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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Relationship between skin color and some fruit quality characteristics of 'Hass' avocado

Authors
item Osuna-Garcia, Jorge -
item Doyon, Gilles - FOOD RES & DEV, CANADA
item Salazar-Garcia, Samuel -
item Goenaga, Ricardo
item Gonzalez-Duran, Isidro -

Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 25, 2011
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Citation: Osuna-Garcia, J.A., Doyon, G., Salazar-Garcia, S., Goenaga, R.J., Gonzalez-Duran, I. 2012. Relationship between skin color and some fruit quality characteristics of 'Hass' avocado for the export market. Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico. 95(1-2):15-23.

Interpretive Summary: Mexico is the main ‘Hass’ avocado exporter in the world. The harvest season for ‘Hass’ avocado in Mexico extends from September until late April. Avocado fruit harvested early in the season often do not reach the minimum pulp dry matter market criteria (i.e., legal maturity) of 21.5%. Lower fruit dry matter is associated with irregular ripening and reduced shelf-life. ‘Hass’ avocado shipments to Canada containing fruit with skin blackening have been rejected recently since this characteristic is associated to low pulp firmness and short shelf-life. A study was conducted to determine the relationship between skin color of ‘Hass’ avocado fruit with quality characteristics for the export market. Significant differences were detected between packinghouses for fruit firmness and external epidermis color but not for pulp color or dry matter content. There were significant differences among skin color categories for external skin color and firmness. A higher degree of skin blackening was associated with less firmness of fruit at packing time. Further studies are currently conducted to determine how skin blackening may influence ‘Hass’ avocado shelf-life. This information will be useful to growers, packers and inspection agencies to determine best storage and transportation conditions for ‘Hass’ avocado, as well as to avoid rejections of avocado shipments.

Technical Abstract: Mexico is the main ‘Hass’ avocado exporter in the world. More than 100,000 ton are exported every year being the USA, Japan, the European Union, and Canada the main importer countries. Recently, ‘Hass’ avocado shipments to Canada containing fruit with skin blackening have been rejected since this characteristic is associated to low pulp firmness and short shelf-life. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between skin color of ‘Hass’ avocado fruit with quality characteristics for the export market. Fruit varying in skin color (turning black from 0 to 100%; categories 1 to 5) were collected from two different packinghouses in Michoacán, Mexico. Weight, length, width, external color [lightness (L), ‘a’ and ‘b’], pulp firmness, pulp color and dry matter content were measured for each fruit. Treatments were arranged in a split-plot design with five replications. Significant differences were detected between packinghouses for firmness and external colors ‘a’ and ‘b’ but not for pulp color or dry matter content. There were significant differences among skin color categories for external skin color and firmness. A higher degree of skin blackening was associated with less firmness of fruit at packing time. Further studies using more harvest dates throughout the harvesting season are currently conducted to determine how skin blackening may influence ‘Hass’ avocado shelf-life.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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