carbon
dioxide levels has not been determined.

Physical and Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury. Symptoms include failure of mature-green or partially-ripe guavas to


ripen, browning of the flesh and, in severe cases, the skin, and increased decay incidence
and severity upon transfer to higher temperatures. Fully-ripe guavas are less sensitive to
chilling injury than mature-green guavas and may be kept for up to a week at 5°C (41°F)
without exhibiting chilling injury symptoms.

External (skin) and Internal (flesh) browning. Guavas are sensitive to physical damage
during harvesting and handling all the way to the consumer. Symptoms include skin
abrasions and browning of bruised areas.

Sun scald. Guavas exposed to direct sun light may be scalded. In some countries, paper
bags are used to cover guava fruits and protect them from solar radiation and insect
infestation while on the tree.

Pathological Disorders

Most of the postharvest disease problems begin in the orchard as latent infection in
developing fruits. Diseases include anthracnose (caused by Colletrotrichum
gloeosporioides and associated species), aspergillus rot (caused by Aspergillus niger),
mucor rot (caused by Mucor hiemalis), phomopsis rot (caused by Phomopsis
destructum), and rhizopus rot (caused by Rhizopus stolonifer).

Disease control strategies include good orchard sanitation, effective preharvest


management to reduce infection, careful handling to reduce physical damage, prompt

82
cooling to 10°C (50°F) and subsequent maintenance of that temperature throughout the
handling system.

Insect Control

Guavas are a preferred host for fruit flies and must be treated for disinfestation to be
accepted in many countries. One of the insect control treatments is heat either as
immersion in 46°C-water for 35 minutes or exposed to hot air at 48°C for 60 minutes.
Another potential insect control treatment is irradiation at 0.15-0.30 kGy.

Honeydew Melon

Introduction

Honeydew melon belongs to the Cucumis melo L. Inodorus group which includes
crenshaw, casaba and other mixed melons.

Maturity Indices

Honeydews are harvested by maturity and not by size. Maturity is difficult to judge
because no clear abscission (slip, separation) from the vine occurs. Maturity classes are
grouped predominantly by changes in ‘ground color' from greenish to cream with yellow
accents.

Commercial Maturity Classes:

1. Mature, Unripe. Ground color white with greenish accents, no characteristic


aroma, peel fuzzy/hairy and not waxy. California Grade Standards establish a
minimum legal harvest index of 10% soluble solids (10° Brix).
2. Mature, Ripening. Ground color white with slightly discernible green tint,
slightly waxy peel, blossom-end firm and unyielding, no or slight aroma.
Preferred commercial maturity class.
3. Ripe. Ground color creamy white with yellow accents, clearly waxy peel,
characteristic aroma noticeable, blossom-end yields slightly to press

Quality Indices

83
Well-shaped nearly spherical and uniform in appearance. Absence of scars or surface
defects, no evidence of bruising, appears heavy for size, surface waxy and not fuzzy.

U.S. grades are No. 1, Commercial and No. 2. Distinction among grades is based
predominantly on external appearances. Sizing is based on count per 13.6 kg (30 lb.)
container, most typically 4 or 5, and occasionally 6 melons per carton. High quality
appearance is protected, in part, by packing with a partition to protect melons from
bruising, compression and scuffing.

Optimum Temperature

7° - 10°C ( 45°- 50°F ) Storage life is typically 12-15 days at 7°C(45°F) with up to 21
days attainable.

Source authorities vary in the reported optimum storage and shipping temperatures for
honeydew melons. Most recommendations use 7°C (45°F) and 85-90% R.H. as the
optimum handling conditions. In general, if melons are ripe or pretreated with ethylene at
100 ppm for 24 hr, trade recommendations for short-term storage and shipping are often
range from 2.5 - 5°C (36.5 - 41°F). Extended holding at these temperatures will induce
chilling injury, rapidly evident after transfer to typical retail display temperature

Optimum Relative Humidity

85-90 %. High relative humidity is essential to prevent desiccation and loss of glossiness.
Extended periods of higher humidity or condensation may encourage the growth of
surface molds.

Rates of Respiration
0°C 5°C 10°C 15°C 20°C 25°C
Temperature
(32°F) (41°F) (50°F) (59°F) (68°F) (77°F)
ml CO2/kg·h NR 3 - 5 7 - 9 12 - 16 20 - 27 20 - 35

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/ day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

NR- not recommended due to chilling injury.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Maturity Class µl / kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)


Intact fruit 1 .5-1.0
2 1.0-7.5

84
3 7.5-10
Fresh-cut 2 14-17 at 5°C(41°F)
3 21-25 at 5°C(41°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure to 100-150 ppm ethylene for 18-24 hr @ 20°C (68°F) has been used to ripen
physiologically mature honeydew melons. Immature fruit will not soften and develop
characteristic sensory quality even with C2H4 treatment. Ripening with C2H4 is no longer
a common practice for the California honeydew industry.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

Controlled atmosphere storage or shipping offer only moderate benefits for honeydew
melons under most conditions. With extended transit times ( 1-28 days), naturally
ripening melons are reported to benefit from delayed ripening, reduced respiration and
inhibition of molds and decay. Consensus conditions of 3% O2 and 10% CO2 at 7°C have
been demonstrated. Elevated CO2 at 10-20 % is tolerated but will cause effervescence in
the fruit flesh. This carbonated flavor is lost on transfer to air.

Low O2 (<1%) or high CO2 (> 20%) will cause impaired ripening, off-flavors and odors,
and other defects.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury typically occurs after storage at temperatures < 7°C ( 45°F) for several
days. Sensitivity to chilling injury decreases as melon maturity and ripeness increases.
Symptoms of chilling injury include pitting, reddish-tan discoloration's, failure to ripen,
off-flavors and increased surface decay.

Pathological Disorders

Disease is generally not an important source of postharvest loss in comparison with


physical injury due to bruising and chilling injury. Commonly, decay or surface molds
are caused by the fungal pathogens Cladosporium, Geotrichum, Rhizopus, Alternaria,
and occasionally Mucor and Fusarium.

Special Considerations

85
Rapid forced-air cooling soon after harvest is strongly recommended, particularly if
harvest pulp temperatures exceed 27°C (80°F). The precooling endpoint will depend on
the desired intransit ripening, transit time, and trailer refrigeration capacities.

Fresh-cut honeydew melons rapidly absorb odors.

The optimum temperature and handling conditions for honeydew melons are essentially
applicable to crenshaw and Persian melons. The anticipated keeping period, however, is
shorter and generally does not exceed 14 days. Casaba, Juan Canary, and Santa Claus
melons retain best quality at the high end of the storage temperature range, 10°C (50°F),
for up to 21 days.

Kiwifruit

Maturity Indices

• Minimum of 6.5% soluble solids content (SSC) at harvest.


• Minimum flesh firmness of 14 lbf (penetration force with an 8-mm = 5/16 inch
tip). Late harvested kiwifruits retain their firmness better than early harvested fruit
and have higher SSC at harvest and when ripe.

Quality Indices

• Freedom from growth cracks, insect injury, bruises, scars, sunscald, internal
breakdown, and decay.
• Minimum of 14% SSC when ripe (ready to eat); a kiwifruit at 2-3 lb flesh
firmness is considered ripe.
• Kiwifruits are a good source of vitamin C.

