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Fruit Ripening Conditions

1. FRUIT RIPENING CONDITIONS Ilyana Causing & Sharmaine Ylanan

2. Introduction • Fruits can be classified into two groups: • Climacteric and Non-climacteric • Biale and
Barcus published measurements of the respiration rate of some fruits • They classified them into
Climacteric, Non-climacteric and Indeterminate • Respiration rate of non-climacteric fruit and
vegetables tends to decrease during development • Ripening involves physical and chemical changes in
the fruit • This occur after the fruit is at full maturity

3. Introduction • Immature fruit may be harvested and exposed to postharvest conditions that are
conductive to ripening • Temperature, Gas content in the atmosphere, and Humidity • Initiation of
ripening occurs when the threshold level of ethylene reached the cells of the fruit • Can occur naturally
during maturity or if the fruit undergoes stress

4. Changes During Fruit Ripening • Color • Texture • Carbohydrates • Acids • Phenolic Compounds •
Flavor and Aroma • Toxicity

5. Color • External Color – most change in fruit ripening • Change in color in fruit ripening is associated
with breakdown of chlorophyll with carotenoid levels remains constant • Color changes is used as a
rough guide to the stage of ripeness • Used in Bananas • Used commercially in the form of color-
matching charts

6. Examples: Color In Cherry Tomatoes • Total chlorophyll level was reduced from 5490 μg per 100 g
fresh weight in green fruit to 119 μg per 100 g fresh weight in dark-red fruit • At the same time -
degradation process, lycopene, carotenes and xanthophylls are synthesized • giving the fruit its
characteristic color, usually red • The optimum temperature for color development is 24°C • 30°C and
above lycopene is not formed

7. In Banana and Plantains • The pigments in the peel of are chlorophylls, carotenoids and xanthophylls
• Cavendish banana fail to de-green completely when they are ripened at 25°C and above • Result:
bananas are ripe in every other respect but remains green • Physiological disorder of Cavendish bananas
called ‘pulpa crema’ or ‘yellow pulp’ where chlorophyll in the skin is not fully broken down • In Plantains
- chlorophyll destruction can occur even at 35°C Examples: Color

8. Texture • Fruits soften during ripening • Softening is due to the breakdown of starch and other non-
pectic polysaccharides in the pulp • This reduce cellular rigidity • Change in the moisture status
contributes to the ease with the detaching of the peel from the pulp • There are changes in pectic
polymers during ripening

9. Texture • There are major changes in pectic polymers during ripening • Neutral sugars (Galactose) •
Some loss of arabinose – major components of the cell wall neutral pectin • Losses of acidic pectin •
Solubility of these polyuronides increases and hav shown to depolymerized • Solubilization of non-
soluble pection to water-soluble pectin influence the texture of Japanese pears.

10. Texture • Stow and Genge measured the cell wall strength of apples using osmotic techniques •
They found that cell walls do not weaken during fruit softening • Softening results from loss of cell-to-
cell cohesion • Soluble pectin content of the apples do not correlate with fruit firmness • They also
suggested removal of ethylene from store could slow softening once started • Cellulase is involved in
softening during ripening of avocado fruit

11. Texture • Genetic engineering – produced fruit that do not soften normally but market was
restricted • In ripening of bananas and plantains • Ratio of mass of pulp – mass of peel increases which
makes the peel easily detach from the pulp • This could be used to measure the fruit’s ripeness

12. • Softening of bananas during ripening appears to be associated with two or three processes 1.
Breakdown of starch to form sugars since starch granules could have a structural function in the cells 2.
Breakdown of the cell walls due to the solubilization of pectic substances and even the breakdown of
cellulose • increased activity of cellulase during banana ripening 3. Movement of water from the peel of
the banana to its pulp during ripening • affect the turgidity of the skin - enhanced by transpirational
losses Examples: Texture

13. Carbohydrates • In Climacteric fruit there is increase in starch content during development •
Hydrolysis of starch to simple sugars is a chemical change during ripening • Early part of ripening –
Sucrose is the predominant sugar • Later stage – Glucose and Fructose predominates • Proportion of
different sugars is related to the stage in the respiratory climacteric of the fruit

