The potential to use percentage of dry matter (DM) and/or oil of the flesh of `Hass' avocado as a maturity standard to determine the latest harvest for acceptable fruit quality, was investigated. `Hass' avocado fruit were harvested from early October to mid-January from a commercial orchard in subtropical Queensland. The percentage of DM and oil changed little during the harvest period, and the eating quality of the flesh remained high. However, the incidence of body rots (caused mainly by Colletotrichum sp.) and the flesh disorders grey pulp and vascular browning, increased with harvest. These results indicate that percentage of DM and oil are not reliable late-maturity standards because of the inconsistent change with later harvests, and that disease and internal disorders can be the main determinants of latest acceptable harvest, rather than eating quality.
Peter J. Hofman, Marcelle Jobin-Décor and Janet Giles
Keryl Jacobi, Janet Giles, Elspeth MacRae and Teresa Wegrzyn
In an effort to develop an inexpensive alternative to vapor-heat insect disinfestation of `Kensington' mango (Mangifera indica Linn.), the effect of postharvest hot water treatments (HWT) on fruit quality was determined. Fruit were given 46C HWT for 30 minutes at a fruit core temperature of 45C either 24 hours after harvest or after various conditioning treatments of 4 to 24 hours at 39 ± 1C in air. Fruit were compared to nontreated fruit after a subsequent 7 days at 22C. The HWT increased fruit softening and reduced chlorophyll fluorescence and disease incidence. The longer conditioning times produced softer fruit. Conditioning reduced damage to the fruit caused by HWT. Preconditioning for ≥8 hours resulted in <1% of fruit being damaged as shown by cavities, skin scald, and starch layer formation. The quantitatively measured higher mesocarp starch content paralleled the visible starch layer injury. Skin yellowing increased in response to HWTs that were not damaging to the fruit. Fruit ripening changes were unequally affected by HWT and by conditioning before HWT; thus, the sequence and extent of these changes must be determined to establish a reliable and useful hot water disinfestation treatment.