Vegetables Produce Facts English
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 Atmosphere
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
Use of Materials
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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.