Optimum Temperature

0°C (32°F); highest freezing point is -1.5°C (29.3°F).

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration

Temperature 0°C (32°F) 5°C(41°F) 10°C (50°F) 15°C (59°F) 20°C(68°F)


Rates of Respiration
1.5-2.0 3-4 5-7 9-12 15-20
ml CO2/kg·hr

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

86
Rates of Ethylene Production

Less than 0.1 µl/kg·hr at 0°C (32°F), 0.1-0.5 µl/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F) for Production
unripe kiwifruit. Ripe kiwifruit (less than 4 lbf firmness) produce 50-100 µl/kg·hr at 20°C
(68°F).

Responses to Ethylene

• Kiwifruits are extremely sensitive to ethylene. As little as 5-10 ppb ethylene will
induce fruit softening.
• Avoid exposure of unripe kiwifruits to ethylene during harvest, transport, and
storage.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

Optimum CA 1-2% O2 + 3-5% CO2.


CA delays ripening and retains flesh firmness.
CO2 levels above 7% can cause internal breakdown of the flesh.
CA must be established within 2 days after harvest to maximize benefits; ethylene
concentration should be kept below 20 ppb to avoid accelerated flesh softening and
incidence of white core inclusions.

Physiological Disorders

Freezing Damage. Flesh translucency starting at the stem end of the fruit and
progressing toward the blossom end as the severity increases. Susceptible fruit become
somewhat yellow fleshed with prolonged storage. There was no "graininess" observed in
the fruit that showed these symptoms. Freezing damage can occur on early picked
kiwifruit when stored at temperatures below 0°C (32°F) or when subjected to an early
frost in the vineyard. Fruit frosted late in the season are usually affected on the shoulder
where the cells collapse to cause a pinching of the fruit at the stem end.

Hard-Core.This disorder is induced by exposure of kiwifruit to ethylene plus carbon


dioxide levels above 8 percent. The fruit core fails to ripen when the remainder of the
fruit is soft and ripe.

Internal Breakdown. These symptoms start as a slight discoloration (water soaking) at


the blossom end of the fruit. With time this progresses around the blossom end and
ultimately encompasses a large part of the fruit. As symptoms progress a "graininess"
develops below the fruit surface beginning in the area around the blossom end of the
fruit.

Pericarp Granulation. The occurrence of granulation is predominantly at the stylar end


of the fruit, but as in the case of translucency may extend up the sides of fruit. This
disorder also is more severe with prolonged storage and after ripening at 20°C (68°F).

87
There is no obvious correlation between pericarp translucency and granulation since
symptoms can occur independently.

Pericarp Translucency. This disorder has been noted in both air- and CA-stored
kiwifruit at 0°C (32°F). It appears as translucent patches in the outer pericarp tissue at the
stylar end which may extend up the sides of the fruit. Pericarp translucency is more
severe after prolonged storage, but it can be observed after 12 weeks of storage at 0 C (32
F). The presence of ethylene in the storage atmosphere exacerbates symptom
development.

White-Core Inclusions. The occurrence of white-core inclusions is directly related to the


presence of ethylene in CA storage. This disorder results in distinct white patches of core
tissue that are obvious in ripe fruit. Symptoms have been observed as early as 3 weeks
after storage at 0°C (32°F).

Pathological Breakdown

Several pathogens can cause postharvest deterioration of kiwifruit. Botrytis gray mold rot
caused by Botrytis cinerea is the most important and can directly invade the fruit or enter
through wounds. Kiwifruit become much more susceptible to Botrytis (and other fungi)
as they soften. Thus, maintaining fruit firmness (by rapid cooling, cold storage, and use
of controlled atmospheres) can significantly reduce pathological breakdown. Sunburned
fruit and physically damaged fruit are also more susceptible to postharvest diseases.

Lemon

Maturity Indices

A minimum juice content by volume of 28 or 30% depending on grade; color lemons


picked at the dark-green stage have the longest postharvest life while those picked fully-
yellow must be marketed more rapidly.

Quality Indices

Yellow color intensity and uniformity; size; shape; smoothness; firmness; freedom from
decay; and freedom from defects including freezing damage, drying, mechanical damage,
rind stains, red blotch, shriveling, and discoloration.

Optimum Temperature

12-14°C (54-57°F) depending on cultivar, maturity-ripeness stage at harvest, production


area, and duration of storage and transport (can be up to 6 months).

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

88
Rates of Respiration

Temperature 10°C (50°F) 15° (59°F) 20° (68°F)


ml CO2/ kg·hr 5-6 7-12 10-14

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2 /kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

< 0.1 µl/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

If degreeing is desired, lemons can be treated with 1-10 ppm ethylene for 1-3 days at 20
to 25°C (68-77°F), but this exposure may accelerate deterioration rate and decay
incidence

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

CA of 5-10% O2 and 0-10% CO2 can delay senescence including loss of green color of
lemons. Fungistatic CO2 levels (10-15% are not used because they may induce off-flavors
due to accumulation of fermentative volatiles, especially if O2 levels are below 5%.
Removal of ethylene from lemon storage facilities can reduce rate of senescence and
decay incidence.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury. Symptoms include pitting, membranous staining, and red blotch.
Severity depends upon cultivar, production area, harvest time, maturity-ripeness stage at
harvest, and time-temperature of postharvest handling operations. Moderate to severe
chilling injury is usually followed by decay.

Oil spotting (Oleocellosis). Breaking of oil cells due to physical stress on turgid fruits
causes release of the oil that damages surrounding tissues. Avoiding harvesting lemons
when they are very turgid and careful handling reduce severity of this disorder.

Pathological Disorders

Green mold. Caused by Penicillium digitatum which penetrates the fruit rind through
wounds. Symptoms begin as water-soaked area at the fruit surface followed by growth of
colorless mycelium, then sporulation (green color).

89
Blue Mold. Caused by Penicillium italicum which can penetrate the uninjured peel and
can spread from one lemon to adjacent lemons. Symptoms are similar to green mold
except that the spores are blue.

Altenaria rot. Caused by Alternaria citri which enters the lemons through their buttons.
Preharvest treatment with gibberellic acid or postharvest treatment with 2,4D delay
senescence of the buttons and subsequent decay by Alternaria.

Control Strategies:

• Careful handing during harvesting and handling to minimize cuts, scratches, and
bruises.
• Treatment with postharvest fungicides and/or biological agents.
• Prompt cooling to the proper temperature range.
• Maintaining optimum ranges of temperature and relative humidity and exclusion
of ethylene during transport and storage.
• Effective sanitation throughout the handling system.

Lime

Maturity Indices

Juice content by volume of 30% or higher and color (mature-green limes have a much
longer postharvest-life than those picked when yellow; the latter must be marketed soon
after harvest).

Quality Indices

Color (most consumers in the USA prefer green limes but in some other countries
consumers prefer yellow limes because of their greater juice content); size; shape;
firmness; smoothness; freedom from decay; and freedom from defects including bruises,
oil spotting, dryness, freezing injury, and stylar-end breakdown.

