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Passion Fruit

Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality

Passion Fruit

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

Maturity & Quality

Maturity Indices

The amount of yellow or purple color on the fruit surface is used as a maturity index for fresh market passion fruits. In some cases fruits are allowed to fall and are collected from the ground for processing into juice concentrate, jam, and other products.

Quality Indices

  • The fruit is a berry 3.5 to 7 cm wide and 4 to 12 cm long and has a moderately hard shell (3-10 mm thick), depending on cultivar
  • The edible portion is the fleshy, acidic pericarp together with the arils surrounding the seeds
  • Fruit color may be purple or yellow
  • Soluble solids content ranges between 14 and 18% and acidity ranges from 3 to 5% in the pulp
  • Moisture loss during ripening may be large enough to cause shriveling of passion fruits, but this does not influence the edible portion

Maturity & Quality Photos

Title: Quality (1)

Photo Credit: Adel Kader, UC Davis 

Title: Quality (2)

Photo Credit: Adel Kader, UC Davis 

Temperature & Controlled Atmosphere

Optimum Temperature

7-10°C (45-50°F) for partially-ripe fruits (potential storage life = 3-5 weeks) 5-7°C (41-45°F) for fully-ripe fruits (potential storage life = 1 week)

Optimum Relative Humidity


Rates of Respiration

Temperature 5°C (41°F) 10°C (50°F) 20°C (68°F)
ml CO2/kg·hr 15-30 20-40 45-100

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

Passion fruits are the highest ethylene producers among all fruits with a production range of 160-370 µl/kg·hr at 20°C (68°F) at their climacteric peak.

Responses to Ethylene

Exposure of mature-green passion fruits to 100 ppm ethylene for 1-2 days accelerates their ripening. Once ripening begins exogenous ethylene treatment is unnecessary because the fruits produce high ethylene concentrations.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

No published information available.

Passion fruits may benefit from packaging in perforated plastic films (no or minor effect on atmospheric modification) due to reduction in water loss during handling.


Physiological and Physical Disorders

Chilling injury. Symptoms occur on passion fruits kept at 5°C (41°F) or lower and include surface and internal discoloration, pitting, water-soaked areas, uneven ripening or failure to ripen, off-flavor development, and increased decay incidence.

Pathological Disorders

Brown spot. Caused by Alternaria passiflorae and appears as circular, sunken, light-brown spots on ripening fruits. Disease incidence is most severe during warm wet periods.

Phytophthora fruit rot. Caused by Phytophthora nicotianae var. parasitica and appears as water-soaked, dark-green patches which dry up.

Septoria spot. Caused by Septoria passiflorae which infects fruits while on the plant and results in uneven ripening.

Control Procedures

Effective vineyard sanitation, pruning and leaf thinning to allow more air and light to reach the canopy, application of preharvest fungicides, and proper management of temperature and relative humidity during postharvest handling.


February 1999

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.

The information in this fact sheet represents our best understanding of the current state of knowledge at the time of the latest update, and does not represent an exhaustive review of all research results. 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. (Accessed January 18, 2014).

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