Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Accepted Article.
Splitting is a problem that seriously affects appearance and marketability in a number of fruit and vegetables. In summer radish (Raphanus sativus L.), splitting can occur during growth, harvesting and post‐harvest. We investigated the factors affecting splitting susceptibility in summer radish cv. Celesta during post‐harvest handling.
Splitting susceptibility was negatively related to temperature, with higher temperature reducing splitting due to dropping impact. Radish diameter was positively associated with compression failure force, suggesting that larger radishes are more resistant to compressive splitting. An increase in radish hypocotyl water content (WC) was associated with an increase in splitting susceptibility due to impact and decrease in failure force for both compression and puncture forces. Increased hypocotyl WC may increase splitting susceptibility by increasing the water potential of the radish tissue. In agreement, we found that increased hypocotyl WC was associated with higher internal water potential in radish tissue.
We therefore recommend that the hypocotyl water content of summer radish crops be managed during the harvest and post‐harvest phases, and that crops are processed at higher, ambient, temperature in order to reduce splitting, before storing at low temperature and high humidity to maintain quality and shelf life.
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