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