Optimum Temperature

10-13°C (50-55°F) depending on cultivar, maturity-ripeness stage at harvest, and


duration of storage + transport (up to 6-8 weeks).

Optimum Relative Humidity

90
90-95%

Rates of Respiration
emperature 10°C (50°F) 15° (59°F) 20° (68°F)
ml CO2/ kg·hr 3-5 5-8 6-10

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2 /kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

< 0.1 µl/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Ethylene causes limes to lose their green color and unmask their yellow pigments, which
is undesirable for marketing green limes. Removal of ethylene from lime storage
facilities can be beneficial in retarding loss of green color and delaying decay incidence.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

A combination of 5-10% O2 and 0-10% CO2 retards senescence (loss of green color) of
limes, but is inadequate for decay control. Exposure to > 10% CO2 and/ or < 5% O2 can
result in scald-like injury, decreased juice content, off-flavors, and increased
susceptibility to decay. Commercial use of CA on limes is very limited.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury. Symptoms include pitting, and brown discoloration. Pits Disorders may
coalesce and form leathery, brown, sunken areas on the rind. Severity increases with
lower temperature below 10°C (50°F) and longer durations of exposure to these
temperatures.

Oil spotting (Oleocellosis). Harvesting and handling turgid limes may result in breakage
of oil cells in the flavedo and release of the oil that damages surrounding tissues.

91
Stylar-end Breakdown. This disorder results from rough handling during harvesting and
handling. Its severity varies among cultivars and harvest seasons.

Pathological Disorders

Important Diseases:

• Green mold (Penicillium digitatum)


• Blue mold (Penicillium italicum)

• Stem-end rot (Lasiodiplodia theobromae)


• Phomopsis stem-end rot (Phomopsis citri)
• Alternaria stem-end rot (Alternaria citri)

Control Strategies:

• Minimizing abrasions, cuts, and bruises during handling.


• Treating limes before harvest with gibberellic acid to delay senescence.
• Dipping in hot water (50-53°C = 120-125°F) for 2-3 minutes.
• Using chlorine in wash water, postharvest fungicides, and or biological
antagonists.
• Cooling to optimum temperature and subsequent maintenance of optimum
temperature and relative humidity.
• Avoiding exposure to ethylene.

Mango

Maturity Indices

• Change in fruit shape (fullness of the cheeks).


• Change in skin color from dark-green to light-green to yellow (in some cultivars).
Red color on the skin of some cultivars is not a dependable maturity index

92
• Change in flesh color from greenish-yellow to yellow to orange.

Quality Indices

• Uniformity of shape and size; skin color (depending on cultivar); flesh firmness.
• Freedom from decay and defects, including sunburn, sapburn, skin abrasions,
stem-end cavity, hot water scald, chilling injury, and insect damage.
• Changes associated with ripening include starch to sugar conversion (increased
sweetness), decreased acidity and increased carotenoids and aroma volatiles.
• There are large differences in flavor quality (sweetness, sourness, aroma) and
textural quality (fiber content) among cultivars.

Optimum Temperature

13°C (55°F) for mature-green mangoes


10°C (50°F) for partially-ripe and ripe mangoes

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration Production

Temperature 10°C(50°F) 13°C(55°F) 15°C(59°F) 20°C(68°F)


ml CO2/kg·hr 12-16 15-22 19-28 35-80

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

93
Temperature 10°C(50°F) 13°C(55°F) 15°C(59°F) 20°C(68°F)
ul C2H4/kg·hr 0.1-0.5 0.2-1.0 0.3-4.0 0.5-8.0

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure to 100 ppm ethylene for 12 to 24 hours at 20 to 22°C (68 to 72°F) Ethylene and
90-95% relative humidity results in accelerated and more uniform ripening of mangoes
within 5-9 days, depending on cultivar and maturity stage. Carbon dioxide concentration
should be kept below 1% in the ripening room.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

• Optimum CA 3-5% O2 and 5-8% CO2


• CA delays ripening and reduces respiration and ethylene production rates.
Postharvest life potential at 13°C (55°F): 2-4 weeks in air and 3-6 weeks in CA,
depending on cultivar and maturity stage.
• Exposure to below 2% O2 and/or above 8% CO2 may induce skin discoloration,
grayish flesh color, and off-flavor development.

Physiological & Physical Disorders

Sapburn. Dark-brown to black discoloration of mango skin due to chemical &


Physiological injury from exudate (sap) from cut stem.

Skin abrasions. Abrasions due to fruit rubbing against rough surfaces or each other
result in skin discoloration and accelerated water loss.

Chilling injury. Symptoms include uneven ripening, poor color and flavor, surface
pitting, grayish scald-like skin discoloration, increased susceptibility to decay, and, in
severe cases, flesh browning. Chilling injury incidence and severity depend on cultivar,

94
ripeness stage (riper mangoes are less susceptible) and temperature and duration of
exposure.

Heat injury. Exposure to temperatures above 30°C (86°F) for longer than 10 days results
in uneven ripening, mottled skin and strong flavor. Exceeding the time and/or
temperature combinations recommended for decay and/or insect control, such as 46.4°C
(115.5°F) water dip for 65-90 minutes (depending on fruit size) causes heat injury (skin
scald, blotchy coloration, uneven ripening).

Internal flesh breakdown (stem-end cavity). Flesh breakdown and development of


internal cavities between seed and peduncle. This disorder is more prevalent in tree-
ripened mangoes.

Jelly-seed (premature ripening). Disintegration of flesh around seed into a jelly-like


mass.

Soft-nose. Softening of tissue at apex. Flesh appears over-ripe and may discolor and
become spongy. This disorder may be related to calcium deficiency.

95
Pathological Disorders

Anthracnose. Caused by Colletotrichum gloesporioides, begins as latent Disorders


infections in unripe fruit and develops when the mangoes begin to ripen. Lesions may
remain limited to the skin or may invade and darken the flesh.

Diplodia stem-end rot. Caused by Lasiodiplodia theobromae, affects mechanically-


injured areas on the stem or skin. The fungus grows from the pedicel into a circular black
lesion around the pedicel.

Control strategies:

1. Careful handling to minimize mechanical injuries.


2. Hot water treatment: 5-10 minutes (depending on fruit size) dip in 50°C ± 2°C
(122°F ± 4°F) water.
3. Postharvest fungicide (imazalil or thiabendazole) treatment alone or in
combination with hot water treatment maintaining optimum temperature and
relative humidity during all handling steps.

Mangosteen

Maturity Indices

96
Skin color change to reddish-purple is the primary maturity index for mangosteen. The
fruit has a persistent calyx at the stem end and is picked with the peduncle attached. The
aril (pulp) separates from the rind in ripe fruit.

Quality Indices

Fruit size, shape, color, and freedom from defects (skin cracks and blemishes, latex
staining, insect damage)

The inedible pericarp is hard and the edible pulp is white, soft, juicy, and consists of 5 to
8 segments (similar to citrus fruits).

Soluble solids content ranges from 17 to 20% and titratable acidity ranges from 0.7 to
0.8% (pH = 4.5 to 5.0).

Optimum Temperature

13 ± 1°C (56 ± 2 °F), storage potential = 2-4 weeks, depending on cultivar and ripeness
stage.

