Post harvest preservation of red strawberry-guavas as affected by maturity stage and storage temperature.
A study was carried out to study the effects of fruit maturity and storage temperature on the physiology of red strawberry-guavas (Psidium cattleianum). Fruits were harvested at green maturity (≤20% of epidermal surface with red colour) and ripe (≥50% of epidermal surface with red colour) stages, stored at 0, 5,10,20, and 30°C (85-90% RH), then evaluated for respiration rates and skin colour alterations (L=lightness; and h°=hue angle). There was a substantial increase in the respiration rate with the increase of storage temperature from 0 to 30°C, with a Q10≡2.7. Fruits harvested at green maturity stage showed, in comparison to fruits harvested at mature stage, decreased quality, characterized by lower soluble solids content and higher titratable acidity, but better firmness and green colour retention (lower changes from green to red colour), specially for fruits stored at 0°C, and lower incidence of decay. The red strawberry-guavas had high respiratory rates and accelerated ripening process at room temperatures (20°C). The study recommended fruit harvesting at mature stage and its immediate storage at temperatures close to 0°C for best postharvest conservation.