Fruits Vegetables
es en ca
Apricot, Prunus armeniaca / Rosaceae
Postharvest Atmosphere Management
The application of low temperatures after harvesting is not enough to preserve apricots in perfect condition. For that reason, this should be combined with modified atmosphere inside the packages, that would bring about better conservation and at the same time it would delay the harvesting, offering the consumer better organoleptic characteristics.

The increase of production in the last years has brought about a gap between supply and demand which has caused an increase of surpluses. These, in most cases, cannot be absorbed by the processing industry, due to the lack of competitiveness in the market and the little demand of apricot processed products. A possible way to solve this problem is to increase the export. However, the European Union is saturated, and moreover the apricot is highly perishable after its harvesting. For that reason, apricots tend to be collected before they are completely mature, not reaching the optimal organoleptic characteristics for consumption.

In general, to subject apricots at low temperatures, around 0ºC, immediately after harvesting, is an effective procedure, but not enough to keep quality in the marketing. For that reason, recent research has been carried out that demonstrates that the application of techniques related to chilling brings the stabilization of apricots in a maturity stage for longer time. The application of modified atmospheres in packages improves the conditions of conservation, and allows to collect the fruit later, dispatching it in better quality conditions. For these improvements to be fulfilled, packages must be kept under strict temperature control in all the marketing process, since the variation in temperature would bring about important variations in the atmosphere inside the package.

The exposure to ethylene also accelerates maturation, softening the apricots and changing their colour, from green to yellow. Nevertheless, ethylene may favour the growth of fungi, bringing about rotting.

Both techniques, the application of modified atmospheres and the exposure to ethylene are good solutions to enlarge the self life of apricots, but they are not applied at a commercial level because of the high cost.

The optimal temperature of conservation is –0.5 to 0ºC, with a relative humidity of 90 to 95%.
The fruit will be arranged in solid packing, uniform according to size, variety, degree of maturation, etc. The loading must be carefully carried out to avoid damages in the fruits.

During distribution, the packing must be solid and each bulk will contain fruit of uniform size, variety, degree of maturation, etc. During transport stability must be assured, in order to avoid shakings and prevent crushings, damages, contact between the fruit, favouring the development of fungi, etc. Besides, there must be a correct ventilation.
Postharvest Problems
The most frequent problems in apricots, like in peaches, are chilling injuries, with a subsequent jelly breakdown and fungi attacks.

In early stages, it is characterized by the formation of wet areas that soon turn into brown. The degradation of the tissues usually goes along with a spongy aspect and the formation of gel.

Apricots also suffer diseases among which the most important are:

- Brown rot: caused by Monilinia fructicola, considered the most important postharvest disease of apricots. The infection begins during the flowering and it develops in the postharvest.
- Rhizopus rot: caused by Rhizopus stolonifer. This fungus appears in mature or almost mature fruit at temperatures of 20 to 25ºC.
Interempresas Media, S.L. / 2023 [ Legal notice | Política de Protección de Datos | Política de cookies | Publicidad]