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Pineapple translucency and chilling injury in new low-acid hybrids

Paull, R. E., Chen, N. J.
Acta horticulturae 2015 no.1088 pp. 61-66
Ananas comosus, acidity, ascorbic acid, calcium, canning, chilling injury, cold treatment, crop production, cultivars, enzymes, flowering, fruit quality, gene expression regulation, genetically modified organisms, hybrids, irrigation, markets, microbial growth, nutrition, peduncle, pineapples, postharvest treatment, raw fruit, storage quality, temperature, Europe, Japan, United States
The new low acid pineapple (Ananas comunus L.) hybrids developed for the fresh fruit market have become the preferred types and have expanded rapidly to supply the fresh fruit markets of the USA, Japan and Europe. The newer low acid hybrid cultivars present new challengers in pineapple production to and maintenance fruit quality. The challenges include natural flowering, which can significantly increase harvest costs and production losses, flesh translucency and too low acid levels, and recurrence of chilling injury. In this presentation, we will focus on the postharvest quality issue: translucency that is tied to both preharvest production practices and postharvest handling. Translucency is correlated with susceptibility to mechanical injury and nonpathogenic fungal growth on the broken peduncle both are of concern with marketers and consumers. Fruit translucency or water soaked appearance of the flesh is possible due to calcium nutrition, photosynthetate competition between the crown and the fruit during the initial period of crown growth, and fruit temperature. Postharvest chilling injury is still a problem especially as the decline in acidity at harvest seems to parallel a loss of ascorbic acid that can reduce the browning that following exposure to chilling temperatures. Transgenic lines have been developed that though they do not stop chilling injury, they have down-regulated flesh browning enzymes. Cultivar and field management, such as fertilization and irrigation, developed for canning may not be the most appropriate for the production of low acid hybrids.