Advancing the Tamarillo Harvest by Induced Postharvest Ripening

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  • 1 Departamento de Biotecnología, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, 46022 Valencia, Spain

Tamarillo [Cyphomandra betacea (Cav.) Sendt., Solanaceae] dark-red-, red-, and yellow-type fruit were sorted into two maturity stages (green and turning); dipped in ethephon at 0, 250, 500, or 750 mg·liter–1; and kept at 18 or 28C. Seven days later, fruit dipped in ethephon at 500 or 750 mg·liter–1 and stored at 28C showed a color score, maturity index, and ascorbic acid content similar to those tree-ripened, thus making it possible for harvesting to be advanced 36 days. Under these conditions, weight loss was always lower than 8.5%, resulting in only slight symptoms of shriveling that did not affect commercial quality. Postharvest ripening reduces the risk of crop failure, increases earliness, and concentrates harvesting. Chemical name used: (2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid (ethephon).

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