Fruits Vegetables
es en ca
Aubergine, Solanum melongena / Solanaceae
Postharvest Atmosphere Management
Aubergines are sensitive to chilling injuries at temperatures of 7 to 10ºC; damages increase when the period of exposure. If temperatures are superior they favour the loss of water and the development of pathogens. Therefore, the aubergine post-harvest life hardly exceeds three weeks. Thus, they must be kept at temperatures close to 10ºC and relative moisture around 85 and 90%. In cold storage rooms at 4-5ºC they can be stored for 10-12 days.
At home, these vegetables are kept in the fridge for about 10-12 days at temperatures ranging from 5 to 8ºC.

Pre-cooling is hardly carried out and only when the temperature of the lot is high, around 27ºC. The purpose is to make the produce loose the heat until it reaches 10-12ºC. The most suitable method is forced air cooling.

Modified atmosphere offers few benefits for the quality preservation of aubergines. Low concentrations of oxygen delay their deterioration for few days and the beginning of rotting. They tolerate up to 10% of carbon dioxide although the extension of storage life is not superior to that obtained with low concentrations of oxygen.
The suitable temperature for storage is 10-12ºC and relative moisture is similar to that of storage, that is to say, 85-95%. Mixed loads must be avoided, since this species is sensitive to ethylene. Aubergines react with the ethylene produced by other fruit and vegetables placed close to them, that speed up the ageing of the produce and stimulates the consequent loss of freshness.
Postharvest Problems
Aubergines are sensitive to chilling injuries at temperatures blow 10ºC. At 5ºC the damage appears in 6-8 days. The visible symptoms are pitting, superficial bronzing and browning of the seeds and pulp. The fast development of rotting caused by Alternaria spp is also common. Chilling injuries is cumulative and may begin in the field before the harvest.

Frost damages begin at –0.8ºC, depending on the content of soluble solids. The visible symptoms are vitreous pulp, a translucent or watery appearance that becomes brown and dry with the time.

Dehydration is another alteration undergone by aubergines and caused by the loss of water in environments of low relative moisture. It usually takes place through the calyx and the peduncle. The fruit wrinkles and some longitudinal stripes appear on the skin.

Aubergines are highly sensitive to moderate to high levels of ethylene in the environment. When they are subject to more than 1ppm of ethylene, the abscission (fall, separation) of the calyx and the deterioration caused by browning may become a problem.

The fruit must not be stemmed from the plant but cut near the height of the calyx in order to avoid physical damages.

Bruises and damages caused by compression are very common when harvesting and handling are not satisfactory.

Diseases are an important cause of post-harvest losses particularly in combination with chilling injuries. The most common phyto-pathogens fungi are Alternaria (black mould rot), Botrytis (grey mould rot). Rhizopus (cottony rot) and rotting caused by Phomopsis Rot.
Interempresas Media, S.L. / 2024 [ Legal notice | Política de Protección de Datos | Política de cookies | Publicidad]