December 1, 2007
- fi rmness,
Loss of water from harvested fruits and vegetables is a major cause of postharvest deterioration. Loss of substantial amounts of water may result in important quality and economic losses, and even when weight losses are subtle, the visual, compositional and eating quality of the produce may be impaired. Fourteen freshly harvested fruits and vegetables were stored at 20 C and 85% to 95% relative humidity (RH), and weight loss and visual quality attributes (firmness, wilting, shriveling or browning) were evaluated every day or every other day until each individual fruit or vegetable was considered unacceptable for sale. A highly significant correlation was found between weight loss and visual quality attributes for each fruit and vegetable evaluated. As weight loss increased during storage, firmness decreased, and wilting, shriveling or browning increased. A maximum acceptable weight loss before each selected fruit and vegetable became unacceptable for sale is suggested.