FRUIT DEVELOPMENT AND MATURATION PHENOLOGY OF 'FINO DE JETE' CHERIMOYA
Cherimoya is a climacteric fruit that ripens after harvest. It has an ephemeral postharvest life because of high perishability and its limited capacity for cold storage. External morphological changes during fruit maturation are not pronounced and a reliable harvest index does not exist. Farmers, seeking better prices, often harvest under-matured fruits, causing a decrease in fruit quality. It is, therefore, very important to establish an optimum harvest index. In this work we have analyzed fruit development and maturation of Fino de Jete cherimoya, the main cultivar in Spain. The evolution of fruit size, skin colour, and carpel segments and the peduncle-fruit joint zone appearance, from fruit-set until natural fruit drop, were described. We also have characterized the postharvest evolution and quality parameters of fruits harvested from 9 to 19 weeks after pollination (wap). The most remarkable changes coincided with the most important phases in the fruit-growth-curve, leading to the establishment of four phenological stages: stage 1, young-fruit; stage 2, green fruit, fruits at the end of phase I; stage 3, colour-break, at the beginning of phase III; and stage 4, mature fruit phase III. Fruits in stage 2, harvested before 15 wap did not ripen properly. After 15 wap, at stage 3, fruits reached optimum soluble solids concentration (20-23°Brix) in 6 days at room temperature. Nevertheless, later harvesting, after 17 wap, reduced the fruit seed index. We have estimated that about 1325 growing degree days are necessary for a fruit to be physiologically mature and to reach proper postharvest quality.
Pinillos, V., Peinado, S. and González, M. (2013). FRUIT DEVELOPMENT AND MATURATION PHENOLOGY OF 'FINO DE JETE' CHERIMOYA. Acta Hortic. 975, 335-342
cherimoya fruit, harvest index, maturation, phenology, ripening