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Recommendations for Maintaining Postharvest Quality


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

Maturity & Quality

Maturity Indices

Change of skin color from green to yellow is the primary maturity index. Quinces should be picked when full-yellow and firm.

Quality Indices

  • Size, color, freedom from defects and decay
  • Quinces must be handled carefully as they bruise easily
  • Quinces are not eaten fresh because of their astringency (due to high tannin content)
Temperature & Controlled Atmosphere

Optimum Temperature

0°C (32°F); Highest freezing point = -2°C (28.4°F). Storage potential = 2-3 months

Optimum Relative Humidity


Rates of Respiration

Climacteric respiratory pattern.

Temperature 0°C (32°F) 10°C (50°F) 20°C (68°F)
ml CO2/kg·hr 2.3-5.2 10.2-14.1 21.2-39.0

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

Temperature 0°C (32°F) 10°C (50°F) 20°C (68°F)
µl C2H2kg·hr 2.3-6.1 6.9-7.4 11.0-31.9

Responses to Ethylene

Ethylene (100ppm) treatment for 2 days at 18-21°C (65-70°F) and 90-95% relative humidity can be used after removal from cold storage to stimulate more uniform and faster ripening of quinces before processing.

Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)

No published information.


Physiological and Physical Disorders

No published information.

Pathological Disorders

Blue mold. Caused by Penicillium expansum, is the most common postharvest disease of quinces. Control strategies include careful handling to minimize wounding, prompt cooling to 0°C (32°F), and maintenance of optimum temperature and relative humidity during storage.


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.

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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