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Gordon E. Hunt and Mohamed A. Ismail

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Huating Dou, Mohamed A. Ismail, and Peter. D. Petracek

The effect of clipping vs. pulling, wax application, storage temperature, and fruit size on Stem End Rind Breakdown (SERB) of Valencia oranges was studied in four experiments during the 1998–1999 and 1999–2000 seasons. For harvesting methods, clipping reduced SERB rate of Valencia oranges over pulling from 10.2% to 5.9%. Wax application increased fruit SERB compared to non-waxed fruit. However, there was no consistent difference in effect on SERB incidence between shellac and carnauba waxes in all studies. Small fruit (size 100#) tended to be associated with high incidence of SERB, whereas large fruit (size 64#) were less susceptible to SERB of Valencia oranges. The most significant factor that influenced SERB incidence was storage temperature. Fruit stored at 70 °F had 23% and 96% SERB if fruit were examined in the 2nd and 8th weeks after packing; whereas 0.5% and 2% SERB was found if fruit were stored at 45 °F and examined at the same times. The effect of the above treatments on fruit peel anatomy and postharvest physiological behavior will also be discussed.