Fruits Vegetables
es en ca
Kiwi, Actinidia chinensis / Actinidiaceae
Postharvest Atmosphere Management
Kiwis must be cooled at 0ºC and preserved in store rooms with relative moisture around 95%. The use of controlled atmosphere enables their storage for up to 5 months.

For the good preservation of kiwis it is very helpful to use pre-cooling, that is to say, to put them under low temperatures as soon as possible after the harvesting. According to some authors from New Zealand, the optimal temperature for storage is between 0 and -0,6ºC; the freezing point of kiwis is around -2ºC and -2,5ºC, reason why cold storage temperatures below -1ºC may bring about serious consequences (alterations of the pulp, slightly unpleasant taste...)

The control of the relative moisture in the cold store rooms is very important; it is thought that 95% is a suitable percentage to avoid blight and to keep the hardness of the pulp.

The air composition in CO2 and O2 is also very important. According to some Australian trials, the preservation in controlled atmosphere with contents of 3% of O2 and CO2 enables the preservation of kiwis of up to 5 months.

Another factor to take into account is the presence of ethylene in the environment, since it accelerates the maturation of the climacteric fruit and kiwis are one of them, so they are sensitive to the effects of ethylene. The ethylene contained in the storage rooms comes from the fruit or other external sources. Kiwis produce ethylene at a rate of 0,1-1,0ml/kg/hour, at 20ºC and other fruit like apples, oranges, etc., produce higher amounts, reason why it is recommended not to store kiwis together with this kind of fruit.
Postharvest Problems
The post-harvest problems are mainly due to inadequate conditions of storage, although they can also be affected by the attack of fungi like grey rot.

The fruit without protection, in an environment with normal relative moisture, tends to dehydrate very quick until it reaches a noticeable wrinkling. This is a very negative factor, not only for the loss of weight, but also because of the considerable worsening of the organoleptic characteristics.

Chilling injuries
Extremely low temperatures cause damages that are evident by the alterations of the pulp that acquires a translucent dark green colour and soft consistency; the taste is much sweeter and less pleasant.

Concerning pathogens, the fungus Botrytis cinerea, that causes the grey rot, is the only one capable to give rise to damages of significant economic importance during storage.
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