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration

6-10 ml CO2/ kg·hr at 20°C (68°F); climacteric respiratory pattern.

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

3-30 µl C2H4/ kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure to 100 ppm ethylene for 24 hours at 20°C (68°F) accelerates ripening (color
change to dark purple and softening of the pulp).

97
Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

Limited published information indicates a useful CA of 5% O2 + 5 to 10% CO2 for up to


4 weeks.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling Injury. Symptoms include darkening and hardening of the skin and increased
susceptibility to decay when the fruit is moved to higher temperatures following storage
at less than 10°C (50°F) for longer than 15 days or at 5°C (41°F) for more than 5 days.

Translucent Flesh. Symptoms are internal and include flesh changes from white to
translucent and textural changes from soft to firm and crisp. This disorder may result
from mechanical injuries, nutrient imbalance, and/or excessive water uptake into the
flesh.

Rind Hardening. Mechanical damage (compression or impact bruising) to the fruit


during harvesting and handling often results in hardening of the rind, which may be
combined with hardening and translucency of the pulp (one or more segments).

Pathological Disorders

Decay may be caused by Botryodiplodia theobromae, Diplodia spp., Pestalotia


flagisettula, Phomopsis spp., or Rhizopus spp

Papaya
Maturity Indices

Change of skin color from dark-green to light-green with some yellow at the blossom end
(color break). Papayas are usually harvested at color break to ¼ yellow for export or at ½
to ¾ yellow for local markets.

Flesh color changes from green to yellow or red (depending on cultivar) as the papayas
ripen. A minimum soluble solids of 11.5% is required by the Hawaiian grade standards.

Quality Indices

Papayas picked ¼ to full yellow taste better than those picked mature- green to ¼ yellow
because they do not increase in sweetness after harvest.

98
Uniformity of size and color; firmness; freedom from defects such as sunburn, skin
abrasions, pitting, insect injury, and blotchy coloration; freedom from decay.

Optimum Temperature

13°C (55°F) for mature-green to ¼ yellow papayas


10°C (50°F) for partially-ripe (¼ to ½ yellow) papayas
7°C (45°F) for ripe (>½ yellow) papayas

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration
Temperature 7°C (45°F) 10°C (50°F) 13°C (55°F) 15°C (59°F) 20°C (68°F)
ml CO2/kg·hr 3-5 4-6 7-9 10 - 12 15 - 35

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production


Temperature 7°C (45°F) 10°C (50°F) 13°C (55°F) 15°C (59°F) 20°C (68°F)
µl C2H4/kg·hr 0.1-2 0.2-4 0.3-6 0.5-8 1-15

Responses to Ethylene Production

Exposure to 100 ppm ethylene at 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F) and 90-95% relative humidity
for 24-48 hours results in faster and more uniform ripening (skin yellowing and flesh
softening, but little or no improvement in flavor) of papayas picked at color break to ¼
yellow stage.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

Optimum CA 3-5% O2 and 5-8% CO2

Benefits of CA include delayed ripening and firmness retention.

Postharvest life potential at 13°C (55°F): 2-4 weeks in air and 3-5 weeks in CA,
depending on cultivar and ripeness stage at harvest.

Exposure to O2> levels below 2% and/or CO2 levels above 8% should be avoided because
of the potential for development of off-flavors and uneven ripening.

99
Physiological & Physical Disorders

Skin abrasions result in blotchy coloration such as green islands (areas of skin that
remain green and sunken when the fruit is fully-ripe) and accelerate water loss. Abrasion
and puncture injuries are more important than impact injury for papayas.

Chilling injury symptoms include pitting, blotchy coloration, uneven ripening, skin
scald, hard core (hard areas in the flesh around the vascular bundles), water soaking of
tissues, and increased susceptibility to decay. Increased alternaria rot was observed in
mature-green papayas kept for 4 days at 2°C, 6 days at 5°C, 10 days at 7.5°C, or 14 days
at 10°C. Susceptibility to chilling injury varies among cultivars and is greater in mature-
green than ripe papayas (10 vs. 17 days at 2°C; 20 vs. 26 days at 7.5°C).

Heat injury. Exposure of papayas to temperatures above 30°C (86°F) for longer than 10
days or to temperature-time combinations beyond those needed for decay and/or insect
control result in heat injury (uneven ripening, blotchy ripening, poor color, abnormal
softening, surface pitting, accelerated decay). Quick cooling to 13°C (55°F) after heat
treatments minimizes heat injury.

Heat Treatments for Insect Control

Hot water treatment: 30 minutes at 42°C (107.6°F) followed within 3 minutes by a 49°C
(120.2°F) dip for 20 minutes.

Vapor heat treatment: Fruit temperature is raised by saturated water vapor at 44.4°C
(112°F) until the center of the fruit reaches that temperature, and then held for 8.5 hours.

Forced hot air treatment: 2 hours at 43°C (109.4°F) + 2 hours at 45°C (113°F) + 2 hours
at 46.5°C (115.7°F) + 2 hours at 49°C (120.2°F).

Pathological Disorders

Anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum gloesporioides, is a major cause of postharvest


losses. Latent infections of unripe papayas develop as the fruits ripen. Lesions appear as
small, brown, superficial, water soaked lesions that may enlarge to 2.5 cm (1 inch) or
more in diameter.

100
Black stem-end rot caused by Phoma caricae-papayae attacks fruit pedicel. After
harvest, the disease lesion on fruits appear in the stem area which becomes dark-brown to
black. Another stem-end rot is caused by Lasiodiplodia theobromae.

Phomopsis rot caused by Phomopsis caricae-papayae begins in the stem end or a fruit
skin wound and can develop rapidly in ripe fruits; invaded tissue softens and darkens
slightly.

Phytophthora stem-end rot caused by Phytophthora nicotianae var. parasitica begins as


water-soaked areas followed by white mycelium that become encrusted.

Alternaria rot caused by Alternaria alternata follows chilling injury of papayas kept at
temperatures below -12°C (54°F).

Control Strategies:

1. Careful handling to minimize mechanical injuries


2. Prompt cooling and maintenance of optimum temperature and relative humidity
throughout postharvest handling operations.
3. Application of fungicides, such as thiabendazole (TBZ).
4. Dipping in hot water at 49°C (120°F) for 20 minutes.

Pineapple

Maturity Indices

Change of shell color from green to yellow at the base of the fruit. Pineapples are non-
climacteric fruits and should be harvested when ready to eat. A minimum soluble solids
content of 12% and a maximum acidity of 1% will assure minimum flavor acceptability
by most consumers.

101
Quality Indices

Uniformity of size and shape; firmness; freedom from decay; freedom from sunburn,
sunscald, cracks, bruising, internal breakdown, endogenous brown spot, gummosis, and
insect damage.

Tops (crown leaves): green color, medium length, and straightness.

Range of soluble solids = 11-18%; titratable acidity (mainly citric acid) = 0.5-1.6%; and
ascorbic acid = 20-65 mg/100g fresh weight, depending on cultivar and ripeness stage.

Optimum Temperature

10-13°(50-55°F) for partially-ripe pineapples


7-10°C (45-50°F) for ripe pineapples.

