This research project addresses the following research priorities as outlined in the 2009 CAC RFP:
- Improving the quality of avocado fruit at retail and the identification of points in the handling and distribution chain where a loss of quality and profits may be occurring.
- Define those fruit quality criteria or consumer perceptions of quality that may provide competitive advantage to California growers. Benchmark fruit quality against local harvest season timing, harvest conditions, imported fruit quality in the market in the same season, and/or environmental impacts of industry production practices on carbon and or pesticide footprints.
The project was scaled back from the original proposed objectives due to a reduction in funding from the requested amount. In light of this the research emphasis for this year was made following consultation with G. Witney. The aim of this the project for the current funding year is to study the influence of fruit maturity and handling following fruit harvest on the concentration of various phytonutrients of ‘Hass’ avocado.
This project will help to maintain and enhance the California avocado industry by continuing our research efforts to examine the impact of temperature and ethylene on the ripening quality of ‘Hass’ avocado and the susceptibility of avocados to mechanical injury following harvest. The final objective is to continue our adaptation of 2 postharvest manuals developed in New Zealand for the California industry for use in standardization of terminology and measurement of fruit quality at the packinghouse, wholesale and retail levels.