`Valencia' oranges [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] were exposed to moist, forced air (MFA) at 46, 47, or 50C for 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours to identify the maximum temperature and duration of exposure for which there was no detectable reduction in fruit quality. The flavor of oranges exposed to MFA at 47 or 50C was rated significantly inferior to that of oranges exposed to 46C. The degree minutes that accumulated in the center of the fruit between 2 and 4 hours and the maximum fruit center temperature during the heat treatment were associated with inferior fruit flavor. Oranges exposed to MFA at 46C for up to 4 hours could not be distinguished from the nonheated fruit. MFA at 46C is a promising quarantine treatment for `Valencia' oranges.
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