University of California

Fruit English

Tamarillo

Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality

tamarillo

Adel A. Kader
Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis

Maturity & Quality

Maturity Indices

Tamarillos reach horticultural (commercial) maturity at 21-24 weeks after anthesis, depending on cultivar and production area. Attainment of full red or yellow color (that is characteristic of the cultivar) is the primary maturity index. A minimum soluble solids content of 10% may also be used.

Quality Indices

  • Tamarillos must be harvested as close to full-ripeness as possible to assure good flavor for the consumer
  • The average content of total sugars (sucrose + glucose + fructose) is 6% and of total acids (mainly citric acid) is 1.8% (fresh weight) in a ripe tamarillo fruit, which explains its acidic (sour) taste
  • Size, shape and color uniformity, freedom from defects and decay

Maturity & Quality Photos

tamarillo_quality1

Title: Quality (1)

Photo Credit: Adel Kader, UC Davis 

tamarillo_quality2

Title: Quality (2)

Photo Credit: Adel Kader, UC Davis

Temperature & Controlled Atmosphere

Optimum Temperature

3-4°C (37-39°F)
Storage potential = 6-10 weeks.

Optimum Relative Humidity

90-95%

Rates of Respiration

10-12ml CO2/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F); non-climacteric respiratory pattern.
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

Less than 0.1 µl/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F).

Responses to Ethylene

Ethylene treatment hastens senescence and stimulates respiration rate but does not improve eating quality of tamarillo fruits.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

No published information.

Disorders

Physiological and Physical Disorders

Chilling Injury. Symptoms include brown discoloration, surface pitting, and increased susceptibility to decay. The minimum safe temperature is 3-4°C (37-39°F), depending on cultivar and storage duration.

Pathological Disorders

  • Bitter rot, caused by Glomerella cingulata (Stonem.), is the main postharvest disease of tamarillos
  • An effective preharvest integrated pest management program greatly reduces postharvest decay problems
  • A hot water dip at 50ºC (122ºF) for 8 minutes effectively controls quiescent infections by Colletotrichum spp

Date

November 2000

Use of Materials

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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. 

http://ucanr.edu/sites/Postharvest_Technology_Center_/Commodity_Resources/Fact_Sheets/Datastores/Vegetables_English/?uid=19&ds=799 (Accessed January 18, 2014).

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