(53) Do Pawpaw Varieties Behave Differently during Ripening and Cold Storage?

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  • 1 1University of Kentucky, Department of Horticulture, Lexington, KY, 40546-0091
  • | 2 2Kentucky State University, 129 Atwood Research Facility, Frankfort, KY, 40601

Pawpaw[Asiminatriloba (L.) Dunal] is a highly perishable climacteric fruit. Generally, fruit may be stored at 4 °C for 4 weeks with minimal loss in quality or subsequent ripening capacity. However, comparisons among cultivars and advanced selections for ripening behavior and postharvest storage life have not been reported. Ideally, cultivars with superior ripening traits (higher firmness, or a slower rate of firmness loss) and longer storage life may be identified for the commercial market. To determine if differences among genotypes may exist, respiration, C2H4 production, and fruit firmness of six varieties, 8-20, 9-58, `Middletown', `PA Golden', `Taytwo', and `Taylor', were measured during ripening after harvest and after 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 weeks of 4 °C storage. No differences were observed among the cultivars regarding respiration and C2H4 production. Respiratory and ethylene peaks were detected within 48 hours after harvest or removal from cold storage. Rapid loss of firmness was measured during ripening at ambient temperature after harvest and after removal from cold storage (days 0–3), with some loss during cold storage itself (weeks 1–6). As expected, firmer fruits at harvest had a lower respiration rate. However, no obvious differences in ripening behavior or cold storage response were observed among the six genotypes. As a general guideline, only firmer fruits should be cold stored, since fruit softening did not stop at 4 °C. A broader analysis of all of the named cultivars and advanced selections of pawpaw will be needed to determine if the present results are generally representative of pawpaw.

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