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Abstract

Developing breadfruit reach maturity some 15-20 weeks after the female inflorescence is first detectable on the tree. The first half of this developmental period is characterised by size increase while the latter phase involves the laying down of starch reserves and increases in dry weight. The respiratory climacteric of harvested breadfruit parallels the softening of the fruit and peaks at 200 ml CO2 kg-I h- 1. Peak ethylene production is lower ( 1.5 μl C2H4 kg-I h- 1 ) than would be anticipated from such high respiratory rates, nonetheless, fruit are highly sensitive to ethylene. Attempts at Modified Atmosphere Storage using a wide range of coatings and plastic films have shown that breadfruit can be successfully stored at ambient for up to 3 weeks in polyethylene bags without ill effects. Such successful treatments were characterised by CO2 levels of about 10% (v/v) and 0 2 levels of 5-8 % (v/v) in the bags.

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