Cherimoya (Atemoya & Sweetsop)
Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality
Adel A. Kader1 and Mary Lu Arpaia2
1Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis
2Dept. of Botany and Plant Sciences, Univ. of California, Riverside
Maturity & Quality
Change in skin color from dark-green to light-green or greenish-yellow is the primary maturity index for cherimoya (Annona cherimola), atemoya (Annona cherimoya X A. squamosa), sweetsop (Annona squamosa), and custard apple (Annona reticulata). Other indicators include appearance of cream color between segments on the skin and increased surface smoothness of the separate fruit carpels.
Maturity & Quality Photos
Temperature & Controlled Atmosphere
Optimum Temperature8-12°C (46-54°F) depending on cultivar, ripeness stage, and duration.
Optimum Relative Humidity
Rates of Respiration
To calculate heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get Btu/ton/day or by 122 to get kcal/metric ton/day.
Rates of Ethylene Production
Annona fruits are climacteric fruits. High levels of ethylene (up to 100-300 µl /kg·hr, depending on cultivar) are produced during ripening at 20°C (68°F).
Responses to Ethylene
Exposure to ethylene (100ppm for 1-2 days) accelerates ripening of mature-green cherimoya and other annona fruits; they can ripen in about 5 days if kept at 15°C (59°F) to 20°C (68°F).
Ethylene removal can be helpful in retarding ripening of mature-green fruits.
Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)
Physiological and Physical DisordersChilling injury. Exposure of annona fruits to temperatures below 8-12°C (46-54°F), depending on cultivar and ripeness stage, results in chilling injury. Symptoms include darkening and hardening of skin, pitting, failure to develop full flavor, and mealy flesh.
Splitting. In some cultivars fruit splitting occurs with advanced ripening stages and increased ethylene production rates. It has been suggested that turgor changes related to production of neutral sugars during ripening lead to movement of water from the skin and possibly receptacle to the flesh. The increase in receptacle diameter increased the stress on the flesh and skin leading to fruit splitting.
Anthracnose. Caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and appears as dark lesions and may produce pink spore-masses under high humidity conditions.
Black Canker. Caused by Phomopsis anonacearum and appears as purple spots on the fruit, which become hard and cracked followed by development of small black bodies containing spores.
Botryodiplodia rot. Caused by Botryodiplodia theobromae and appears first purple, later pimpled with black pycnidia. The flesh becomes brown and corky.
Control measures include good orchard sanitation to minimize sources of fungal spores, preharvest application of fungicides, careful handling to reduce physical damage, prompt cooling to 10°C (50°F), and subsequent maintenance of optimum temperature and relative humidity during marketing.
Use of Materials
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How to Cite
Author(s) names. Initial publication or update date (located at the top). Title. Link to the specific Produce Fact Sheet webpage (Accessed date)
Example: Cantwell, M. and T. Suslow. 2002. Lettuce, Crisphead: Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality.