Percentage of Dry Matter and Oil Content Are Not Reliable Indicators of Fruit Maturity or Quality in Late-harvested `Hass' Avocado

in HortScience

The potential to use percentage of dry matter (DM) and/or oil of the flesh of `Hass' avocado as a maturity standard to determine the latest harvest for acceptable fruit quality, was investigated. `Hass' avocado fruit were harvested from early October to mid-January from a commercial orchard in subtropical Queensland. The percentage of DM and oil changed little during the harvest period, and the eating quality of the flesh remained high. However, the incidence of body rots (caused mainly by Colletotrichum sp.) and the flesh disorders grey pulp and vascular browning, increased with harvest. These results indicate that percentage of DM and oil are not reliable late-maturity standards because of the inconsistent change with later harvests, and that disease and internal disorders can be the main determinants of latest acceptable harvest, rather than eating quality.

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