Vol 120 (2007): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society
Handling & Processing

Changes in the postharvest quality of datil hot peppers as affected by storage temperature

Elena E. Lon Kan
University of Florida
Published December 1, 2007
  • Capsicum chinense,
  • chilling injury,
  • hydroponic vegetable culture


Two datil hot pepper selections (Capsicum chinense), named 'Wanda' and 'Super Datil Pepper', were grown hydroponically in a greenhouse. On day of harvest ripe (yellow) peppers were packed in vented clamshells and stored for 14 days at 5, 10, or 20 C then transferred to 20 C for 4 days. General appearance, moisture content, weight loss, respiration rate, soluble solids content (SSC), acidity (TTA), pH and carotenoids (HPLC) were evaluated. Respiration rates for 'Wanda' at 5, 10, and 20 C were at 22, 29, and 71 mg CO2 kg-1 per hour, respectively; and for 'Super Datil Pepper' at 5, 10, and 20 C were 33, 37, and 99 mg CO2 kg-1 per hour, respectively. Respective weight loss for 'Wanda' and 'Super Datil Pepper' between 4 and 14 days + 4 days, ranged from 1.6% to 15.1%, and 0.9% to 7.8% at 5 C; 2.9% to 18.0%, and 1.4% to 8.5% at 10 C; 10.9% to 40.1%, and 5.7% to 20.1% at 20 C. Carotenoid content was higher for 'Wanda' after 14 days at each storage temperature + 4 days at 20 C. Lutein content for 'Wanda' and 'Super Datil Pepper', respectively, stored at 5 C was 68.7 and 52.4 g g-1; at 10 C, 94.5 and 49.7 g g-1; and at 20 C , 100.6 and 48.1 g g-1. Beta-carotene content for these respective types at 5 C was 31.5 and 6.4 g g-1; at 10 C, 43.9 and 6.7 g g-1; and at 20 C, 15.6 and 6.5 g g-1. There were no typical chilling injury symptoms in either pepper selection after 14 days storage at 5 C. Some 'Wanda' peppers stored at 10 C had signs of shriveling by 12 days; both types stored constantly at 20 C were unmarketable by 11 days due to shriveling and decay. Compared to other pepper types, 'Wanda' and 'Super Datil Pepper' were not sensitive to visible chilling injury symptoms for up to 14 d at 5 C, which could allow them to be commercially shipped with high quality.