14. Carbohydrates • Starch is broken down to sucrose – by action of sucrose phosphate synthetase •
Non-reducing sugar from sucrose – by acid hydrolysis • Starch-sugar conversion is influenced by harvest

15. Avocados • Starch occurs in the plastids of unripe avocados but reduces to undetectable levels when
ripe Kiwi • Starch was hydrolyzed to glucose and fructose and to a lesser degree to sucrose during
ripening Mangoes • Starch content was completely hydrolyzed to sugar during ripening • glucose,
fructose and sucrose • reduction in the level of sucrose is due to it being used by the fruit for metabolic
activity after all the starch had been hydrolyzed Examples: Carbohydrate

16. Acids • Organic acids also influence the overall fruit flavor • Acids help form the desirable sugar-acid
balance – for pleasant taste • Acidity of fruit decreases during ripening • The most common organic
acids: Malate and Citrate • But vary with different fruits

17. Banana and Plantains • Acidic in with a pulp pH below 4.5 • Main acids in bananas were citric, malic
and oxalic acid • Levels of these acids normally increase during ripening • Titratable acidity in bananas
increased during ripening at 20°C and then decreased Examples: Acids

18. Phenolic Compounds • Phenolic (i.e. Tannins) are polymerized to insoluble compounds • It reduce
astringency in the ripe banana fruit • Tannins most important phenolic compound • give fruit an
astringency taste • As fruit ripens astringency decreases • Tannins form polymers due to change in
structure • Phenolics are responsible for the oxidative browning reaction in immature fruit • Polyphenol
oxidase – responsible for this reaction

19. Bananas and Plantain • Can contain high levels of phenolic compounds, especially in the peel •
Tannins are polymerized to insoluble compounds - reduction in astringency in the ripe banana fruit
Carabao Mango • Decrease in total phenolic content during ripening Examples: Phenolic Compounds

20. Flavor and Aroma • Flavor – a subtle and complex perception • Combination of taste, smell, and
texture/mouth feel • Ripening • Increase in simple sugars – give sweetness • Decrease in organic acids •
Decrease in phenolics – minimize astringency • Increase in volatiles – produce characteristic flacor •
Aroma – in ripe fruit is due to production of a complex mixture of individual volatile components

21. Apples and Pears • butyl ethanoate, 2-methylbutyl ethanoate and hexyl ethanoate • typical flavor
and aroma compounds synthesized during ripening Tomatoes • More than 400 substances have been
shown to contribute to the odor of tomatoes Examples: Flavor and Aroma

22. Toxicity • Toxins may exist in unripe fruit which reduce in ripening

23. Tomatoes • at the green stage of maturity contain a toxic alkaloid called solanine • Decreases during
ripening Ackee fruit • contain the toxin hypoglycin in the arils • reduces as the fruit matures Examples:

24. Controlled Atmosphere Storage • Levels of CO2 and O2 in the environment of climacteric fruit can
affect ripening rate • Controlled Atmosphere – suppress production of ethylene in fruit

25. Banana • High CO2 and low O2 delayed the high production of ethylene associated with the
initiation of ripening • application of exogenous ethylene reverse this effect • Bananas could be ripened
in atmospheres of reduced O2 (low as 1%) but peel failed to de-green

26. Design of Ripening Rooms • Primary requirements • Have good temperature control system • Have
good and effective air circulation • Gas tight • Have good system for introducing fresh air

27. Design of Ripening Rooms • Air circulation is important to prevent accumulation of CO2 • In bananas
the boxes are lined with polyethylene film and stacked on pallets • Air circulation systems are largely
convectional • Air is blown through the cooler and then across the top just below the ceiling • Cool air
falls by convection through the boxes of the fruit and then recirculated • Inflatable air bags are used for
better air circulation • Good ventilation – important for successful fruit ripening • During initiation of
ripening (24 hours) no fresh air is introduced ony ethylene gas

