Fruit quality characterization and harvest maturity index of three papaya cultivars grown in greenhouses in south-east Spain
Papaya is arousing great interest as an alternative crop for greenhouses in south-east Spain. To guarantee its success, it is essential to find suitable cultivars and proper greenhouse management. The objective of this work was to compare fruit quality of different cultivars and establish their optimal harvesting stage. With this aim, fruits of 'BH-65', 'Siluet' and 'Intenzza' were harvested at four different maturity stages defined by the color of the skin (stage 0, fruit with up to 10% yellow color; stage 1, 20-30% yellow color; stage 2, 50-60% yellow color; stage 3, 90-100% yellow color). Physicochemical quality parameters [skin and pulp color, weight, pulp firmness, total soluble solids (TSS) content and titratable acidity] were determined at harvest and at 3 and 7 days after storage at 22°C and 85% RH. Organoleptic quality of full-ripe fruits was also compared. The results were similar for all cultivars. In general, TSS content at harvest was low, reaching a maximum of around 10 °Brix in the most mature fruits. TSS content in stage-0 fruits was lower than that in fruits harvested at more advanced stages, but this difference was only significant for LSQUOBH-65RSQUO. Regardless of maturity stage at harvest, TSS did not vary during storage. Fruit firmness at harvest was very low for fruits at stage 3, making them only suitable for immediate consumption. Stage-1 and stage-2 fruits reached consumption firmness at 3 days after harvest, while stage-0 fruits kept firmness longer. We suggest fruits to be harvested at stages 1 or 2, depending on destination market. 'Siluet' was the best-rated cultivar in the sensory analyses for both external appearance and flavor.
Pinillos, V., Guerrero, J., Salinas, I., Cuevas, J. and Hueso, J.J. (2019). Fruit quality characterization and harvest maturity index of three papaya cultivars grown in greenhouses in south-east Spain. Acta Hortic. 1250, 173-178
soluble solids, firmness, color, sensory analyses