POSTHARVEST BEHAVIOUR OF THREE COCONA ECOTYPES DURING LOW TEMPERATURE STORAGE
Cocona is a wild berry from the Amazonian river region with interesting properties for human wellness and nutrition. However, it also suffers serious post-harvest losses as occurs in other fruit from the Solanaceae family. This is particularly true during low temperature storage as a result of chilling injury and associated decay. In this study, three ecotypes of cocona (Ovoid, Topiro and Small Round) were tested for their physiological behaviour and sensitivity to chilling injury at 3, 12 or 20°C. At 20°C the ecotype Topiro showed a climacteric ripening pattern while Small Round showed a non-climacteric pattern and the Ovoid ecotype showed an increased respiration rate at the end of storage accompanied by an unclear physiological behaviour. Topiro and Ovoid revealed skin colour changes that were measurable by hue angle determination. The three ecotypes developed chilling injury symptoms during storage including soaking and pitting (only at 3°C) and watery breakdown. They also suffered a severe decrease in ascorbic acid content, particularly Ovoid and Small Round fruits. Flesh softening and pitting were the most limiting quality drawbacks for Ovoid fruit during storage, of which these were affected to a higher extent than the other two ecotypes tested. Decay in the post-storage shelf life periods was particularly noticeable after storage at 3°C in Ovoid. Storage at 12°C reduced organic acid and sugar losses but allowed normal fruit ripening during a post-storage shelf-life at 20°C. The storage of cocona at 12°C is recommended irrespectively of the ecotype tested because of the absence of chilling injury and flesh decay, so that overall fruit quality is maintained better.
Ruiz, A.F., Cardona, J., Carrillo, M., Hernández, M.S., Barrera , J.A., Martínez, O. and Fernández-Trujillo, J.P. (2012). POSTHARVEST BEHAVIOUR OF THREE COCONA ECOTYPES DURING LOW TEMPERATURE STORAGE. Acta Hortic. 928, 227-232
chilling injury, storage temperature, fruit quality