28. Design of Ripening Rooms • If rooms are not frequently ventilated ripening can be delayed or
abnormal ripening occur • Gas tight – ensure threshold levels of ethylene are maintained • The room is
metal-lined with mastic between joints or use Gas-tight paint to ensure no gas can pass through • The
room should have high humidity (90-95%) • Rooms are fitted with humidification device – spinning disc

29. Ethylene on Ripening • Change in physiology of climacteric fruit from maturation to ripening is
initiated when cellular quantities of ethylene reach a threshold level • High levels of CO2 in stores could
compete with ethylene for binding sites in fruits • CO2 accumulation in the intercellular spaces of fruit
acts as an ethylene antagonist • Increase in ethylene synthesis is followed by changes in the fruits
physiology, texture and composition

30. Ethylene on Ripening • Threshold levels of ethylene will be reached naturally at fruit maturity • Can
also arise by the fruit being put under stress during production (water shortage, infection by disease-
causing organisms, mechanical damage and exposing fruit to low humidity)

31. Sources of Ethylene • Ethylene Application Methods • Liquid • Large Gas Cylinders • Small Gas
Cylinders • Ethylene Generators
32. Ethylene Application Method • There are several sources of ethylene that can be used in fruit
ripening and de-greening • The source and the method selected for applying ethylene to fruit depends
on: • cost • convenience • safety factors

33. Liquid • Ethrel or Etheph on (2- chloroethylphosphonic acid) is used as a source of ethylene. Ethrel is
hydrolyzed in plant tissue to produce ethylene, phosphate and chloride • Ethylene can also be released
from Ethrel by mixing it with a base such as sodium hydroxide • Ethrel ‘C’ - will release 93 g from 1 litre
or 74.4 litres of ethylene gas per litre of Ethrel • Used initiate fruit to ripen by placing containers of
Ethrel in a gas-tight room containing the fruit and then adding the base to the containers

34. Large Gas Cylinders • Ethylene is available in large steel cylinders where it is stored under pressure •
Use of large cylinders of the pure gas is discouraged –Ethylene is highly flammable • Dilution with
nitrogen – allow margin for error • Application: Volume of the room should have been previously
calculated and the volume of ethylene introduced calculated with a flow meter and a stop-watch

35. Small Gas Cylinders • Lecture tubes – steel cylinders that contain 35 L of ethylene • Types • a. Has a
cover which, when it is punctured, releases all the gas inside - commonly used for initiating fruit to ripen
commercially b. Can be fitted with a metering device to allow for slow and controlled release of the gas
• Application: Calculate the volume of the ripening room and the release the gas from the correct
number of cylinders to achieve the correct concentration of ethylene required for ripening or de-

36. Ethylene Generators • Devices that are placed in ripening rooms • A liquid is poured into them and
they are connected to an electrical power source, and they produce ethylene over a protracted period •
Way of generating ethylene would be to heat ethanol in a controlled way in the presence of a copper
catalyst • Application: Calculate the volume of the store and place the correct number of generators in
the store to provide the required ethylene concentration

37. Alternative Gases: Acetylene • Produced in less developed countries throughout the world using
calcium carbide • cheaper than ethylene sources and easier to apply in simple ripening rooms • Pure
calcium carbide then 1 kg would produce 300 L of acetylene gas • gas is released when the calcium
carbide is exposed to moisture • High humidity reacts with the calcium carbide, giving a slow release of
acetylene • Large quantities of acetylene are required - small amounts of calcium carbide can be
dropped carefully into large buckets of water.

38. Simple Methods: Fruit Ripening •Smoke •Damage •Fruit Generation

39. Smoke • Smoky fire is lit in the ripening room • Produce various gases, including acetylene, ethylene
and carbon monoxide – initiate ripening

40. Damage • Wounding the banana bunch stalks or even the fruit may produce ethylene in response to
the wound • Other methods, includes cutting, scraping or ‘pinching’ papaya, chico or avocado, which
can hasten ripening

41. Fruit Generation • Fruit that are ripening and thus giving out ethylene can be placed in an air-tight
room with green fruit • Room should need to be frequently ventilated to ensure there was no build-up
of CO2 (inhibits the effect of ethylene)