Freshly harvested `Fortune' mandarins (Citrus reticulata Blanco) were dipped for 3 minutes in 25 or 52C water and then stored for 5 weeks at 2C. Then, the fruit were or were not intermittently warmed at 10C for 3 days after each 4-day storage period. All fruit then were held at 20C for 1 week to simulate retail marketing. Chilling injury was more severe in fruit dipped in 25C water and stored at 2C than in fruit dipped in 25C water and stored under intermittent warming. The hot dip treatment significantly reduced the extent of damage during storage and the subsequent 1 week of holding at 20C. The hot dip treatment reduced the incidence of fungal decay, especially during holding at 20C. Dip temperature and storage conditions slightly affected fruit physiological and quality characteristics. We conclude that prestorage hot dip treatments can be used to improve `Fortune' mandarin storing qualities. Also, this practice may be combined with intermittent warming during cold storage, and it could help limit fungicide use in postharvest treatments.
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