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Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality

Adel A. Kader
Department of Pomology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616

Maturity IndicesChange in skin color from dark-green to light-green.

Retention force (ease of fruit separation from the tree). Touch picking is recommended.

Feijoas must be picked close to abscission time but before dropping onto the ground to assure good appearance and flavor quality.

Quality Indices
Color; shape; size; freedom from defects, such as physical injury, scars, skin browning, and chilling injury; freedom from decay.

There are major differences among cultivars in soluble solids (10-16%), titratable acidity (0.3-1.4%), and pH (3.2-4.4).

Methyl benzoate, ethyl benzoate, and ethyl butanoate are important in the aroma of feijoa fruit.

Optimum Temperature
5°C ± 1°C (41°F ± 2°F); storage potential is 4-5 weeks, depending on cultivar and ripeness stage.

Optimum Relative Humidity
90 to 95%; packaging in perforated plastic bags or box liner is effective in reducing water loss under lower relative humidities.

Rates of Respiration
10-15 ml CO2/kg·hr (climacteric minimum) and 20-25 ml CO2/kg·hr (climacteric maximum) 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
0.1-0.4 µl/kg·hr(climacteric minimum) to 40-50 µl/kg·hr (climacteric maximum) at 20°C (68°F).

Responses to Ethylene
Postharvest exposure to ethylene [10-100 ppm for 24 hours at 20°C (68°F)] enhances loss of green color and softening, but does not influence flavor.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres(CA)
No published information on responses of feijoa to CA.

Physiological Disorders
Chilling injury.  Exposure to 0°C (32°F) for 3 weeks or longer results in chilling injury as indicated by sunken spots at the stem end and internal browning of the vascular elements.

Pathological Disorders
Botrytis cinerea.  This fungus can result in significant postharvest losses. Control strategies include avoiding grounded and physically-damaged fruit and maintaining optimum fruit temperature throughout the postharvest handling system.

Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center
Department of Pomology
University of California
One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616-8683Send comments and questions to Postharvest Technology Research and Information Center
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Produce/ProduceFacts/Fruit/feijoa.html updated June 28, 2000

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