Quality changes in sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L. 'Smooth Cayenne') under simulated retail conditions
The handling chain of 'Smooth Cayenne' sweet pepper produced in Digos City, southern Philippines, was tracked from harvest to wholesale. Quality was evaluated after transit at wholesale and at simulated retail for 15 days. Farmers harvested fruit at different maturities, but with more green fruit. There was an increase in light and full-red sweet peppers after a total of 25 h from harvest. Upon receipt at the retail level, losses at each section (i.e., top, middle, bottom) of the polypropylene sack were determined and quantified. Damage found at the bottom section included bruised (3.8%), cracked/split (48.1%), detached pedicel (23.1%), disease and rots (23.1%) and combination of damage (1.9%). The quality of sweet pepper during the simulated retail as affected by maturity (i.e., green, breaker, turning, orange and red) and container section was also evaluated. Those packed in the upper third of the sack had the fewest cracks and least weight loss, shriveling and decay relative to fruit from the middle and bottom portions. Further, fruit in the upper third also exhibited the slowest ripening and best visual quality. Mature green fruit had slower color change than the other maturity stages, as depicted by lower color index, a* value (green or red on surface) and chroma. Visual quality was better in turning and orange fruit until 9 d, while shriveling was less at 15 d. Overall, sweet pepper located in the upper portion of the polypropylene sack and green fruit had better quality after 15 d of simulated ambient retail conditions compared with fruit in lower portions of the container and later maturity stages, respectively.
Bayogan, E.V., Lacap, A.T. and Ekman, J.H. (2017). Quality changes in sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L. 'Smooth Cayenne') under simulated retail conditions. Acta Hortic. 1179, 213-220
Capsicum annuum, harvest maturity, handling chain, postharvest loss