Optimum Relative Humidity

85-90%

Rates of Respiration Production


Temperature 7°C(45°F) 10°C(50°F) 13°C(55°F) 15°C(59°F)
ml CO2/kg·hr 2-4 3-5 5-8 8-10

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122


to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

102
Less than 0.2 µl C2H4/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure of pineapples to ethylene may result in slightly faster degreening (loss of


chlorophyll) without influencing internal quality. Pineapples must be picked when ripe
because they do not continue to ripen after harvest.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

• 3-5% O2 and 5-8% CO2


• Benefits of CA include delayed senescence and reduced respiration rate
Atmospheres (CA)
• Postharvest life potential: 2-4 weeks in air and 4-6 weeks in CA 10°C (50°F),
depending on cultivar and ripeness stage
• Exposure to O2 levels below 2% and/or CO2 levels above 10% should be avoided
because of the potential for development of off-flavors.
• Waxing may be used to modify O2 and CO2 concentrations within the fruit enough
to reduce incidence and severity of endogenous brown spot.

Physiological & Physical Disorders

Chilling injury. Exposure of pineapples to temperatures below 7°C (45°F) results in


chilling injury. Ripe fruits are less susceptible than unripe or partially-ripe fruits.
Symptoms include dull green color when ripened (failure to ripen properly), water-
soaked flesh, darkening of the core tissue, increased susceptibility to decay, and wilting
and discoloration of crown leaves.

Endogenous Brown Spot (EBS) or Black Heart. EBS is usually associated with
exposure of pineapples before or after harvest to chilling temperatures, e.g. below 7°C
(45°F) for one week or longer. Symptoms are water-soaked, brown areas that begin as
spots in the core area and enlarge to make the entire center brown in severe cases.
Waxing is effective in reducing chilling injury symptoms. A heat treatment at 35°C
(95°F) for one day has been shown to ameliorate EBS symptoms in pineapples
transported at 7°C (45°F) by inhibiting activity of polyphenol oxidase and consequently
tissue browning.

103
Pathological Disorders

Thielaviopsis rot (black rot, water blister). Caused by Thielaviopsis paradoxa, may
start at the stem and advance through most of the flesh with the only external symptom
being slight skin darkening due to watersoaking of the skin over rotted portions of the
flesh. As the flesh softens, the skin above readily breaks under slight pressure.

Yeast fermentation. Caused by Saccharomyces spp, is usually associated with overripe


fruit. The yeast enters the fruit through wounds. Fruit flesh becomes soft and bright
yellow and is ruptured by large gas cavities.

Control Strategies:

1. Careful handling to minimize mechanical injuries


2. Prompt cooling and maintenance of optimum temperature and relative humidity
throughout postharvest handling operations.
3. Application of fungicides, such as thiabendazole (TBZ).

Plantain Banana

104
Maturity Indices

Maturity can be judged by the angularity of the fingers. Plantains are harvested mature-
green and may or may not be ripened upon arrival at destination markets since plantains
are eaten both at the mature-green stage and when fully yellow.

Quality Indices

• Finger size (minimum length of 22 cm = 9 inches)


• Freedom from mechanical damage, scars, insect damage, disease and chemical
residues.

Optimum Temperature

7.2 – 10˚C (45-50˚F) for up to 7 days


10 – 12˚C (50-54˚F) for longer than 7 days

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration Production

Temperature 7.2°C(45°F) 10°C(50°F) 12.5°C(54.5°F) 14°C(57.2°F) 20°C(68°F)


ml CO2/kg·hr1, 2 3-21 2-15 6-15 8-12 7-107

1
Low end for mature-green plantains and high end for ripening plantains.
2
To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·h by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

105
Rates of Ethylene Production

Temperature 7.2°C(45°F) 10°C(50°F) 12.5°C(54.5°F) 14°C(57.2°F) 20°C(68°F)


µl C2H4/kg·hr1 0.01-0.05 0.01-0.26 0.01-0.11 0.01-0.12 0.01-2.58

1
Low end for mature-green plantains and high end for ripening plantains.

Responses to Ethylene

Ethylene stimulates ripening of plantains. Thus, plantains that are marketed mature-green
should be protected from exposure to ethylene. Plantains that are marketed ripe should be
ripened with bananas (exposure to 100-150 ppm ethylene for 24-48 hours at 15-20°C =
59-68°F and 90-95% relative humidity).

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

• Optimum CA: 2% O2 and 5-10% CO2


• CA delays ripening, reduces respiration and ethylene production rates, and
maintains overall appearance of the fruit.
• CA may decrease the occurrence of subepidermal browning at marginally low
temperatures.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling Injury. Symptoms include peel browning, dull or smokey peel coloration,
subepidermal vascular browning, abnormal ripening (possible acceleration); and in severe
cases failure to ripen. Chilling injury results from exposure of plantains to temperatures
less than or equal to 7.2 °C (45°F) for 7 or more days, depending on cultivar, maturity,
and temperature. Chilled fruit are more sensitive to mechanical damage and postharvest
decay.

Physical Disorders

Skin abrasions. Abrasions result from skin scuffing against other fruit, surfaces of
handling equipment, or shipping boxes. When exposed to low relative humidity
conditions (<90%), water loss from scuffed areas is accelerated and peel color turns

106
brown and in severe cases black, which is similar to severe peel browning associated with
chilling injury.

Impact bruising. Dropping of plantains may induce browning of the flesh with or
without damage to the skin. In some cases, damaged areas may become infected with
fungal growth.

Pathological Disorders

Crown rot. This disease is caused by one or more of the following fungi: Thielaviopsis
paradoxa, Lasiodiplodia theobromae, Colletotrichum musae, Deightonialla torulosa,
and Fusarium roseum – which attack the cut surface of the hands. From the rotting hand
tissue the fungi grow into the finger neck and with time, down into the fruit.

Anthracnose. Caused by Colletotrichum musae, becomes evident as the bananas ripen,


especially in wounds and skin splits.

Stem-end rot. Caused by Lasiodiplodia theobromae and/or Thielaviopsis paradoxa,


which enter through the cut stem or hand. The invaded flesh becomes soft and water-
soaked.

Cigar-end rot. Caused by Verticillium theobromae and/or Trachysphaera fructigena.


The rotted portion of the plantain finger is dry and tends to adhere to fruits (appears
similar to the ash of a cigar).

Control strategies. Minimizing bruising; prompt cooling to 12°C (54°F); proper


sanitation of handling facilities; hot water treatments (such as 5 minutes in 50°C (122°F)
water and/or fungicide (such as Imazalil) treatment to control crown rot.

Pomegranate

Maturity Indices

• External red color (depending on cultivar)


• Red color of juice (equal to or darker than Munsell color chart 5R-5/12)
• Acidity of juice below 1.85%

Quality Indices

• Freedom from growth cracks, cuts, bruises, and decay


• Skin color and smoothness
• Flavor depends on sugar/acid ratio which varies among cultivars. A soluble solids
content above 17% is desirable
• Tannin content below 0.25% is desirable

107
Optimum Temperature

5°C (41°F) for up to 2 months; longer storage should be at 7.2°C (45°F) to avoid chilling
injury.

