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I. Kadzere*, C.B. Watkins, I. Merwin, F. Akinifessi and J.D. Saka

Postharvest biology of Uapaca kirkiana, a native tree fruit to the miombo woodlands of some parts of Southern Africa, is little understood. Experiments have been carried out to determine the influence of pre-ripening storage treatments on subsequent fruit ripening characteristics. Mature but unripe fruit, collected from Dedza District in Malawi, were either held under ambient conditions, incubated in clay pots for 3 d or at 4 °C for 11 d. Fruit were removed from clay pots and cold storage, held under ambient conditions, and quality assessed daily. Color changed from green-yellow and/or brown-yellow in the unripe fruit to brown in ripe fruit. Low initial fruit compression was associated with hard and unripe fruit at harvest. Compared with both ambient and cold storage, incubating the fruits in clay pots resulted in advanced fruit softening as reflected by the high compression levels even on the day of removal from the clay pots. By day six after removal, compression had increased to a mean of 81 mm in the clay pot fruits while maximum levels were 56 and 38 mm for ambient and cold storage, respectively. Storing fruit at cold temperature delayed softening and deterioration compared with ambient and clay pot storage treatments. There was a general decrease in the total soluble solids content of the fruit during ripening, and was not influenced by the pre-ripening storage treatments. Decay increased during ripening for all the three treatments. Deterioration of the pulp in fruit, indicated by the development of a brown color and/or disintegration of the pulp, was observed with increasing time from removal. These results will be discussed in relation to the potential for improving storage of U. kirkiana.

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Festus K. Akinnifesi, Simon A. Mng'omba, Gudeta Sileshi, Thomson G. Chilanga, Jarret Mhango, Oluyede C. Ajayi, Sebastian Chakeredza, Betserai I. Nyoka and France M.T. Gondwe

Many indigenous fruit trees (IFTs) of the miombo woodlands of southern Africa are important for the livelihoods of the rural population ( Akinnifesi et al., 2008a ). This has been shown by market and financial analyses, which have attested that

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Simon A. Mng'omba, Elsa S. du Toit, Festus K. Akinnifesi and Helena M. Venter

Uapaca kirkiana , an indigenous fruit tree of the Miombo ecozone, offers considerable scope for enhancing the nutritional and economic security of rural communities of southern Africa ( Akinnifesi et al., 2006 ). Recent studies in Malawi and

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Simon A. Mng’omba and Elsa S. du Toit

, A. Chilanga, T. Swai, R. 2004 Domesticating priority miombo indigenous fruit trees as a promising livelihood option for smallholder farmers in southern Africa Acta Hort. 632 15 30 Bir, R.E. Bilderback, T.E. Ranney, T.G. 7 Aug. 2012. < http

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Anna L. Testen, Delphina P. Mamiro, Hosea D. Mtui, Jackson Nahson, Ernest R. Mbega, David M. Francis and Sally A. Miller

miombo indigenous fruit trees as a promising livelihood option for small-holder farmers in southern Africa Acta Hort. 632 15 30 Almekinders, C.J.M. Elings, A. 2001 Collaboration of farmers and breeders: Participatory crop improvement in perspective