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  • Author or Editor: Fania Gutman x
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Fruit growth and ripening and the effect of various storage temperatureson fruit quality were studied in Hylocereus undatus and H. polyrhizus growing in Beer-Sheva (Israeli Negev desert) under greenhouse conditions. Dimensional growth of the fruit had a sigmoid pattern with a negligible growth after the onset of peel color change. The first change in peel color was recorded 24-25 d after anthesis in H. undatus and 26-27 d after anthesis in H. polyrhizus. In both species, peel color turned fully red 4-5 days after first color change (mean temperature for the study period was 26.6 ± 2.1 °C). Parallel to color changes the content of pulp, SSC and soluble sugars increased while firmness and the content of starch and mucilage decreased. The surge in acidity before color change indicated the beginning of ripening processes. In H. polyrhizus fruit, which have a red-violet pulp, the pigment increased in parallel to the development of peel color. The fruit were proved nonclimacteric, and when harvested at close to full color, they kept their marketing quality at least 2 weeks at 14 °C or 1 week at 20 °C. Storage at 6 °C is not recommended because fruit transferred from 6 °C to room conditions lose their firmness and flavor rapidly. In H. undatus chilling injury symptoms appeared.

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