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%; pomegranates are very susceptible to water loss resulting in shriveling of the
skins. Storing fruit in plastic liners and waxing can reduce water loss, especially under
conditions of lower relative humidity.

Rates of Respiration

Temperature 5°C(41°F) 10°C(50°F) 20°C(68°F)


ml CO2/kg·hr 2-4 4-8 8-18

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/ day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Less than 0.1 µl/kg·hr at 10°C (50°F) or lower


Less than 0.2 µl/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure to ethylene at 1 ppm or higher stimulates respiration and ethylene production


rates, but it does not affect their quality attributes. Pomegranates do not ripen after
harvest and must be picked fully ripe to ensure the best eating quality.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

Very few studies of the responses of pomegranates to CA have been conducted. Storage
in 2% O2 reduces chilling injury if pomegranates are kept below 5°C (41°F). In one
study, pomegranates were stored successfully at 6°C (43°F) in 3% O2 + 6% CO2
atmosphere for 6 months. In another study a combination of 5% O2 + 15% CO2 was
found to be effective in decay control and scald prevention for up to 5 months at 7°C
(45°F).

108
Physiological Disorders

Chilling Injury. External symptoms include brown discoloration of the skin and
increased susceptibility to decay. Internal symptoms include a pale color of the arils (pulp
around the seeds) and brown discoloration of the white segments separating the arils.
Chilling injury occurs if pomegranates are exposed for longer than one month at
temperatures between their freezing point -3 °C (26.6°F) and 5°C (41° F) or longer than
two months at 5° C (41 °F).

Husk Scald. Brown discoloration of the husk (without any internal symptoms on the arils
or surrounding tissues) that occurs during storage for more than 3 months at 7°C (45°F)
or lower temperatures.

Pathological Disorders

Heart Rot. This may be caused by Aspergillus spp. and Alternaria spp. Affected fruit
show a slightly abnormal skin color, and internally a mass of blackened arils. The disease
develops while the fruit is on the tree. Affected pomegranates can be detected and
removed by sorters in the packinghouse.

Orange

Maturity Indices

Soluble solids/acid ratio of 8 or higher and yellow-orange color at least on 25% of the
fruit surface or soluble solids/acid ratio of 10 or higher and green-yellow color on 25% or
greater of the fruit surface.

Quality Indices

Color intensity and uniformity; firmness; size; shape; smoothness; freedom from decay;
and freedom from defects including physical damage (abrasions and bruising ), skin
blemishes and discoloration, freezing damage, chilling injury, and insect damage. Flavor
quality is related to soluble solids/acid ratio and absence of off-flavor-causing
compounds including fermentative metabolites.

Optimum Temperature

3-8°C (38-46°F) for up to 3 months, depending on cultivar, maturity-ripeness stage at


harvest and production area. Some Florida-grown cultivars can be kept at 0-1°C (32-
34°F). Arizona-grown Valencia oranges should be kept at 9°C (48°F).

109
Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration

Temperature 5°C (41°F) 10°C (50°F) 15° (59°F) 20° (68°F)


ml CO2/ kg·hr 2-4 3-5 6-12 11-17

To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2 /kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

< 0.1 µl/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure to 1-10ppm ethylene for 1-3 days at 20-30°C (68-86°F) may be used for
degreening oranges. This treatment does not influence the internal quality (including
soluble solids/acid ratio) and may accelerate deterioration and decay incidence.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

A combination of 5-10% O2 and 0-5% CO2 can be useful for delaying senescence and for
firmness retention but does not have a significant effect on decay incidence and severity,
which is the limiting factor to long-term storage of oranges. Fungistatic levels (10-15%)
of CO2 are not used because they may result in off-flavors due to accumulation of
fermentative metabolites. Commercial use of CA on oranges during storage and transport
is very limited.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury. Symptoms include pitting, brown staining, and increased decay
incidence. Minimum safe temperature depends on cultivar, production area, and maturity-
ripeness stage at harvest. Severity of symptoms can be reduced if water loss is minimized
(by waxing or film wrapping) and if decay-causing fungi are controlled (by use of
fungicides and/or biological antagonists).

Stem-end rind breakdown. Symptoms include shriveling and peel injury around the
stem due to aging.

Rind staining. This disorder results from overmaturity at harvest. It can be reduced by
preharvest application of gibberellic acid that delays senescence.

110
Oil spotting (Oleocellosis). Harvesting and handling turgid oranges can result in release
of oil that damages surrounding tissues. Thus, oranges should not be harvested when
fully turgid such as early in the morning and soon after rain or irrigation.

Pathological Disorders

Important Diseases:

• Green mold (Penicillium digitatum)


• Blue mold (Penicillium italicum)
• Phomopsis stem-end rot (Phomopsis citri)
• Stem end rot (Lasiodiplodia theobromae)
• Brown rot (Phytophthora citrophthora)
• Sour rot (Geotrichum candidum)

Control Strategies:

• Minimizing physical damage during harvesting and handling.


• Treatment with postharvest fungicides and/or biological antagonists. Also, heat
treatments may be used.
• Prompt cooling and subsequent maintenance of optimum temperature and relative
humidity throughout marketing operations.
• Removal and/or exclusion of ethylene.
• Effective sanitation procedures throughout postharvest handling.

Pawpaw

Pawpaw (Asimina triloba; family Annonaceace) is the largest edible fruit native to the
eastern U.S. The fruit ripens between mid August and mid October, depending on
genotypes and growing location.

Maturity Indices

The only way to detect if ripening has commenced is to gently press or squeeze the fruit
to determine if softening is evident. Some cultivars exhibit a change in skin color from
darker to lighter green or even to yellow, and some also exhibit some skin browning or
darkening at more advanced stages of ripening. Flesh may be cream-colored, yellow, or
light orange, depending on cultivar, when fully ripe. Ripening is accompanied by an
increase in soluble solids including sugars (sweetness) and significant aroma production.
Pawpaws should be picked when flesh softening is first evident, as they ripen rapidly and
become too soft to handle within 3 to 5 days.

111
Quality Indices

• Green to yellowish-green skin, firm fruits with minimal brown discoloration on


the skin.
• Soft, custard-like flesh
• Sweetness (glucose, fructose and sucrose) at >18-20% soluble solids
• Intense aroma reminiscent of banana, mango, and/or pineapple.
• Free of bruises and decay

Optimum Temperature

0-4°C (32-40°F) for a maximum of 4 weeks

Lower temperatures within this range and especially longer periods of cold storage may
induce chilling injury.

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration

Respiration at harvest may be 50-100 mg CO2/ kg•hr at 20°C (68°F), and may increase 2-
to 5-fold to a peak within 3 days.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Ethylene production at harvest may be 1-4 µg/kg•hr at 20°C (68°F), and it may increase
to 5-15 µg/kg•hr within 3 days.

Pawpaw exhibits increasing respiration and ethylene production with peak values within
3 days after harvest indicating it is a climacteric fruit.

Responses to Ethylene

Field and laboratory studies to date using chemicals, atmospheric modification, or heat
treatments that have been effective at modifying ripening behavior in many climacteric
species via effects on ethylene biosynthesis or action have failed to appreciably alter
ripening of pawpaw.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

There is no information on their response to CA storage.

