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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Wall, Marisa

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2004
Publication Date: 10/20/2004
Citation: Wall, M.M. 2004. Ripening behavior and quality of brazilian bananas (musa sp.) following hot water immersion for disinfestation of surface insects. Hortscience 39:1349-1353.

Interpretive Summary: The Brazilian banana is grown widely in Hawaii and marketed within the state. Mature green bananas can be exported under a non-host quarantine status for fruit fly pests, but the fruit are subjected to quarantine inspections for the presence of surface insects. These inspections can delay or impede the shipment of bananas, leading to postharvest losses and creating a high financial risk for growers. In this study, the quality and fruit ripening patterns of Brazilian bananas were determined following hot water immersion treatments for disinfestation of bananas to surface insects. Hot water immersion treatments at temperatures below 50 EC for less than 15 minutes did not reduce the quality of Brazilian bananas. Ripening was delayed by 2 to 7 days for treated bananas, which can be an advantage in postharvest handling when fruit are shipped long distance. Hot water immersion at 48 to 49 EC for 15 min may be an effective quarantine treatment for surface insects, because a 48.2 EC treatment for 12.5 min killed scale insects on the surface of banana fruit. Approval and use of a hot water treatment for bananas could expand the export of Brazilian bananas from Hawaii by reducing the need for quarantine inspections.

Technical Abstract: The fruit quality and ripening response of >Brazilian= bananas (Musa sp., group AAB) were determined following hot water immersion treatments for surface disinfestation. Summer-harvested fruit were exposed for 10, 15 or 20 min to 47, 49, and 51 EC water, and ripened at 20 EC. Winter-harvested fruit were immersed in 48, 49, and 50 EC water for 5, 10 or 15 min, stored for 12 d at 14 EC, and ripened at 22 EC. The hot water exposure time had a greater effect than the treatment temperature on banana fruit ripening. Nontreated bananas ripened after 13 to 15 d, and ripening was delayed by 2 to 7 d when fruit were exposed for 15 or 20 min to hot water. Hot water treatments did not inhibit fruit softening, but peels tended to be firmer for bananas immersed in 49 to 51 EC water than control fruit. Heat-treated bananas were not different from control fruit in soluble solids content or titratable acidity, however the conversion of starch to sugars was reduced at higher temperatures and exposure times. Bananas exposed for 20 min to hot water had delayed respiratory peaks and ethylene production, especially at 51 EC. Mild peel injury was observed on fruit exposed for longer durations (15 or 20 min) to higher temperatures (49 to 51 EC).

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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