Developing a commercial hot water treatment to control post-harvest rots on 'Fiji Red' papaya

K.N. Stice, L. Tora, R. Henriod, Y. Diczbalis, D. Sole
Fiji exports approximately 800 t year-1 of 'Solo Sunrise' papaya marketed as 'Fiji Red' to international markets which include New Zealand, Australia and Japan. The wet weather conditions from November to April each year result in a significant increase in fungal diseases present in Fiji papaya orchards. The two major pathogens that are causing significant post-harvest losses are: stem end rot (Phytophthora palmivora) and anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp.). The high incidence of post-harvest rots has led to increased rejection rates all along the supply chain, causing a reduction in income to farmers, exporters, importers and retailers of Fiji papaya. It has also undermined the superior quality reputation on the market. In response to this issue, the Fiji Papaya industry led by Nature's Way Cooperative, embarked on series of trials supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) to determine the most effective and economical post-harvest control in Fiji papaya. Of all the treatments that were examined, a hot water dip treatment was selected by the industry as the most appropriate technology given the level of control that it provide, the cost effectiveness of the treatment and the fact that it was non-chemical. A commercial hot water unit that fits with the existing quarantine treatment and packing facilities has been designed and a cost benefit analysis for the investment carried out. This paper explores the research findings as well as the industry process that has led to the commercial uptake of this important technology.
Stice, K.N., Tora, L., Henriod, R., Diczbalis, Y. and Sole, D. (2016). Developing a commercial hot water treatment to control post-harvest rots on 'Fiji Red' papaya. Acta Hortic. 1111, 125-132
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1111.19
disease, non-chemical, papaya carica, anthracnose, fungal

Acta Horticulturae