112
Physiological and Physical Disorders

Chilling Injury. Both skin and internal flesh browning of pawpaw have been observed
by 6 weeks at 0-4°C (32-40°F).

Physical Injury. Similar to wound-induced browning in banana, pawpaws can be bruised


during ripening. Thus, gentle handling to minimize bruising is essential to reducing
postharvest losses.

Shriveling. Symptoms become visible by 6 weeks of cold storage.

Speciality Banana

Maturity Indices

Degree of fullness of the fingers, i.e. disappearance of angularity in a cross section.


Specialty bananas are harvested mature-green and are ripened upon arrival at destination
markets.

Quality Indices

Maturity (the more mature the better the quality when ripe); finger length (dependent on
cultivar); freedom from defects, such as insect injury, physical damage, scars and decay.
As specialty bananas ripen, their starch content is converted into sugars (increased
sweetness). Other constituents that influence flavor include acids and volatiles.

Optimum Temperature

Varies among cultivars:

‘Petite’ and ‘Yangambi’ 11°C (52°F) for up to 7 days


‘Red Macabu’ 10°C (50°˚F) for up to 7 days
‘Petite’ and other cultivars 12.5°-14°C (54.5-57.2°F) for longer than 7 days

Optimum Relative Humidity:

90-95%

Rates of Respiration Production

Temperature 10°C(50°F) 12.5°C(54.5°F) 14°C(57.2°F) 20°C(68°F)


1, 2
ml CO2/kg·hr 12-17 22-45 24-53 79-130

113
1
Low end for mature-green bananas and high end for ripening bananas
2
To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·h by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122
to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

`Petite' Cultivar
Temperature 10°C(50°F) 12.5°C(54.5°F) 14°C(57.2°F) 20°C(68°F)
ul C2H4/kg·hr1 0.09-0.16 0.2-0.9 0.2-0.7 1.1-2.1
1
Low end for mature-green bananas and high end for ripening bananas

Responses to Ethylene

Most commercial cultivars of bananas require exposure to 100-150 ppm ethylene for 24-
48 hours at 15-20°C (59-68°F) and 90-95% relative humidity to induce uniform ripening.
Carbon dioxide concentration should be kept below 1% to avoid its effect on delaying
ethylene action. Use of a forced-air system in ripening rooms assures more uniform
cooling or warming of bananas as needed and more uniform ethylene concentration
throughout the ripening room.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

• Optimum CA: 2% O 2 and 5-10% CO 2 (dependent on cultivar)


• CA delays ripening, reduces respiration and ethylene production rates.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury. Symptoms include peel browning, dull or smokey peel coloration,
subepidermal vascular browning, abnormal ripening and in severe cases failure to ripen.
Chilling sensitivity varies among cultivars. Chilling injury results from exposure of
‘Petite’bananas to temperatures lower than or equal to 10°C (50°F) for 7 or more days of
storage or below 12.5°C (54.5°F) for 21 days of storage. ‘Yangambi’ bananas are subject
to chilling injury when stored at temperates less than or equal to 10°C (50°F) for 7 days.
‘Red Macabu’ bananas are subject to chilling injury when stored for 5 days at
temperatures below 10°C (50°F). Chilled fruit are more sensitive to mechanical damage
and postharvest decay.

114
Physical Disorders

Skin abrasions. Abrasions result from skin scuffing against other fruit, surfaces of
handling equipment, or shipping boxes. When exposed to low (<90%) relative humidity
conditions, water loss from scuffed areas is accelerated and peel color turns brown and in
severe cases black. This symptom is similar to severe peel browning associated with
chilling injury.

Impact bruising. Dropping of bananas may induce browning of the flesh with or without
damage to the skin. In some cases, damaged areas may become infected with fungal
growth.

Pathological Disorders

Crown rot. This disease is caused by one or more of the following fungi: Thielaviopsis
paradoxa, Lasiodiplodia theobromae, Colletotrichum musae, Deightonialla torulosa,
and Fusarium roseum – which attack the cut surface of the hands. From the rotting hand
tissue the fungi grow into the finger neck and with time, down into the fruit.

Anthracnose. Caused by Colletotrichum musae, becomes evident as the bananas ripen,


especially in wounds and skin splits.

Stem-end rot. Caused by Lasiodiplodia theobromae and/or Thielaviopsis paradoxa,


which enter through the cut stem or hand. The invaded flesh becomes soft and water-
soaked.

Cigar-end rot. Caused by Verticillium theobromae and/or Trachysphaera fructigena. The


rotted portion of the banana finger is dry and tends to adhere to fruits (appears similar to
the ash of a cigar).

Control strategies. Minimizing bruising; prompt cooling to 14°C (57°F); proper sanitation
of handling facilities; hot water treatments (such as 5 minutes in 50°C (122°F) water
and/or fungicide (such as Imazalil) treatment to control crown rot.

Strawberry

Maturity Indices

Based on berry surface color. US: minimum 1/2 or 3/4 berry surface showing red or pink
color, depending on grade. Calif.: minimum 2/3 berry surface showing red or pink color.

Quality Indices

Appearance (color, size, shape, freedom from defects), firmness, flavor (soluble solids,
titratable acidity and flavor volatiles), and nutritional value (Vitamin C). For acceptable

115
flavor, a minimum of 7% soluble solids and/or a maximum of 0.8% titratable acidity are
recommended.

Optimum Temperature

0 ± 0.5°C (32 ± 1°F)

Optimum Relative Humidity

90 to 95%

Rates of Respiration

Temperature 0°C (32°F) 10°C (50°F) 20°C (68°F)


ml CO2/kg·hr 6 – 10 25 - 50 50 – 100

To calculate heat production, multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/ day or by


122 to get kcal/metric ton/day.

Rate of Ethylene Production

< 0.1 µl/C2H4/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)

Response to Ethylene

Strawberries do not respond to ethylene by stimulation of ripening processes


(strawberries should be harvested near to full ripe). Removal of ethylene from storage air
may reduce disease development.

Responses to Controlled/Modified Atmospheres

Modified atmosphere packaging for shipment with 10 to 15% carbon dioxide reduces the
growth of Botrytis cinerea (Grey Mold Rot) and reduces the respiration rate of the
strawberries thereby extending postharvest life. Use of whole pallet covers for modified
atmospheres is the most common method.

Physiological Disorders

Perhaps because of rapid marketing and very short storage periods, physiological
disorders are not a major concern with strawberry fruit.

116
Pathological Disorders

Diseases are the greatest cause of postharvest losses in strawberries. Postharvest


fungicides are not used on strawberries; therefore, prompt cooling, storage at 0°C (32°F),
preventing fruit injury, and shipment under high carbon dioxide are the best methods for
disease control. In addition, care should be taken to keep diseased or wounded berries out
of trays at harvest as strawberry diseases will spread from diseased to nearby healthy
berries (nesting).

Irradiation has been tested on strawberries for decay control with mixed success. Doses
needed for adequate decay control without high carbon dioxide generally result in
excessive berry softening.

Botrytis Rot (Grey Mold). Caused by Botrytis cinerea is the greatest cause of
postharvest strawberry losses. This fungus continues to grow even at 0°C (32°), however
growth is very slow at this temperature.

