Effect of Harvesting Stage on Quality Losses of Persimmon Fruits during Storage
1 State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, College of Horticulture, Life Science Building, Nanjing
Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, P.R. China.
2Department of Horticulture, The Agricultural University, Peshawar-Pakistan.
3Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan
4 Hainan Key Laboratory of Tropical Oil Crops Biology/Coconut Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Science, Wenchang, Hainan 571339, China.
5Department of Crop Sciences, College of Agriculture and Marine Science, Sultan Qaboos University, PO. Box 34, Al-khod 123, Sultanate of Oman
6 College of Horticulture, Nanjing Agricultural University; Tea Research Institute, Nanjing Agricultural University; State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, Nanjing Agricultural University.
7Department of Agriculture, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Pakistan.
*Corresponding author: Amjad Iqbal, Hainan Key Laboratory of Tropical Oil Crops Biology/Coconut Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Science, Wenchang, Hainan, 571339, China E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: March 8, 2017 Accepted: March 26, 2017 Published: April 1, 2017
Citation: Nadeem Khan, Irfan Ullah, Waleed Amjad Khan, Rashad Qadri, Muhammad Mumtaz Khan, Zhang Feixue, Teng Ruimin, Badshah Islam, Farooq Shah, Farman Ali, Zafar Hayat and Amjad Iqbal*. Effect of Harvesting Stage on Quality Losses of Persimmon Fruits during Storage. Madridge J Food Tech. 2017; 2(1): 79-84.
The influence of harvesting stage (yellow-orange, orange and orange-red stage)
and storage duration (Control, 10, 20 and 30 days) has significantly affected the quality
attributes of the persimmon. The fruits, which were harvested at orange-red stage, had
significantly higher weight loss (28.67 %), total soluble solids (13.23), electrical
conductivity (4.85 S/m) and pH(6.57) among the various treatments. Besides, the
persimmon fruits that were harvested at the orange-red stage had a significantly lower
fruit firmness, ascorbic acid and titratable acidity. Moreover, the storage duration of 30
days had also affected the various quality parameters of the persimmon fruits (including,
weight loss, total soluble solids, electrical conductivity, pH, disease incidence) quite
drastically. Certainly, the interaction between harvesting stage and storage duration had
a pronounced impact on weight loss, total soluble solids, electrical conductivity and pH
of the fruits. In our study, we have found that the fruits, which were harvested at yellow
stage and were stored for 20 days performed well among all treatments except control
(fresh fruits). It is, therefore, concluded that to minimize the quality losses of persimmon,
the fruits should be picked at yellow stage and stored for a maximum of 20 days.
Keywords: Persimmon, harvesting stage, storage duration, electrical conductivity, ascorbic acid
Persimmon (Diosphyrous kaki) belongs to the family Ebenaceae that originated from China  . In Pakistan, it is mostly cultivated in Malakand, Chakwal and Hazara regions. The persimmon fruit is a berry contains large seeds resembles to almond shape, although in new cultivar the seeds are absent  . The nutritional assessment of the fruit revealed that it is a good source of ascorbic acid, minerals, fibers and carotenoids . On the other hand it is quite natural that persimmon fruits with high tannin contents in the flesh have an astringent mouth feel. There are two types of persimmon cultivars, i.e. astringent and non-astringent , now a day; consumers can easily find both cultivars in the retail outlets. Traditionally, astringent fruits were either treated with ethylene or left on trees to become over mature in order to become non-astringent . Furthermore, maturity index is used as visual observation of the external color of the fruit  that allows the grower to harvest the fruits in time. Harvest maturity is the point at which the fruit has reached a minimum level of development . The fruit at such level can withstand transportation and will ripe slowly in order to produce a fruit of good eating quality. Both qualitative and quantitative losses can occur in fruits between the harvesting stage and consumption by the consumers. Besides, fruits are living entities that continuously respire and can lead to high water losses. Unlike other climacteric fruit, persimmons at the early stages are not edible due to firm texture, astringency, low sugar and water contents . The mature fruit on the other hand contains more sugar and water contents that can lead to fast deterioration. To minimize the postharvest losses and secure the economic value of the persimmon fruit, this study was designed to investigate the effect of different harvesting stages and storage conditions on the quality and shelf life of the persimmon fruit.
