Fruits Vegetables
es en ca
Cherimoya, Annona cherimola / Annonaceae
Postharvest Atmosphere Management
The main problem for tropical fruit is that, once harvested, it matures very quick. Along with the storage techniques for this kind of fruit, it is also very important to take into account the degree of maturation at the time of harvesting.

Custard apples must be pre-cooled soon after their harvest, trying to reach at least 10-15ºC. The higher the temperatures are at the time of harvesting, the more necessary this process is.

The optimal conditions of storage depend on the variety, although they range from 8 to 12ºC with moisture levels between 90 and 95%. The controlled atmospheres help to delay the process of maturation and to control the development of diseases. The optimal conditions correspond to 3-5% of oxygen and 5-10% of carbon dioxide. Under these conditions custard apples may last up to one month. Nevertheless, this process is not used at commercial level.

It is important to remove the ethylene of the storage rooms, since it accelerates the fruit maturation.
Custard apples are distributed by air, given their fragility and their fast maturation. They must be perfectly protected to avoid skin damages. They must not be distributed at extremely low temperatures, otherwise their process of maturation would be interrupted.
Postharvest Problems
Among the problems that custard apples may undergo during their storage we find some alterations like chilling injuries and cracking, and diseases such as Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Phomopsis anonacearum and Botryodiplodia theobromae.

Chilling injuries: depending on the variety and the stage of maturation, if the fruit is subject to temperatures below 8-12ºC there occurs a blackening and hardening of the skin, bad taste development and flesh of mealy texture.

Craking: it occurs in some varieties at an advanced stage of maturation and it worsens if the concentration of ethylene is high.

Among the diseases we find the following:

Colletotrichum gloeosporioides: this fungus, in humid conditions, gives birth to dark injuries and pink areas.

Phomopsis anonacearum is a fungus that causes purple spots in the fruit, which harden and break after some time.

Botryodiplodia theobromae brings along some purple grains on the skin. The meat turns into a brown colour, with rough texture.
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