|Authors: ||E. Bassetto, L. Amorim, M.C. Martins, A.S.D. Gutierrez, S.A. Lourenço, M.D. Ferreira|
|Keywords: ||Prunus persica, postharvest decay, mechanical damage, postharvest diseases, instrumented sphere,Monilinia fructicola, Rhizopus stolonifer|
Post harvest decay is the major factor limiting the extension of storage life of peaches in Brazil.
The most frequent pathogens detected on peaches at the Sao Paulo wholesale market in 2002 and 2003 were: Monilinia fructicola, Rhizopus stolonifer, Geotrichum sp., and Cladosporium sp.
In this market, the incidence of peach decay ranged from 4.3 to 15.2% of fruits, according to the assessment date, and was related to mechanical injuries.
Infection of these pathogens probably occurred between harvest and transport to the market.
As most of brown rot symptoms appeared far from peaches’s shoulders, latent infection was not considered significant.
Quantification and identification of postharvest damages were conducted at four postharvest phases: (i) after harvest; (ii) in the entrance of packinghouse; (iii) after classifying machine; (iv) before loading peaches in the truck.
An ‘ideal harvest’ was also carried out, in which 100 fruits carefully chosen were individualized in plastic trays and taken to an incubator chamber.
Samples comprising 100 fruits, randomly selected, were collected weekly, individualized in plastic trays and immediately taken to an incubation chamber.
Quantification and identification of diseases and injuries that happen in different phases of postharvest showed that most critical phases of fruits affected by mechanical damage was ‘after the classifying machine’ (39% of fruits affected), although after a few weeks, fruits showed mechanical damages at the ‘after harvest’ and the ‘in the entrance of packinghouse’.
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