Pg. 21-25 Refinement of the sulphur-free litchi export protocol under laboratory and semi-commercial conditions

This project is being conducted to commercialise a preservative-free export protocol for South African litchis. During the 2003/04 season two trials were conducted under commercial conditions, one each with HLH Mauritius and McLean’s Red fruit. It was shown that it is possible and practical to pack preservative-free litchis, but the fruit is more vulnerable to breaks in the cold chain than sulphur fumigated fruit. Information generated earlier in the season with regards to fruit maturity and the use of 1-MCP was taken into account and a third laboratory based trial was conducted which incorporated 1-MCP. This brought about a significant improvement in fruit colour. We feel confident that a small export trial is now feasible, but this should be done under closely controlled conditions by researchers.

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