Persimmons

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Infobox on Persimmons
Example of Persimmons
Persimmons.jpg
Freshness facts
Optimum carrying temperature 0°C +/- 1°C
Highest freezing point -2°C
Acceptable product temp. at loading into containers Max. 2°C above carrying temperature
Optimum humidity 90%-95%
Ventilation setting for containers 25 m³/hr
Storage life 2-4 months
Climacteric / non-climacteric Climacteric
Ethylene production Low
Ethylene sensitivity Medium
Modified / controlled atmosphere 5%-8% CO2; 3%-5% O2
Potential benefits Low O2 delays ripening
Elevated CO2 helps retain firmness and can reduce chilling injury symptoms on 'Fuyu' and similar cultivars
Availability
Australia/New Zealand
South Africa
South America
Israel
February - August
On demand
January - May
November - February

Persimmons

Harvesting and handling

The persimmon (or kaki fruit) resembles a tomato, but is identifiable by its four large sepals. The colour of the skin and pulp can be yellow to reddish orange. It has a climacteric pattern of respiration, but ethylene production is low compared with that of other fruits. When persimmons are fully ripened, the pulp is glassy and of a very soft, almost liquid consistency. The taste is sweet. Most varieties are seed-free and, when unripe, contain a bitter compound, which is broken down during the ripening process. Therefore, these varieties are not edible until the fruit is soft and ripe.

There are varieties which contain no bitter compounds and these can be eaten while the fruit is still firm. Some other fruits are stored in a high carbon dioxide atmosphere for 24 hours to remove the bitter compounds before sales. Dark spots sometimes form in the flesh during this treatment. This does not affect the taste in any way, but only the appearance.

Packaging in (sealed) polyethylene bags can enhance storage and shelf life. The fruit should be free from growth cracks, mechanical injuries and decay.

Cooling and storage

The recommended temperature is generally 0ºC, whereby the fruit is given a storage period of 2-4 months. Storage life can be extended by packaging in sealed polythene bags.

Chilling injury is the main physiological disorder. The incidence and severity depend on temperature, cold temperature duration, and the cultivar. For example, 'Fuyu' is chilling sensitive while 'Hachiya' is not. Chilling injury can be a major cause of deterioration of 'Fuyu' persimmons during marketing. Symptom development is greatest at 5°C to 7°C and slowest at 0°C, which is the recommended storage and transport temperature for persimmons. 'Fuyu' fruit exhibit symptoms if held between 2°C and 15°C. Upon transfer to higher temperatures, symptom severity (flesh softening, browning, and water-soaked appearance) increases and renders fruit unmarketable.
Shrivelling due to moisture loss may become a problem during storage if the RH in the atmosphere is less than 85%.

Mixed loads

Persimmons should not be shipped with ethylene-generating commodities.

Cautions

O2 below 3% can cause off-flavours and failure to ripen. CO2 greater than 10% may cause brown discoloration and off-flavours.

Storage disorders

Alternaria rot, Calyx separation, Chilling injury.