In the present study thermal treatments on,'Valência' orange, 'Murcott' tangor and 'Tahiti' (temperature conditioning and intermittent warming) were applied lime. The following treatments were applied: T1: Fruits stored at 1°C (Controls); T2: Fast heating of the fruits in hot water at 53°C for 3 minutes and stored at 1°C; T3: Slow heating of the fruits in camera regulated at 37°C for 2 days, with subsequent storage at 1°C; and T4: Intermittent heating in cycles of 6 days at 1°C + 1 day at 25°C. Fruits were stored under low temperature (1°C) and 90-95% relative humidity (RH) during 90 days. Chilling injury incidence and changes in physical-chemical characteristics were evaluated every 15 days. Activity of catalase, glutathione reductase and ascorbate peroxidase was also determined. Intermittent warming was more efficient than temperature conditioning to reduce chilling injury. 'Tahiti' lime and 'Murcott' tangor supported up to 90 days of intermittent warming stored at 1°C, while control fruits showed chilling injury after 30 days ('Tahiti' lime) and 45 days ('Murcott' tangor). 'Valência' orange was affected by chilling injury after 45 days of cold storage, and temperature conditioning has caused lower incidence of this disorder. The effect of thermal treatments can be related to the activity of antioxidant enzymes. For ´Valência" orange, thermal treatments, applied as thermal conditioning or intermittent heating, reduce injuries caused by cold and can lengthen the conservation of fruits at 1°C and 90-95% RH. The intermittent heating is the most efficient treatment to reduce injuries caused by cold and increase at storage capacity of the 'Murcott' tangor and 'Tahiti' lime.
Citrus sp; chilling injury; antioxidant enzymes; temperature conditioning; intermittent warming