Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality
Adel A. Kader
Maturity & Quality
Fruit color changes from green to yellow which is accompanied by an increase in soluble solids including sugars (sweetness). Carambolas should be picked when fully yellow to assure good eating quality. However, color break (1/2 to 3/4 of fruit is yellow) is used as the commercial maturity index because these fruits are firmer and easier to handle.
Maturity & Quality Photos
Temperature & Controlled AtmosphereOptimum Temperature
5-10°C (41-50°F), depending on cultivar and production area.
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 1.0 µl/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)
Green color of carambolas continues to disappear during storage at 15°C (59°F) or 20°C (68°F) and some improvement in flavor due to loss of acidity may be noted. These changes can be slightly accelerated with exposure to ethylene (100 ppm for 24 hours), but such treatment may increase decay incidence and severity.
Florida carambolas can be kept in air at 5°C (41°F) for 4 to 6 weeks provided that water loss is minimized (by high relative humidity and/or packaging film barriers).There are no published data on their response to atmospheric modification.
DisordersPhysiological and Physical Disorders
Chilling injury. Symptoms include surface pitting [pits are either small (
Physical Injury. Rib-edge browning and stem-end browning can result from surface abrasions and other types of bruising. The browning intensity increases with water loss from the fruits. Handling carambolas with care to minimize bruising is essential to reducing postharvest losses.
Shriveling. Symptoms become visible when the carambolas lose about 5% or greater of their weight due to water stress.
Heat damage. Skin browning and flesh softening may occur when carambolas are exposed to heat treatments [such as 46°C (115°F) for 35 to 55 minutes] for insect control to satisfy quarantine requirements. Better alternatives may be cold treatment and/or irradiation.
Postharvest diseases of carambolas may be caused by Altenraria alternata (especially on chilled fruits), Cladosporium cladosporioides, or Botryodiplodia theobromae. These usually occur at physically-damaged sites on the fruits during prolonged storage. Minimizing physical damage throughout the harvesting and postharvest handling operations and prompt cooling to 5°C (41°F) can greatly reduce incidence and severity of postharvest diseases on carambolas.
Use of Materials
The UC Postharvest Technology Center grants users permission to download textual pages (including PDF files) from this World Wide Web site for personal use or to reproduce them for educational purposes, but credit lines and copyright notices within the pages must not be removed or modified.
Except for these specified uses, no part of the textual materials available on the UC Postharvest Technology Center Web site may be copied, downloaded, stored in a retrieval system, further transmitted or otherwise reproduced, stored, disseminated, transferred or used, in any form or by any means, except as permitted herein or with the University of California's prior written agreement. Request permission from UC Postharvest Technology Center. Distribution for commercial purposes is prohibited.
Links to any of these UC Postharvest Technology Center pages are permitted, but no endorsement of the linking site or products mentioned in the linking page is intended or implied by such a link.
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.