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Turnip, Brassica rapa / Cruciferae (Brassicaceae)
Postharvest Atmosphere Management
Turnips have a difficult preservation. Those harvested in winter (the most common ones), must be left to dry outdoors for a few days, removing the leaves. Later on they are kept in fresh and dark places; the traditional agriculture suggests to cover them with sand.

Once at home, turnips must be kept in the fridge in perforated bags, in which conditions they will last for 1-3 weeks. Preservation would be prolonged if they are frozen, previously scalded, cooked or made purée.

A sudden decrease of the temperatures prevents the manifestation of damage symptoms, chiefly bruises. These damages are frequent during the mechanical harvesting.

The most suitable method is hydro-cooling. ‘Autumn turnips’ are those with a greater aptitude to preservation, whereas ‘May turnips’, N Hemisphere, can only be stored for some weeks, under conditions of high relative moisture and temperatures ramging between 0 and 1ºC.
Distribution
The environmental conditions recommended for storage are the suitable to maintain the quality during transport and distribution.
Postharvest Problems
The post-harvest life of this species is altered by sprouting, damages caused by freezing, bruises, and diseases. Compositional changes in the case of starch and sugars are also frequent, diminishing during the storage.

During storage, turnips sprout. This phenomenon is controlled by means of the application of maleic hydrazide.

When the temperature is below -1ºC the product is subject to damages caused by freezing. Small holes, wrinkling and rotting appear in the surface.

Bruises are very frequent in this species, due to damages in post-harvest.

The most common diseases caused by fungi in this species are: Grey mould, caused by Botritis cinerea; Rot caused by Rhizoctonia, caused by R. solani; Soft wet rot, caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum; Antracnosis, caused by Colletotrichum higginsianum and, finally, Rot by Alternaria, caused by A. herculina.

The most important bacterial diseases occurring turnips are Black rot, caused by Xanthomonas campestris; and Soft rot due to Erwinia spp.
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