Print version ISSN 0102-0536
DURIGAN, Maria Fernanda Berlingieri and MATTIUZ, Ben-Hur. Effect of mechanical injuries on the quality of squash stored at room temperature. Hortic. Bras. [online]. 2007, vol.25, n.2, pp. 291-295. ISSN 0102-0536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-05362007000200032.
The effects of different mechanical injuries were evaluated on green squash cv. Caipira, such as impact, compression and cut. The impact injury was done by dropping the fruit from a height of 1.60 m on a hard and plain surface. Compression was made by pressing a weight of 58.8 N on the squash fruit for 1 hour and the cut was done by using a knife to make wounds (2 mm deep and 6 cm length) three times in both sides of the fruits. Injuried and intact fruits were stored at room temperature (25ºC, 65% RH). Evaluations were done every three days, measuring the respiratory activity, appearance, loss of fresh mass, pH, content of soluble solids, titratable acidity, ascorbic acid, starch and soluble carbohydrates. During the 15-day storage the injured fruits showed the worst quality, affecting the chemical parameters, the appearance and reduced the shelf life, mainly of those fruits submitted to cut and impact injuries. These injuries also increased the respiratory activity. Loss of weight was increased when the fruit were submitted to cuts. Impact and the cut injuries on immature fruits of squashes caused higher losses.
Keywords : Cucurbita moschata; postharvest; compression; impact; cut.