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Maturity and 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)
Optimum Temperature

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

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.

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.

Optimum Relative Humidity


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
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.