Dr. Cantwell: I found on the Internet an article written by you in which you recommend storing kiwanos at 13-15C. I am an exporter of exotic fruits and am exporting kiwanos to Europe. My client says that the shelf life for my kiwanos is short, 2-3 weeks. They are storing the fruit at 10-12 C. I would sincerely appreciate your comments about this problem. Thanks in advance and best regards.
In our 1996 research summary we found that 10-12°C was too low if the fruit was stored for 2 months. These fruit had severe decay, most probably a result of chilling injury at those temperatures. The fruit was stored at 15°C successfully for 5 months. Our study was very limited but it was consistent with other reports in which warmer temperatures were used for kiwano. I have had the opportunity to observe the fruit at some specialty produce wholesalers and the main problems appear to be maturity (too immature at harvest; fruit should be yellow-orange for good composition and flavor) and damage to the spines which leads to early decay. They typically handle them at moderate temperatures (15-20°C). I hope this is helpful.