The effects of maturity stage at harvest, sex, harvest date and postharvest treatments on the keeping quality of stored papaya fruits (Carica Papaya L.).
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Fruits of the variety sunrise were collected from a experimental design was a factorial experiment of ~4 x 4 and commercial plantation at the Mwea Prisons farm for the study. x 3 in first and second harvest, respectively, l a y e d au tin a completely randomized design. Hot water treatment. maturity stage harvest. sex and days of storage were the main treatments at the respective They were levels. Fruits were stored at ambient temperature. analysed at the beginning and after 3. 6, 8 and 12 days of storage for firmness, total soluble solids. dry matter. pH. total titratable acidity. total sugars, total carotenoids, beta-carotene and vitamin C. The general fruit condition and appearance were also assessed. Hermaphrodite fruits did not differ significantly from female fruits in their firmness. total soluble solids dry matter contents. pH and °Brix:Acid ratio. Although some inconsistencies were exhibited in the contents of total carotenoids and vitamin C. the higher levels were in favour of hermaphrodite fruits. Total sugars and beta- carotene contents were higher, while total titratable acidity was lower, in hermaphrodite than in female fruits. Fruits generally attained full ripeness by the 8th day of storage. Fruit firmness decreased with ripening during slorage. Dry matter content did s t o rag e . not change significantly during Total soluble solids. pH. ~rix:Acid ratio, total carotenoids and beta-carotene contents increased during storage. Total titratable acidity, t o t a l sugars and vitamin C contents increased during the first 3 to 6 days of storage and declined there after. with a close relation (interaction) being exhibited between them. Overall, the hot water treatment did not seem to adversely affect the fruits, except for some mi Id heat scalding in a few fruits. Hot water treatment reduced decay in fruits and prolonged their shelf-life. Among the parameters analysed, only firmness and beta-carotene, did not changed between harvest dates. It was recommended that with storage period not 8 days at ambient temperature, papayas should be at the colour break stage and washed with warm water 20 minutes). In orchards where fruits are meant for exceeding harvested consumption, trees of both sex types can be al lowed to grow but seeds from female fruits should not be used for replanting.