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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF INTEGRATED SYSTEMS FOR SUBTROPICAL/TROPICAL FRUIT CROP PRODUCTION

Location: Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research

Title: Effect of Harvest date and ripening degree on quality and shelf life of 'Hass' avocado in Mexico

Authors
item Osuna-Garcia, Jorge -
item Doyon, Gilles -
item Salazar-Garcia, Samuel -
item Goenaga, Ricardo
item Gonzalez-Duran, Isidoro -

Submitted to: Fruits
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 12, 2010
Publication Date: December 1, 2010
Citation: Osuna-Garcia, J.A., Doyon, G., Salazar-Garcia, S., Goenaga, R.J., Gonzalez-Duran, I.J. 2010. Effect of Harvest date and ripening degree on quality and shelf life of 'Hass' avocado in Mexico. Fruits. 65:367-375.

Interpretive Summary: Canada is an important avocado importer country accounting for 12-15% of total avocado exports from Mexico. ‘Hass’ avocado is harvested year round in the state of Michoacan. During most of the season, fruit reach adequate mesocarp dry matter content (DM), ripen properly and consequently, quality and shelf life are excellent. However, after early January fruit DM content increases and skin blackening occurs. Shipments to Canada containing fruit with blackening skin have been rejected since this characteristic is sometimes associated with low pulp firmness and short shelf life. The objective of this experiment was to study the effect of harvest time and ripening degree on initial quality and shelf life of ‘Hass’ avocado. Fruit were harvested in October and December, 2007 and from January to April, 2008 and rated using a scale according to the degree of skin blackening. At harvest, DM, skin color, pulp firmness, and pulp color were evaluated. Fruit were then refrigerated for seven days to simulate terrestrial shipment to Canada. After this period, fruit were stored under market conditions until they reached the edible ripening stage. Weight loss (WL), fruit with skin blackening, pulp firmness, and pulp color were determined every three days. Pulp DM and pulp hue color significantly increased with harvest time and degree of skin blackening. However, there were no significant differences for WL and firmness. Results showed that there is no reason for retailers to reject fruit with blackened skin since fruit quality and shelf life were not affected by harvest time and degree of skin color.

Technical Abstract: Canada is an important avocado importer from Mexico. ‘Hass’ avocado is harvested year round in Michoacan. For most part of the season, fruit reach adequate dry matter content (DM), ripen properly and consequently, quality and shelf life are excellent. However, after middle January fruit DM content increases and blackened skin occurs. Shipments to Canada containing fruit with blackened skin are usually rejected because this characteristic is associated to low pulp firmness and short shelf life. The objective of this research was to determine the effect of harvest time and ripening degree on initial quality and shelf life of ‘Hass’ avocado. Fruit were harvested in October and December, 2007, and from January to April, 2008. They were grouped into five categories according to the degree of blackened skin. Fruit were then refrigerated for seven days to simulate shipment to Canada. Thereafter, fruit were stored under simulated market conditions until they reached the edible ripening stage. DM was calculated only at the beginning of the storage period while quantification of weight loss (WL), fruit with blackened skin, pulp firmness, and pulp color was done at the beginning of the storage period, at the end of the refrigeration period, and every three days thereafter during storage market conditions. DM, skin color and pulp color significantly increased with harvest date and degree of blackened skin. However, there were no significant differences for WL and firmness. Research showed that there is no reason for Canadian retailers to reject or down grade fruit with blackened skin, since quality and shelf life were not affected by harvest date and degree of blackened skin.

Last Modified: 7/30/2014
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