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Quality in citrus fruit: to degreen or not degreen

Poole, Nigel D., Gray, Kate
British food journal 2002 v.104 no.7 pp. 492-505
Citrus, citrus fruits, color, consumer satisfaction, degreening, economic impact, fruit quality, marketing, shelf life
The degreening process for citrus accelerates natural colour break which changes fruit from an "unripe" green colour to the characteristically ripe orange/yellow colour. Degreening is used by producers both to extend the citrus season to make short-term financial gains and to make fruit more attractive to consumers. This study reviews how, in an attempt to improve fruit appearance, other quality attributes may be sacrificed. The process is known to be detrimental to external fruit quality and is also suspected to be detrimental to consumption quality and shelf life. In the context of a dynamic and competitive fruit market, any reduction in product quality and consequent loss consumer satisfaction inevitably will have a negative economic impact on producers and traders. Further technical and marketing research is necessary, but among the conclusions drawn is that there is sufficient evidence already to be cautious about the widespread use of degreening.