This study aimed to evaluate some changes in the metabolism of papaya fruits submitted to damage by impact, abrasion and compression. Injuries were caused in two areas of 15 cm2 each; in diametrically opposite positions in the equatorial region of ‘Improved Sunrise Solo Line 72/12’ papaya fruits in ripening stage 3 (fruits with 25-40% of yellow skin). After damage, fruits were stored at 15 ± 1 °C and 85 ± 5% RH, and samples were taken at intervals of two days to evaluate skin color index, incidence of diseases, loss of fresh weight, leak of solutes, pulp firmness, soluble solids content and pectinmethylesterase and polygalacturonase activities. The respiratory rate was measured at intervals of 4, 8, 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours after damage. The results show the suppressive effects of mechanical damage on the final quality and also on fruit shelf life. Mechanically damaged fruits anticipated ripening, with skin color indexes higher than control fruits. Abrasion was the damage that caused more dramatic effects, showing, at the end of the study period, loss of fresh weight and leak of solutes of 27% and 18.7%, respectively, higher than control fruits. In addition, fruits submitted to this type of damage have higher respiratory rate and also higher rot incidence. The pectinmethylesterase and polygalacturonase activity was not consistently changed in relation to damage. Similarly, there was no difference in soluble solids content.
Carica papaya L.; impact; abrasion; compression; post-harvest