Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title: ||Optimising the Postharvest Management Of Lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) - A Study of Mechanical Injury and Desiccation|
|Authors: ||Bryant, Philippa|
|Keywords: ||Lychee;Litchi;Mechanical;Injury;Damage;Desiccation;Moisture Loss;Water Relations|
|Issue Date: ||2004|
|Publisher: ||University of Sydney. Crop Science|
|Abstract: ||The major objective of the research was to improve lychee postharvest management, through a greater understanding of mechanical injury and moisture loss. Mechanical injury is a known cause of postharvest loss in lychee, but previously published information has been limited to broad observations. In this study, the symptoms of mechanical damage in lychee were defined, including quantitative measurement of colour changes. Impact injury caused protuberance tip darkening, cracking of the pericarp and significant changes in skin colour. Compression also typically caused tip darkening, and severe loads were capable of puncture, shape distortion and skin cracking. Abrasion and vibration injuries were characterised by strong yellowing of pericarp colour, possibly due to the leakage of cell contents onto the fruit surface. Vibration also caused significant darkening and loss of colour saturation. Vibration has not previously been mentioned as an issue in lychee postharvest management, but appeared to be as important a problem as desiccation browning at the wholesale level, both in incidence and severity. Mechanically damaged fruit consistently showed increased ethylene and carbon dioxide synthesis, and moisture loss was increased by up to 30%. Some significant changes in skin biochemistry and cuticle properties were also detected. The study of damaged tissue by SEM revealed distinctive patterns of surface tissue disruption. Open pericarp cracking was a particularly detrimental injury, causing significantly increased electrolyte leakage and rapid pathogen development. The effects of load characteristics, such as magnitude, method of application, site, repetition and cushioning, on the extent of damage were defined. Fruit characteristics such as cultivar, gross morphology, temperature, hydration and surface wetness were shown to significantly affect damage levels. Small seed size was correlated with increased cracking susceptibility. Fruit surface wetness exacerbated vibration or abrasion damage. Turgid fruit were less susceptible to vibration and abrasion damage, but showed increased susceptibility to impact cracking. Previously neglected aspects of desiccation browning research were studied, including cultivar and maturity effects, sites of moisture loss and the role of air currents. Cultivar effects on moisture loss were obscured by pre-harvest factors, but consistent cultivar differences were detected in desiccation browning, possibly related to skin thickness. In contrast, maturity levels over a marketable range had little effect on weight loss or browning. Moisture was lost fairly evenly over the fruit surface, but poor postharvest handling appeared to massively increase loss from the protuberance tips. Moisture loss was shown to substantially increase ethylene synthesis. The crucial role of air currents in exacerbating lychee moisture loss was emphasised, and the relationship between air speed and weight loss was defined. The research contributed to a greater understanding of the processes of mechanical damage and moisture loss in lychee, leading to improved protocols for the postharvest management of the fruit. Improved management of mechanical damage and moisture loss will ultimately improve fruit quality and reduce postharvest losses, hence increasing returns to industry.|
|Rights and Permissions: ||Copyright Bryant, Philippa;http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/copyright.html|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
This work is protected by Copyright. All rights reserved. Access to this work is provided for the purposes of personal research and study. Except where permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, this work must not be copied or communicated to others without the express permission of the copyright owner. Use the persistent URI in this record to enable others to access this work.
Items in Sydney eScholarship Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.