Time-temperature interaction on postharvest rind colour development of Citrus

Van Wyk, Angelique A. (Angelique Ann) (2004-12)

Thesis (MScAgric)--University of Stellenbosch, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Rind colour is one of the most important external quality characteristics of citrus fruit and plays an important role in purchasing decisions by consumers. Consumers perceive brightlycoloured fruit to be sweet and mature, whereas citrus with a green rind is perceived to be sour and immature. However, there is a poor correlation between rind colour and internal quality, contradicting what is generally assumed by the fruit-buying public. In general, a bright orange rind colour improves consumer acceptance. Thus, it is important to ensure that the rind of citrus fruit is well-coloured on arrival at the market. Various pre-harvest cultural practices and postharvest techniques can be applied to improve rind colour. Degreening with ethylene gas is the most commonly used postharvest technology to improve rind colour, but has various negative side-effects. Degreened fruit are more prone to decay, have rinds which appear dull and flaccid, have been reported to develop off-flavours and have a shorter shelf-life period. Therefore, it is necessary to find alternatives to ethylene degreening and to extend shelf-life of citrus fruit. Under normal orchard conditions, rind colour development is associated with low night temperatures, usually experienced during autumn or following the passing of a cold front. To simulate cold front conditions, a hydrocooler and cold room were used to rapidly drop fruit temperature to 4 ºC for 6 hours, and then fruit were incubated at 20 to 22 ºC for 72 hours. This “cold shock” treatment of ‘Nules Clementine’ mandarin improved rind colour to a level similar to that of degreened fruit in the 2002 season due to a decrease in chlorophyll content and increase in carotenoid content. However, this result could not be repeated. Storage temperature is one of the most important postharvest factors affecting rind colour. Citrus fruit shipped to export markets requiring low temperatures (-0.6 ºC) for pest disinfestations purposes have been reported to arrive with poor rind colour. Shipping under low temperatures results in poor rind colour of fruit on arrival in the market. To comply with the USA’s phytosanitary requirement for imported citrus, fruit is held at -0.6 ºC for a minimum of 22 days. The effect of shipping at various temperatures (-0.6 ºC or 4.5 ºC), durations and the influence of initial rind colour, “orange” or “yellow”, on fruit colour upon arrival in the market was evaluated. Fruit shipped at a higher temperature (4.5 ºC) had a marginally better rind colour than fruit shipped at -0.6 ºC. The perceived loss of rind colour following shipping at sub-zero temperatures is probably due to carotenoid degradation. Therefore, initial rind colour plays a critical role in final product quality. Depending on market destination and shipping temperature, pale-coloured fruit should not be packed for markets sensitive to rind colour. Holding temperature after shipping can be effectively used to improve the rind colour of fruit arriving in the market with undesirable rind colour. An intermediate holding temperature of between 11 and 15 ºC resulted in the greatest improvement in rind colour after 2 weeks. A high holding temperature (20 ºC) caused colour degradation, whereas a low holding temperature (4.5 ºC) resulted in the maintenance of rind colour. By selecting the correct holding temperature, even after shipping at sub-zero temperatures, final colour can be improved.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tyd-temperatuur interaksie op na-oes skilkleur ontwikkeling by sitrus Skilkleur is een van die belangrikste eksterne kwaliteitseienskappe van die sitrusvrug en spëel ʼn belangrikke rol in wat verbruikers koop. Verbruikers verwag dat heldergekleurde vrugte soet en ryp sal wees, terwyl sitrus met ʼn groen skil geassosieer word met onrypheid en ʼn suur smaak. In teenstelling hiermee is daar egter ʼn swak korrelasie tussen skilkleur en interne kwaliteit. Aangesien ʼn heldergekleurde oranje skil verbruikersaanvaarding verbeter, is dit dus belangrik om te verseker dat die sitrusvrug ʼn goeie skilkleur het teen die tyd wat dit die mark bereik. Verskeie voor-oes bestuurspraktyke en na-oes tegnieke kan toegepas word om die skilkleur te verbeter. Ontgroening met etileen gas is die tegnologie wat mees algemeen gebruik word om skilkleur na oes te verbeter, maar dit het egter verskeie newe effekte tot gevolg. Ontgroende vrugte is meer vatbaar vir bederf en verwelkde skille met ʼn dowwe voorkoms. Afsmaake kan voorkom en ʼn verkorte rakleeftyd is al gerapporteer. Dit is dus noodsaaklik om ʼn alternatief vir etileen ontgroening te ontwikkel en die rakleeftyd van sitrusvrugte te verleng. Onder normale boordomstandighede word skilkleur ontwikkeling geassosieer met lae nag temperature wat gewoonlik in die herfs of na ʼn kouefront ondervind word. Om soortgelyke omstandighede na te boots, was ʼn “hydrocooler” en koelkamers gebruik om die temperatuur vinnig te laat daal tot by 4 °C en dit vir 6 uur daar te hou. Die vrugte was dan by 20 tot 22 °C geinkubeer vir 72 uur. Hierdie “koueskok” behandeling van ‘Nules Clementine’ mandaryn het skilkleur verbeter tot ʼn vlak vergelykbaar met ontgroende vrugte in die 2002 seisoen wat ontstaan het weens ʼn verlaging in chlorofil en ʼn toename in die karotinoïed inhoud van die skil. Opbergingstemperatuur is een van die belangrikste na-oes faktore wat skilkleur beinvloed. Sitrusvrugte wat verskeep word na uitvoermarkte wat lae temperature (-0.6 °C) vir disinfestasie vereis arriveer soms by die mark met ʼn swak skilkleur. Om die fitosanitêre vereistes vir die invoer van sitrus deur die VSA na tekom, was vrugte vir ʼn minimum van 22 dae by -0.6 °C gehou. Die effek van verskeping by verskeie temperature (-0.6 °C of 4.5 °C), tydperke en die invloed van aanvanklike skilkleur, “oranje” of “geel” was geevalueer by aankoms in die mark. Vrugte wat by hoër temperature (4.5 °C) verskeep was het ʼn effens beter skilkleur as vrugte by -0.6 °C getoon. Die verlies in skilkleur wat waargeneem word na verskeping onder vriespunt kan moontlik toegeskryf word aan karotenoiëd afbraak. Daarom speel aanvanklike skilkleur ʼn kritieke rol in finale produk kwaliteit. Die finale mark bestemming en verskepingstemperatuur sal bepaal of swakgekleurde vrugte verpak kan word. Opbergingstemperatuur na verskeping kan effektief gebruik word om die skilkleur van vrugte wat swak gekleur was met aankoms by die mark te verbeter. Matige temperature tussen 11 en 15 °C het na 2 weke die beste verbetering in skilkleur gelewer. Hoër temperature (20 °C) het skilkleur nadelig beinvloed, terwyl lae temperature skilkleur behou het. Deur die korrekte temperatuur te kies, selfs na verskeping by temperature onder vriespunt, kan uiteindelike skilkleur steeds verbeter word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/16456
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