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Horticultura Brasileira

versão impressa ISSN 0102-0536versão On-line ISSN 1806-9991


SOUZA, Roberto Marques; HENZ, Gilmar Paulo  e  PEIXOTO, José Ricardo. Incidence of mechanical injury in arracacha roots at the postharvest handling system. Hortic. Bras. [online]. 2003, vol.21, n.4, pp.712-718. ISSN 0102-0536.

Size and appearance are the most important quality characteristics of arracacha roots. The aim of this experiment was to determine the main types and the incidence of mechanical injuries in arracacha roots and evaluate its incidence at the different stages of the postharvest handling system used in Brazil. Evalution was carried out during five steps of the postharvest handling system (after harvest; packinghouse, before and after washing; wholesale and retail markets) were verified. At each step, 110 roots were taken at random in ten samples (replications) at different places during March 2000 to June 2001. Four main types of mechanical damage were identified in arracacha roots: abrasion; partial rupture; splitting; and break. Superficial lesions caused by abrasion were the predominant mechanical injury and showed great variation, so an abrasion rating scale (1=no lesion; 5=>40% of lesions) was used. Increasing levels of abrasion were recorded as the arracacha roots flowed through the postharvest chain, reaching 13.3% of the roots at the farm; 19.7% before washing and 24.9% after washing at the packinghouse; 47.2% at the wholesale market; and 78.9% at the retail market. The incidence of other types of mechanical damage was higher at the wholesale market (7.6% of rupture, 4.2% of spliting, 10.6% of broken roots). The critical point for the incidence of mechanical damage at the postharvest chain occurred between the packinghouse and the wholesale market, probably due to inadequate packing in wooden boxes and rough handling.

Palavras-chave : Arracacia xanthorrhiza; Peruvian carrot; mechanical damage; lesions.

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