FRUIT SIZE AND STAGE OF RIPENESS AFFECT POSTHARVEST WATER LOSS IN BELL PEPPER FRUIT (CAPSICUM ANNUUM L.)

in HortScience

Fruit water loss significantly affects the quality of bell peppers. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of fruit weight, size, and stage of ripeness on the rate of water loss and permeance to water vapor. Fruit surface area/weight ratio decreased logarithmically with increases in fruit size, with smaller fruit showing larger changes in the ratio than larger fruit. Mean water loss rate for individual fruit and permeance to water vapor declined with increases in fruit size and as fruit ripeness progressed. Fruit surface area/weight ratio and rate of water loss were both highest in immature fruit and showed no differences between mature green and red fruit. In mature fruit, permeance to water vapor for the skin and calyx were 29 μmol·m–2·s–1·kPa–1 and 398 μmol·m–2·s–1·kPa–1, respectively. About 26% of the water loss in mature fruit occurred through the calyx. There was a decline in firmness, water loss rate, and permeance to water vapor of the fruit with increasing fruit water loss during storage.

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Contributor Notes

Associate professor and corresponding author (jcdiaz@uga.edu)
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