Pg. 34-36 Preliminary observations of preharvest micro-cracking development in the pericarp of litchi cv. Mauritius

Micro-cracking is a serious concern for litchi growers since it affects the postharvest quality of the fruit. In order to understand the processes that lead to micro-cracking, a preharvest study was initiated to observe cuticle development. This preliminary report describes the initial observations made with Mauritius cultivar. Fruit development was studied at two-weekly intervals from fruit set till commercial maturity. Micro-cracking was observed 20 days after initial fruit set. Cuticle accumulated on the pericarp surface during fruit development. In Mauritius cv., cuticle accumulated over the entire surface of the epidermal layer from an early stage of fruit development. The cuticle lines were parallel to each other in the early stages, and became more wrinkled, compact and protruded as the fruit matured. This study will be extended to include other important litchi cultivar fruit.

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