Fruits Vegetables
es en ca
Raspberry, Rubus idaeus / Rosaceae
Postharvest Atmosphere Management
The quality factors in raspberries are the appearance (colour, type, absence of defects), firmness, taste, smell and nutritional value (vitamin C and A).
The optimal level of moisture oscillates between 90 and 95%. The index of maturation is based on the colour of the surface of the berry.

Raspberries have no response to ethylene in terms of acceleration of the maturation processes. The elimination of ethylene in storage may reduce the development of diseases.

The use of modified atmosphere in packing and loading at 15-20% of carbon dioxide and 5-10% of oxygen reduces the development of the fungus Botrytis cinerea (Grey rot) and other degenerative organisms, and reduces the rate of respiration and softening of the raspberries, thus prolonging the post-harvest life. However, the use of controlled atmosphere is not frequent in raspberries.

The growth of fungi in raspberries takes place a few hours after their harvesting, reason why this fruit is considered highly perishable. Thus, in order to avoid these alterations, it is recommended that once at home, they are kept in the fridge, where they may last for 2-3 days. They can also be frozen to increase preservation.
The same conditions required in storage are demanded in distribution and transport: temperature between 0-0.5ºC and optimal relative moisture between 90-95%.
Postharvest Problems
Raspberries are prone to loose water, and consequently to loose brightness. If they are kept at optimum levels of relative moisture of 90-95% the rate in the loss of water diminishes.

The loss of liquid may also take place in fruit which has undergone physical damages.

The exposure of raspberries to levels of oxygen below 2% and dioxide over 25% may cause the loss of taste and brown colour depending on the cultivar, the time of exposure and the temperature.

Chilling injuries in raspberries cause a paler appearance of the fruit, a gummous texture, and greater susceptibility to rot.

The damages caused by pathogens represent the main reason of losses in this fruit. Among the most important pathogens are the Rot by Botrytis caused by a very common pathogen, Botrytis cinerea. This fungus grows at temperatures of 0ºC but the development is slow at these temperatures. Another common disease caused by fungi is Rhizopus rot. This is caused by the fungus Rhizopus stolonifer. The spores of this fungus usually appear in the air. This fungus does not grow at temperatures below 5ºC. Rhizopus produces a whitish mycellium with some " spots’, smaller than a needle head, the fructification of the fungus.
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