Evaluation of hot water and hot air heat shock treatments on South African avocados to minimise the occurrence of chilling injury

Kritzinger, Madeleine (2002-12)

Thesis (MSc Food Sc)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African avocado fruit industry is export driven and the successful storage of fruits for extended periods is, therefore, essential. It was recorded that 7.7 million cartons were exported during the 1995 season. The shipping of the avocados takes approximately 15 days and the fruits are being stored at low temperatures to minimise the possibility of fruits softening. Unfortunately low temperature storage results in chilling injury. A possible method to increase avocado resistance to chilling injury is to administer a heat shock treatment. In this way the fruits are protected from chilling injury by inducing the formation of so-called heat-shock proteins which render the cell membranes more resistant to chilling injury. The objective of this study was to evaluate different heat shock treatment protocols as a method of preventing or minimising chilling injury and to extend the shelf-life of avocado fruits while exporting at the lowest possible temperature. Examining the effect of different temperatures and exposure times on the quality of the different avocado cultivars pursued this. The exterior chilling injury on each fruit was quantified and the firmness and internal quality parameters evaluated. A total of 32 Experimental Studies were conducted. The results showed that the Hot Water Heat shock Treatment (HWHST) worked effectively for the South African 'Fuerte' cultivar between 40° and 42°C for exposure times of between 20 and 30 min. The 'Edranol' cultivar also showed promising results between 40° and 42°C for exposure time of between 8 and 22 min. The HWHST was not effective on the South African 'Hass' cultivar. The 'Ryan' cultivar with its thick skin made this cultivar less susceptible to chilling injury and therefore HWHST would be unnecessary. The 'Pinkerton' cultivar had a lot of factors that influenced the results. Therefore, more research needed to be done on the 'Pinkerton' cultivar, before any conclusions could be obtained from this cultivar, although it showed potential. Hot air treatment worked fairly well, but unfortunately the long exposure time needed made this treatment unpractical. Throughout the whole study the importance of maturity surfaced as a major role in all the aspects of post harvest quality.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Suid-Afrikaanse avokado vrugtebedryf is hoofsaaklik gerig op die uitvoermark en daarom is dit belangrik dat die vrugte vir 'n bepaalde tyd suksesvolopgeberg kan word. Die sensus opname gedurende die 1995 seisoen het getoon dat 7.7 miljoen bokse avokados uitgevoer is. Die avokados word vir ongeveer 15 dae per boot vervoer, wat kan lei tot vrugte wat sag word. Om dit te verhoed, word die vrugte by lae temperature opgeberg. Ongelukkig veroorsaak lae opbergingstemperature koueskade. 'n Moontlike metode om avokados te beskerm teen lae temperature en koueskade te verminder, is om 'n hitteskok behandeling toe te pas. Op hierdie manier word die vrugte beskerm teen koueskade deur die vorming van sogenaamde hitteskok proteïene wat die selwande meer bestand maak teen koueskade. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die verskillende hitteskok behandelings protokols te evalueer as 'n metode van beskerming of vermindering van koueskade en om sodoende die rakleeftyd van avocados te verleng as die vrugte by lae temperature uitgevoer word. Eksperimente is uitgevoer om die effek van verskillende temperature en blootstellingstye op die kwaliteit van die verskillende avokado kultivars te bepaal. Die koueskade op die oppervlakte van elke vrug is bepaal en die fermheid en interne kwaliteit parameters is geëvalueer. In totaal is daar altesaam 32 Eksperimentele Studies gedoen. Die resultate het gewys dat die Warm Water Hitteskok Behandeling (WWHB) effektief was op die Suid-Afrikaanse 'Fuerte' kultivar by temperature tussen 40° en 42°C en by blootstellingstye van tussen 20 en 30 min. Belowende resultate is ook met die 'Edranol' kultivar by temperature tussen 40° en 42°C met blootstellingtye van tussen 8 en 22 min behaal. Die WWHB was oneffektief vir die Suid-Afrikaanse 'Hass' kultivar. Die 'Ryan' kultivar se dik skil het hierdie kultivar minder vatbaar gemaak vir koueskade en daarom was 'n WWHB onnodig gewees. By die 'Pinkerton' kultivar kon daar nog nie 'n gevolgtrekking gemaak word nie, aangesien daar nog baie faktore is wat ondersoek moet word, alhoewel die kultivar baie potentiaal getoon het. Warm lug behandeling het potensiaal gehad, maar die lang blootstellingstye het hierdie behandeling onprakties gemaak. Gedurende die hele studie is daar klem gelê op die rypheisgraad van die vrugte wat na vore gekom het as 'n belangrike faktor wat 'n hoofrol speel in al die aspekte van die na-oes kwaliteit.

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