Rhizopus Rot. Caused by the fungus Rhizopus stolonifer. Spores of this fungus are
usually present in the air and are easily spread. This fungus will not grow at temperatures
below 5°C (41°F), therefore temperature management is the simplest method of control.

Figure 1. Cooling and deterioration. Strawberries should be cooled as soon as possible


after harvest; delays beyond 1 hour reduce the percentage of marketable fruit.

Watermelon

Maturity Indices

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus Thunb.) are harvested at full maturity as they typically do
not develop in internal color or increase in sugars after being removed from the vine. The
ground spot (the portion of the melon resting on the soil) changes from pale white to a

117
creamy yellow at proper harvest maturity. Another indicator used at harvest include a
wilted but not fully desiccated vine tendril proximal to the stem-end attachment.
Destructive sampling is used to judge maturity of a population of watermelons. For
seeded cultivars, maturity is reached when the gelatinous covering (aril) around the seed
is no longer apparent and the seed coat is hard. Cultivars vary widely in soluble solids at
maturity. In general, a soluble solids content of at least 10% in the flesh near the center of
the melon is an indicator of proper maturity if the flesh is also firm, crisp and of good
color.

Quality Indices

Watermelons should be symmetrical and uniform in appearance. The surface should be


waxy and bright in appearance. Absence of scars, sunburn, transit abrasions or other
surface defects or dirt. No evidence of bruising. Appears heavy for size.

U.S. grades Fancy, No. 1, and No. 2. Distinction among grades is based predominantly
on external appearances.

Optimum Temperature

10 - 15°C (50 - 59°F ) Storage life is typically 14 days at 15°C (59°F) with up to 21 days
attainable at 7-10°C (45-50°F).

For short-term storage or transit to distant markets (> 7 days), most recommendations use
7.2°C (45°F) and 85-90% R.H. as the acceptable handling conditions. Watermelons are,
however, prone to chilling injury at this temperature. Extended holding at this
temperature will induce chilling injury, rapidly evident after transfer to typical retail
display temperatures.

Many watermelons are still shipped without precooling or refrigeration during transit.
These fruit must be utilized for prompt market sales as quality declines rapidly under
these conditions.

Optimum Relative Humidity

85-90 %; High relative humidity is generally advisable to reduce desiccation and loss of
glossiness.

118
Rates of Respiration

Temperature
ml CO2 / kg·hr
°C (°F) NA - not available
0 32 NR
5 41 3-4 NR - not recommended due to chilling injury
10 50 6-9
15 59 NA
To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by
20 68 17-25
440 to get Btu/ton/ day or by 122 to get kcal/metric
25 77 NA ton/day.

Rates of Ethylene Production

Low - 0.1 - 1.0 µl / kg·hr at 20°C ( 68°F)

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure to an ethylene concentrations as low as 5ppm for 7 days at 18°C (64°F ) will
cause unacceptable loss of firmness and eating quality.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

Controlled atmosphere storage or shipping are not recognized as offering Controlled


benefits for watermelon.

Physiological Disorders

Chilling injury. Typically occurs after storage at temperatures < 7°C ( 45°F) Disorders
for several days. Symptoms of chilling injury include pitting, decline in flesh color, loss
of flavor, off-flavors and increased decay when returned to room temperatures.

Physical Injury

Improper handling and loading of bulk watermelons too often result in serious transit
losses due to bruising and cracking. Internal bruising leads to premature flesh breakdown
and mealiness.

Pathological Disorders

Disease can be an important source of postharvest loss depending on season, Disorders


region and local climatic conditions at harvest. Generally these losses are low in
comparison with physical injury due to bruising and rough handling. Black Rot, caused

119
by Didymella bryoniae, Anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum orbiculare, and
Phytophthora Fruit Rot are common in areas with high rainfall and humidity during
production and harvest An extensive list of stem-end, blossom-end, rind decay or surface
lesions may occur, including the bacterium Erwinia and the fungal pathogens Alternaria,
Botrytis, Cladosporium, Geotrichum, Rhizopus, and occasionally Mucor, Fusarium, and
Tricothecium.

Special Considerations

Cut watermelon for slices or cubes for fresh-cut fruit salads have a very short period of
optimal quality. Flesh becomes water-soaked and mealy. Varietal performance for fresh-
cut is not currently available.

120
Storing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Better Taste

The flavor of fruits and vegetables is influenced by maturity and quality at harvest and by
how they are stored afterwards. To maintain the freshness and flavor of the produce you
buy at the market or grow in your garden, it is important to know how to store it at home.
Many fruits and vegetables should be stored only at room temperature because
refrigerator temperatures (usually 38° to42°F [3.3° to 5.6°C]) damage them or prevent
them from ripening to good flavor and texture. For example, when stored in the
refrigerator, bananas develop black skin and do not gain good sweetness, and sweet

121
potatoes take on off-flavors and a hard core when cooked after being refrigerated.
Watermelons lose their flavor and deep red color if they are stored for longer than 3 days
in the refrigerator. Pink tomatoes ripen to a better taste and red color if they are left at
room temperature. In the refrigerator, they do not turn red, and even red tomatoes kept in
the refrigeratorlose their flavor.Other produce can be ripened on the counter and then
stored in the refrigerator.A few fruits and fruit-type vegetables gain sugar or soften when
stored at room temperature. For example, Bartlett pears turn yellow and become softer
and sweeter on the counter. After they have ripened they can be stored for 1 to 3 days in
the refrigerator without losing taste.

Countertop Storage

The counter storage area should be away from direct sunlight to prevent produce from
becoming too warm. Fruits and vegetables that can be stored at room temperature for a
few days without shriveling do not lose moisture rapidly. Even so, moisture loss can be
reduced by placing produce in a vented plastic bowl or a perforated plastic bag. Do not
place produce in sealed plastic bags on the counter because this slows ripening and may
increase off-odors and decay due to accumulation of carbon dioxide and depletion of
oxygen inside the sealed bag. Ripening in a bowl or paper bag can be enhanced by
placing one ripe apple with every 5 to 7 pieces of fruit to be ripened.Apples produce
ethylene that speeds ripening. (Fuji and Granny Smith applesdo not produce much
ethylene and donot enhance ripening.)

Refrigerator Storage
Refrigerated fruits and vegetables should be kept in perforated plastic bags in the produce
drawers of therefrigerator. You can either purchase perforated plastic bags or make small
holes with a sharp object in unperforated plastic bags (about 20 holes per medium-size
bag). Separate fruits from vegetables (use one drawer for each group) to minimize the
detrimental effects of ethylene (produced by the fruits) on the vegetables. Use all
refrigerated fruits and vegetables within a few days since longer storage results in loss of
freshness and flavor.

122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
*Ethylene production rate: **Ethylene sensitivity (detrimental effects include yellowing,
softening,
VL = very low (<0.1 μL/kg-hr at 20°C) increased decay, abscission or loss of leaves,
browning)
L = low (0.1=1.0 μL/kg-hr) L = low sensitivity
M = moderate (1.0-10.0 μL/kg-hr) M= moderately sensitive
H = high (10-100 μL/kg-hr) H = highly sensitive
VH = very high (>100 μL/kg-hr)

130
131
132
133
134
135
136
137
138