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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: METABOLOMIC AND MICROBIAL PROFILING OF TROPICAL/SUBTROPICAL FRUITS AND SMALL FRUITS FOR QUALITY FACTORS AND MICROBIAL STABILITY

Location: Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research

Title: Commercial postharvest practices used to handle fresh citrus fruit with canker symptoms

Authors
item Ritenour, Mark -
item Pilon, Lucimiere -
item Muraro, Ron -
item Narciso, Jan
item Burkes, Thomas -

Submitted to: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 5, 2010
Publication Date: December 29, 2010
Citation: Ritenour, M.A., Pilon, L., Muraro, R., Narciso, J., Burkes, T.F. 2010. Commercial postharvest practices used to handle fresh citrus fruit with canker symptoms. Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society. 123:255-258.

Interpretive Summary: To assist in developing best postharvest practices for handling fruit with canker lesions, a survey was distributed in summers of 2008 and 2009 to better understand current practices. Approximately 60% of the surveys were returned each year. The percentage of canker free fruit declined from 2008 to 2009 as canker spread within the state. Use of peroxyacetic acid increased from 21% to 33%, while chlorine use dropped from 27% to 20%. Most of the sanitizers were applied as the fruit were first wet, but managers were switching more to sanitizing the fruit afterwards. For both years, an average of 22 human graders were stationed at different points on the packingline to evaluate each load. All but one respondent reported that electronic graders were not useful for removing fruit with canker symptoms. In 2009, packers estimated that 34% of the citrus crop normally packed for the EU market was disqualified because of canker and that 12% of the product packed for the domestic or Japanese markets was either disqualified, or contained sufficient canker infection to make unprofitable to pack for the fresh market.

Technical Abstract: To assist in developing best postharvest practices for handling fruit with canker lesions, a survey was distributed in summers of 2008 and 2009 to better understand current practices. Approximately 60% of the surveys were returned each year representing about 55% of total fresh fruit shipments. As expected, the percentage of fruit received from blocks certified canker free declined from 2008 to 2009 as canker spread within the state. Sodium o-phenylphenate was the fruit disinfestation sanitizer most used by 52% of the packers to decontaminate fruit in 2008, but its use declined to 47% in 2009. Use of peroxyacetic acid increased from 21% to 33% over the same period, while chlorine use dropped from 27% to 20%. Most (~50%) of the sanitizers were applied as the fruit were first wetted, but managers were switching more to applying as the fruit were washed or afterwards. For both years, an average of 22 human graders were stationed at different points on the packingline to evaluate each load, with most (83%) increasing to 27 graders when fruit was known to come from a block with canker infection. All but one respondent reported that electronic graders were not useful for removing fruit with canker symptoms. In 2009, packers estimated that 34% of the citrus crop normally packed for the EU market was disqualified because of canker and that 12% of the product packed for the domestic or Japanese markets was either disqualified, or contained sufficient canker infection to make unprofitable to pack for the fresh market.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014