Harvesting carambola at different ripeness stages affects postharvest quality

Oren Warren, Steven A. Sargent, Marcio E. Pereira, Adrian D. Berry


Carambola (Averrhoa carambola L.) fruit grows well in southern Florida. The fruit is usually harvested commercially ( at the color break stage, while the fruit is still firm, to minimize mechanical injury. A study was conducted to determine the effect of carambola harvested at three ripeness stages (color break, half yellow, and full yellow) on postharvest quality. Treatments were a commercial carnauba-based wax, three ripeness stages, and either holding for 7 days at 5 C before transferring to 20 C or holding constantly at 20 C in four replications. At full-ripe stage (orange), the nonwaxed fruit typically showed more shriveling at the stem end, had rib softening, and lost about twice as much weight as the waxed fruit; however, the waxed fruit held initially at 5 C, then transferred to 20 C, displayed non-uniform color development and internal tissue browning. Those fruit that were held constantly at 20 C had non-uniform color and fermented flavor. Fruit harvested at the yellow color stage had a higher initial soluble solids content (7.9 Brix) and lower total titratable acidity (0.25%) than the fruit harvested at the color break (6.7 Brix, 0.28% acid) and half yellow stages (7.1 Brix, 0.31% acid). Sugar : acid ratios for these respective harvest stages were: color break 23.3, half yellow 22.6, and full yellow 31.9.


starfruit; maturity; wax coating

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283