Cactus pear is a food of nutraceutical and functional importance worldwide. Improvements in cactus pear shelf life will allow international 1-month refrigerated shipments for supplying good-quality fruit to the European markets. The perishable fruit is chilling sensitive and hot water treatments by immersion, increased shelf life to 1 month. Harvest tools are important to avoid fruit damage to the stem end, which leads to pathogens attack and fruit decay. A light wire-cutting tool detached 300 fruits h−1 without leaving the worker with pain. A hot cauterizer (HC) performed better than a cold cauterizer (CC) extending fruit shelf life to 2 months; 85% of the HC-processed fruits were marketable after 2-month storage at ambient temperature. After removal of the prickle pear peduncle, the pulp contacts a hot flat metal surface at 200°C. A pressure of 100 kPa during 30 s assures proper heat transfer and surface healing. An automated HC process-line cauterizes 250 kg h−1.
Part of the book: Postharvest Handling
Mexico is the main exporter of mango fruits and prickly pears, so new postharvest techniques to increase shelf life are studied. Thermal treatments on both fruits can affect their cuticle so it was reviewed. When mango latex remains within the fruits, it avoids sap burn and decreases anthracnose and stem end rot infestation, so two systems were developed to minimize latex de-sapping. A gripper cuts stems 0.5 cm long and cauterizes them with a hot knife implement. A heating gun applied paraffin wax to mangoes without the stem end and protected them better against anthracnose lesions. Physicochemical analysis of several mango varieties was carried out after harvesting, at market place and after pedicel cutting and cauterizing. Keitt mangoes showed the lower quantity of total soluble solids (TSSs) and total acidity (TA). When the pedicel was cauterized, TSS dropped. Two grippers were developed to cryo-cauterize prickly pears as this system is more energy-efficient than hot cauterization. A six-finger gripper moved over a pneumatic actuator toward a dry ice chamber to optimize pear cryo-cauterization. Gripper’s strong grasping damaged the fruits due to excessive compression. TSS and TA of cryo-cauterized fruit remained constant during the three months of fruit storage.
Part of the book: Postharvest Technology