Pg. 29-35 Semi-commercial Evaluation of the ‘Acid-B’ Litchi Postharvest Treatment and Laboratory Evaluation of Alternative ‘Acid-B’ Cocktails

The promising results attained with the “Acid B” treatment during the 2000-2001 season, warranted further semi-commercial air and sea-freight trials. Before the first sea freight trial was attempted, a number of refining experiments were conducted. “Acid B” treated fruit were dried directly or left for a period of 30 minutes before being dried. Additionally, the fruit were packed in an absolutely dry or “slightly damp” state. When packed absolutely dry, the fruit developed brown patches. There was a slight improvement when the fruit stood for 30 minutes before being dried. Best quality was obtained when the fruit was dried to a “slightly damp” stage and packed directly after treatment. During the semi-commercial export trial, ‘HLH Mauritius’ fruit that were treated according to the latter protocol were exported to Canada. The fruit arrived in a good condition with slight browning, mainly around the stems, while the skin was also found to be slightly brittle. Taking in consideration that the export trial was not conducted under optimum conditions, the results obtained were satisfactory. The export company subsequently ordered a container of similarly treated fruit for the coming season. It is doubtful whether this treatment is appropriate for air freight fruit due to the low humidity associated with ambient conditions. In addition to the above, a number of trials were conducted with “Acid B” cocktails. Certain of these showed considerable potential for further improvement of the procedure. A supposedly effective method recently developed in China, is also to be evaluated.

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