Pineapples

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Infobox on Pineapples
Example of Pineapples
Pineapples.jpg
Freshness facts
Optimum carrying temperature 10°C to 12°C (mature green)
7°C to 10°C (turning)
7°C (ripe)
Highest freezing point -1,1°C
Acceptable product temp. at loading into containers Max. 2°C above carrying temperature
Optimum humidity 90%
Ventilation setting for containers 25 m³/hr
Storage life 3-4 weeks (mature green/turning)
Climacteric / non-climacteric Non-climacteric
Ethylene production Low
Ethylene sensitivity Low
Modified / controlled atmosphere 5%-10% CO2; 2%-5% O2
Potential benefits Increased CO; slight to moderate
Reduced O2; slight
Availability
On demand

Harvesting and handling

Pineapples are graded by degree of skin coloration, size (weight), absence of defects and disease, and uniformity of these characteristics before packing. Other characteristics include maturity, firmness, nice shape, flat eyes, well-cured broken stem (peduncle), and a minimum SSC of 12%. Crown size is a crucial grade component, with a minimum size, and ratio of crown:fruit length (0.33 to 1.5) for higher grades.

Pineapple fruit must have a desirable size and shape, with flat ‘eyes’ (individual fruitlets) and crown leaves that look fresh and are deep-green. High shell colour is not always a good measure of sweetness. Negative characteristics include: dry, brown crown leaves; dull, yellow skin appearance; presence of mould on the surface or cut stem; and fruit having an unfirm feel.

Maturity indices are change of shell color from green to yellow at the base of the fruit. Pineapples are non-climacteric fruits and should be harvested when ready to eat. A minimum soluble solids content of 12% and a maximum acidity of 1% will assure minimum flavor acceptability by most consumers.

Cooling and storage

Temperatures of 7 to 12 °C are recommended for storage of pineapples for 3-4 weeks, provided fruit are at the color break stage. A RH of 85 to 95% is recommended; a high RH significantly reduces water loss.

Exposure of pineapples to temperatures below 7°C results in chilling injury. Ripe fruits are less susceptible than unripe or partially-ripe fruits. Symptoms include dull green colour when ripened (failure to ripen properly), water-soaked flesh, darkening of the core tissue, increased susceptibility to decay, and wilting and discoloration of crown leaves.

Mixed loads

Pineapples readily absorb off-odours from avocados and green peppers. They are neither sensitive to ethylene nor great producers of ethylene. Pineapples can be shipped with citrus fruit provided the shipping temperature is suitable for both products.

Cautions

O2 below 2% can cause off-flavours. CO2 above 10% can also cause off-flavours. Less mature fruit are more susceptible to chilling injury and should not be kept below 10°C while ripe fruit may be held as low as 7°C.

Storage disorders

Aspergillus rot, Bacterial soft rot, Black rot, Botryodiplodia rot, Core rot, Chilling injury, Internal browning, Rhizopus rot, Yeasty rot.