Wax Effects on Postharvest Storage of `Fallglo' Tangerines

in HortScience
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  • 1 Florida Dept. of Citrus, Lake Alfred, FL 33850

`Fallglo' is an early season variety of tangerine that has become known among citrus packers for its susceptibility to postharvest peel disorders. Among these disorders is postharvest pitting, a disorder characterized by the collapse of the peel during the storage of waxed fruit at room temperature. In this study, the effects of wax application on selected postharvest storage characteristics were evaluated.

Fruit were either not waxed or waxed with carnauba-, polyethylene-, or shellac-based waxes obtained from four suppliers of commercial citrus coatings and were stored at 21°C. In general, waxing reduced weight loss and improved shine. Waxing with shellac-based waxes significantly decreased internal O2 levels (5% vs. 19% for non-waxed fruit) and increased internal CO2 (6% vs. 2% for non-waxed fruit) and ethanol levels. Waxing with shellac-based waxes also significantly reduced post-packing degreening and stimulated pitting. Waxing with more gas-permeable coatings (carnaubaand polyethylene-based waxes) resulted in less internal gas modification than that of the shellac-based treatments, and low incidences of pitting. Controlled atmosphere studies showed that low (4%) O2, rather than high (8%) CO2, inhibited post-packing degreening and stimulated pitting.