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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1141: III International Conference on Fresh-Cut Produce: Maintaining Quality and Safety

Quality and physiology of two cultivars of fresh-cut figs in relation to ripeness, storage temperature and controlled atmosphere

Authors:   G. Hong, C. Crisosto, M.I. Cantwell
Keywords:   color, firmness, sugar, fermentative volatiles, respiration, ethylene
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1141.25
The performance of fresh-cut figs was evaluated for two cultivars at two stages of ripeness (commercial and full ripe). Texture, but not external color, was a consistent indicator of ripeness. Fresh-cut figs (maroon-skin 'Brown Turkey' and yellow-green skin 'Sierra' cultivars) were prepared from sanitized fruit halved with a stainless steel knife, and stored in plastic clamshells in air at 0 or 5C or controlled atmospheres (3% O2 + 6, 12 or 18% CO2) at 5C. Cut pieces retained excellent quality for 6 days under all conditions. After 9 and 12 days, best quality was obtained in air at 0C and in CA at 5C with 12 or 18% CO2, but these atmospheres did result in increased ethanol and acetaldehyde concentrations. Sugars decreased during storage in 'Brown Turkey' but not in 'Sierra' fruit and were different between ripeness stages. Respiration rates of fresh-cut figs were similar to those of intact fruits (4-7 and 8-10 L CO2 g-1 h-1 at 0 and 5C, respectively). Ethylene production was similar between ripeness stages, but different between cultivars. Loss of visual quality was not associated with discoloration but with microbial growth on the cut surfaces similar to that on the external surface of intact fruits. This was due mostly to molds and CO2 atmospheres retarded fungal growth. Temperature control was much more important than controlled atmospheres for fresh-cut fig shelf-life. Shelf-life was little affected by ripeness stage but full ripe fruit had higher sugar content. Figs performed well as fresh-cut fruit and could add flavor and diversity to cut fruit trays.

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