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Influence of fruit maturity in the susceptibility of Navelina oranges to develop postharvest non-chilling peel pitting.

Food science and technology international = Ciencia y tecnologia de los alimentos internacional (2013-06-05)
Fernando Alferez, Lorenzo Zacarías
ABSTRACT

Peel pitting is a disorder occurring mostly during postharvest storage at non-chilling temperatures in different varieties of citrus fruit and consists in collapse of flavedo and albedo tissues that may affect oil glands. It has been demonstrated that during postharvest, sharp variations in water potential of cells from flavedo and albedo are sufficient to provoke fractures in cell walls from external albedo resulting in tissue collapse. However, morphology and composition of cells and cell walls in flavedo and albedo varies during fruit maturation and this may affect water flow through the different fruit peel layers and susceptibility of fruit to develop peel pitting. In this paper, we have studied the influence of the stage of maturation in the susceptibility of Navelina orange to develop peel pitting. Except in mature-green fruit, peel pitting increased with maturation after transferring fruit from 45% to 95% relative humidity and was also more severe as more dehydrated was the tissue before transference. Also, differences in water potential of fruit maintained at 45 or 95% relative humidity increased as fruit matured, suggesting that tissue reduces the ability of water adjustment during maturation. In this sense, only mature-green fruit flavedo was able to recover water potential when transferred from 45 to 95% relative humidity. Ethylene production upon transfer from low to high relative humidity increased only in mature tissue and was rapid and transient, and before initial symptoms of peel pitting. Flavedo and albedo water potential (ψw) was substantially reduced during fruit maturation. As lower was the ψw of freshly harvested fruit, minor variations were observed by changes in the storage relative humidity and higher the induced damage. Therefore, the increasing susceptibility of Navelina fruits to develop peel pitting with fruit maturation may be related to a reduced ability to regulate peel evapotranspiration and osmotic adjustment during postharvest storage.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Ethylene, ≥99.5%
Sigma-Aldrich
Ethylene, 99.99%