Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality
Maturity & Quality
Green olives. Size and color (even, pale green with a minimum of whitish spots (lenticels) through a straw color. An olive is considered mature if it exudes a characteristic white juice when squeezed.
Green olives. Color; freedom from mechanical damage, shrivelling, surface blemishes, scale and other insect injury, and decay. These olives are processed according to the California black-ripe style or Spanish green style canned olives.
Maturity & Quality Photos
Temperature & Controlled Atmosphere
5-7.5°C (41-45.5°F); temperatures below 5°C (41°F) cause chilling injury of fresh olives.
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.
Less than 0.1 (green olives) or 0.5 (black olives) µl ethylene/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F).
Olives produce very little ethylene but are moderately sensitive to ethylene action above 1 ppm (loss of green color and flesh firmness).
Note: The above information is for fresh green olives; fresh black olives should be processed as soon after harvest as possible.
Temperature & Controlled Atmosphere Photos
Physiological and Physical Disorders
Nailhead. This disorder is characterized by surface pitting and spotting. It results from the death and collapse of epidermal cells, which create air pockets underneath the fruit skin. Symptoms are observed on olives kept at 10°C (50°F) for 6 weeks or longer or 7.5°C (45.5°F) for 12 weeks or longer.
Carbon dioxide injury. Symptoms (internal browning and increased decay incidence and severity) result from exposure to more than 5% CO2 for longer than 4 weeks.
Postharvest diseases occur if the olives have been chilled (exposed to temperatures below 5°C=41°F), mechanically damaged, not cooled promptly to the optimum temperature range of 5 to 7.5°C (41 to 45.5°F), or exposed to undesirable atmospheres (above 5% CO2 and/or below 2% O2).
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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.