Food oils reduce postharvest pitting and influence the storage quality of grapefruit

Huating Dou, Robert Hagenmaier, Zhiguo Ju, Eric Curry


The effect of various food oils in reducing postharvest pitting of white 'Marsh' grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) has been studied since the 1999-2000 season. In the first study, 2.3% postharvest pitting was found in white 'Marsh' grapefruit dipped with soybean oil and then waxed. In contrast, fruit treated with petroleum oil (motor oil) and then waxed or fruit coated with shellac wax induced 62.5 and 76.1% postharvest pitting, respectively. There was no obvious difference in fruit decay among the above treatments. In the second study, there was no postharvest pitting in fruit treated with soybean, canola, or corn oil and then waxed with shellac wax. Petroleum oil, shellac wax, or shellac wax containing 10% vegetable oil significantly increased pitting of grapefruit. There were no significant differences in fruit weight loss or decay among these treatments. In this study, fruit internal oxygen concentration was lower in all treatments. However, in the first study 8.4% oxygen was found in fruit treated with soybean oil, which was relatively higher when compared to shellac waxed fruit (5.1%). In the third and fourth studies, oil-wax emulsions were developed and the effect on reduction of pitting was tested. However, oil-wax emulsions did not improve the reduction of pitting. These studies indicate that proper application of food oils can successfully control postharvest pitting of white 'Marsh' grapefruit.


citrus paradisi; oil dipping; wax; oil-wax emulsion; fruit quality

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

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