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Abstract

Chili plums (Spondias purpurea L.) harvested and classified as immature (MI), mature green (M2) and slightly turning or breaker (M3) were stored at 4-5°C, 9-1O°C,20-21°C and 30-31°C and evaluated for changes in total soluble solids (TSS), total titratable acidity (TTA), pH, sugar-acid-ratio 􀀀(􀀀T􀀀S􀀀S􀀀m􀀀~􀀀A ratio), total sugars, reducing sugars, vitamin C, marketable fruits and decay over 15 days. Sensory evaluation was also done on stored samples. In addition fruits stored for 15 days at 4-5°C and 9-10°C were transferred to 20-21°C for 1 day to assess the development of chilling injury symptoms. Decay due to a fmit rot fungi of the Phoma spp terminated the shelf-life of fruit at all three stages of maturity after 8 days at 20-21°C. However, at 30-31 °C shelf-life was only six days. M2 and M3 fruit at 20-21°C and 30-31°C had lower TTA and higher 1'SS, pH, vitamin C, sugar-acidratios and total and reducing sugar contents compared to fruit stored at4-5°C and 9-lOoC. Pitting and shrivelling among Ml fruit rated as moderate and slight after 1 day at 4-5°C and 9-lOoC respectively, accelerated to very severe after 7 days. M2 fruit at 4-5°C which appeared marketable during continuous storage for t 5 days showed visible symptoms of severe chilling injury upon transfer to the warmer temperature while similar fruit stored at 9-lOoC did not. M3 fruit at 4-5°C showed no chilling symptoms but were unmarketable after t I days due to rapid softening. It was concluded that chili plums harvested at the M2 stage of maturity maintained the best quality when stored at 9-10°C in view of the absence of decay, severe chilling injury and shrivelling as well as the highly acceptable sensory evaluation scores after 15 days of storage.

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