Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality
Maturity & Quality
There are many visual and organoleptic properties that differentiate the diverse varieties of carrots for fresh market and minimal processing. In general, carrots should be:
Quality Defects include lack of firmness, non-uniform shape, roughness, poor color, splitting or cracking, green core, sunburn, and poor quality of tops or trimming.
Maturity & Quality Photos
Temperature & Controlled AtmosphereOptimum Temperature
Common storage conditions rarely achieve the optimum temperature for long- term storage to prevent decay, sprouting, and wilting. At storage temperatures of 3-5°C, mature carrots can be stored with minimal decay for 3-5 months.
High relative humidity is essential to prevent dessication and loss of crispness. Free moisture from the washing process or unevaporated condensation, common with plastic bin-liners (and due to fluctuating temperatures) will promote decay.
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.
>0.1 µl/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F)
Exposure to ethylene will induce the development of bitter flavor due to isocoumarin formation. Exposure to as little as 0.5ppm exogenous ethylene will result in perceptible bitter flavor, within 2 weeks, at normal storage conditions. Thus, carrots should not be mixed with ethylene-producing commodities.
Controlled atmosphere is of limited use for carrots and does not extend postharvest life of carrots beyond that in air. CO2 concentrations above 5% have been shown to increase spoilage. Low oxygen concentrations, below 3%, are not well tolerated and generally results in increased bacterial rot.
Physiological and Physical Disorders
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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.