Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality
Maturity & Quality
Based on berry surface color. US: minimum 1/2 or 3/4 berry surface showing red or pink color, depending on grade. Calif.: minimum 2/3 berry surface showing red or pink color.
Maturity & Quality Photos
Temperature & Controlled Atmosphere
0 ± 0.5°C (32 ± 1°F)
90 to 95%
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.
2H4/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)
Strawberries do not respond to ethylene by stimulation of ripening processes (strawberries should be harvested near to full ripe). Removal of ethylene from storage air may reduce disease development.
Modified atmosphere packaging for shipment with 10 to 15% carbon dioxide reduces the growth of Botrytis cinerea (Grey Mold Rot) and reduces the respiration rate of the strawberries thereby extending postharvest life. Use of whole pallet covers for modified atmospheres is the most common method.
Temperature & Controlled Atmosphere Photos
Physiological and Physical Disorders
Figure 1. Cooling and deterioration. Strawberries should be cooled as soon as possible after harvest; delays beyond 1 hour reduce the percentage of marketable fruit.
[For more information, see our publication “Handling Strawberries for Fresh Market”, available for purchase using our Order Form.
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.