University of California

Fruit English

Apricot

Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality

Apricot, Damasco (Albaricoque, Chabacano), Abricot

Carlos H. Crisosto, Elizabeth J. Mitcham, and Adel A. Kader

Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis

Maturity & Quality

Maturity Indices

In California, harvest date is determined by skin ground color changes from green to yellow. The exact yellowish-green color depends on the cultivar. Apricots should be picked when still firm because of their high bruising susceptibility when soft. Most apricot cultivars soften very fast making them very susceptible to bruising and subsequent decay.

Quality Indices
  • Fruit size, shape, and freedom from defects and decay.
  • High consumer acceptance is attained for fruit with high (>10%) soluble solids content (SSC) and moderate acidity (0.7-1.0%).
  • Apricots with 2-3 pounds-force flesh firmness are considered "ready to eat".
  • Apricot cultivars have a rapid rate of fruit softening (3 pounds-force per day at 20°C (68°F).

Maturity & Quality Photos

apricot_maturity_ripeness

Title: Maturity & Ripeness Stages

Photo Credit: Don Edwards, UC Davis

Temperature & Controlled Atmosphere

Optimum Temperature
-0.5 to 0°C (31-32°F) is recommended. Susceptibility of cultivars to freezing injury depends on SSC, which may vary from 10-14%. Highest freezing point = –1.0°C (30.5°F).

Optimum Relative Humidity

90 to 95%

Rates of Respiration
Temperature 0°C (32°F) 10°C (50°F) 20°C (68°F)
ml CO2/kg·hr 2-4 6-10 15-25

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

Ethylene production rates increase with ripening and storage temperature [

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure to ethylene hastens ripening (as indicated by softening and color changes from green to yellow). Also, ethylene may encourage growth of decay-causing fungi.

Responses to Controlled Atmosphere (CA)

The major benefits of CA during storage/shipment are to retain fruit firmness and ground color. CA conditions of 2-3% O2 + 2-3% CO2 are suggested for moderate benefits; extent of benefits depends on cultivar. Exposure to <1% O2 may result in development of off-flavors and > 5% CO2 can cause flesh browning and loss of flavor.

Disorders

Physiological and Physical Disorders

Gel Breakdown or Chilling Injury. This physiological problem is characterized in the earlier stages by the formation of water-soaked areas that subsequently turn brown. Breakdown of tissue is sometimes accompanied by sponginess and gel formation. Fruit stored between 2.2-7.6°C (36-46°F) have short market life and lose flavor. Market life is also related to cultivar.

Pathological Disorders

Brown Rot. Caused by Monilia fructicola is the most important postharvest disease of apricot. Infection begins during flowering. Fruit rots may occur before harvest, but often occur postharvest. Orchard sanitation to minimize infection sources, pre-harvest fungicide application and prompt cooling after harvest are among the control strategies.

Rhizopus Rot. Caused by Rhizopus stolonifer occurs frequently in ripe or near-ripe apricot fruits held at 20 to 25°C (68 to 77°F). Cooling the fruit and keeping them below 5°C (41°F) is very effective against this fungus.

[For more information, see our publication "Fruit Ripening and Ethylene Management", available for purchase using our Publication order form.]

Disorders Photos

apricot_brown_rot

Title: Brown Rot

Photo Credit: CDFA

apricot_enzymatic_soft

Title: Enzymatic Softening

Photo Credit: Don Edwards, UC Davis

apricot_mechanical_damage

Title: Mechanical Damage

Photo Credit: CDFA

apricot_pitburn771x450

Title: Pit Burn

Photo Credit: Don Edwards, UC Davis

apricot_shot_hole_fungus

Title: Shot Hole Fungus

Photo Credit: CDFA

Date

November 1998

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. 

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

college-of-ag-logo
plant-science-UCD-logo

Webmaster Email: postharvest@ucdavis.edu