FACTORS AFFECTING STORABILITY AND SHELF LIFE IN PLUMS (PRUNUS DOMESTICA L.)
The storability and shelf life of plums is limited by physiological and fungal decay and softening. Preharvest factors making the fruit firmer and less susceptible to decay include orchard management, nutritional status and plant protection programme. Gibberellic acid treatment is widely used in sweet cherry growing to improve fruit size and firmness. Spraying plum trees with gibberellic acid three weeks prior to harvest showed similar effects. In treated trees the fruits were larger and the fruit quality was improved. Norwegian plums are grown close to the market. The growers are recommended to pick the plums close to eating ripe. The fruit quality will be very good, however, immediate cooling and unbroken cool chain from orchard to consumer is important to avoid losses during marketing. Norwegian plums are marketed in consumer packages with a plastic film cover. Using a laser perforated plastic film, a modified atmosphere was obtained. The plums kept firmer and greener. However, the losses due to fungal decay were not acceptable for commercial use. Additional treatments (heating, dipping in calcium etc.) improve the storability and shelf life. Storage of plums in controlled atmosphere (CA or ULO) with low oxygen (1-2%) and 2 to 6% CO2 may improve the storability of plums and prolong the marketing season up to eight weeks.
Vangdal, E., Flatland, S., Lunde Knutsen, I. and Larsen, H. (2012). FACTORS AFFECTING STORABILITY AND SHELF LIFE IN PLUMS (PRUNUS DOMESTICA L.) . Acta Hortic. 968, 197-203
colour, firmness, gibberellic acid, physiological decay, MAP, storage