Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality
Maturity & Quality
Cucumbers are harvested at a range of developmental stages. Depending on cultivar and temperature, the time from flowering to harvest may be 55 to 60 days. Generally fruit are harvested at a slightly immature stage, near full size but before seeds fully enlarge and harden. Firmness and external glossiness are also indicators of a pre-maturity condition. At proper harvest maturity, a jellylike material has begun to form in the seed cavity.
Table or slicing cucumber quality is primarily based on uniform shape, firmness and a dark green skin color. Additional quality indices are size, freedom from growth or handling defects, freedom from decay, and an absence of yellowing.
Maturity & Quality Photos
Temperature & Controlled Atmosphere
Optimum Relative Humidity
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
0.1-1.0 µl/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)
Cucumbers are highly sensitive to exogenous ethylene. Accelerated yellowing and decay will result from low levels (1-5 ppm) of ethylene during distribution and short-term storage. Do not mix commodities such as bananas, melons and tomatoes with cucumber.
Controlled or modified atmosphere storage or shipping offer moderate to little benefit to cucumber quality maintenance. Low O2 levels (3-5%) delay yellowing and the onset of decay by a few days. Cucumber tolerates elevated CO2 up (CA) to 10% but storage life is not extended beyond the benefit of reduced levels of O2.
Temperature & Controlled Atmosphere Photos
Physiological and Physical Disorders
See Chilling Injury.
Freezing Injury. Freezing injury will be initiated at -0.5°C (31°F). Symptoms of freezing injury include a watersoaked pulp becoming brown and gelatinous in appearance over time.
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.