Materials and methods
An experiment on influence of different harvesting stage
and storage duration on the physico-chemical analysis of
persimmon (Diosphyrous kaki) was managed in the postharvest
laboratory, Department of Horticulture, Agriculture
University Peshawar during the year 2015. The fruit of the
persimmon was harvested from the research farm at three
different stages i.e. yellow-orange, orange and orange-red.
The fruits were then stored for various intervals, i.e. control,
10, 20 and 30 days. For each harvesting stage, 120 fruits of
uniform size and free from infection were picked for each
treatment. After gathering the fruits in separate boxes the
fruits were directly transferred to the laboratory and were
stored at room temperature (18-22°C) and relative humidity
of 65-70 %.The experiment was carried out in completely
randomized design (CRD) with two factors. The experimental
data for various quality parameters was recorded in triplicate
at every 10 days of interval during storage.
Weight Loss (%): The weight loss was recorded with the help of digital weight balance during fresh (F) and after storage (S) by the following formula:
Fruit Firmness (kg/cm2): The firmness was recorded with
Wagner tester model FT-327 having 8mm plunger tip.
Total Soluble Solids (0Brix): A hand refractive meter was used for reading the TSS (Kernco, Instruments Co. Texas).
Electrical conductivity (S/m): 10 fruit per replication were cut into a flat circular plate with the help of 10 mm sterilized cork and were thoroughly washed with distilled water. The fruit pieces were then poured into100ml conical flask containing 50 ml of distilled water and autoclaved for 25 minutes at 1210C. After cooling the solution, the volume of the contents in the flask was readjusted to 50 ml with the distilled water and the electrical conductivity (CT) was measured with digital conductivity meter.
Fruit pH: It was determined through using an electronic pH meter (Inolab pH level-I D 82362, Germany)
Titratable Acidity: The persimmon titratable acidity was carried out by the method prescribed in AOAC ,
Ascorbic Acid (mg/100ml): It was determined according to the well-established method of AOAC, . Ten fruit were selected for each replication and ascorbic acid was recorded by using the following formula:
T = ml of dye used for the sample - ml of dye used for blank
D = ml of sample taken for titration
S = ml of dilute sample taken for titration
Disease incidence (%): the persimmon fruit was visually observed every for infection and was calculated through following formula:
The experiment was carried out according to completely randomized design (CRD) with the help of two factors replicating three times. The statistical software SPSS-20 was used to compute the ANOVA at p=0.05.
Weight Loss (%)
The data in Figure-1a regarding weight loss (%) showed a significant difference among the fruits that were harvested at different stage. A maximum loss in weight was observed in fruits that were harvested at orange red stage (28.67 %), while the minimum (14.83 %) losses were observed in fruits that were harvested, when the colour of fruits were yellow-orange. The effect of different storage duration on weight loss was also significant; with maximum (26 %) weight loss was recorded for fruits stored for 30 days compared to the control fruits. The interactive influence of different harvesting stage and storage duration revealed a maximum weight loss (35.82 %) in persimmons with orange red colour, followed by the orange (28.83 %), while minimum weight loss (19.07 %) was recorded for persimmon having yellow orange colour, stored for 30 days.
Fruit Firmness (kg/cm2)
On a general basis, the firmness of the persimmon fruits decreased sharply with time in all tested treatments (Figure- 1b).Persimmon fruits at the growth stage with yellow-orange colour had maximum (2.61 kg/cm2) firmness, followed by orange (1.95 kg/cm2), whereas orange red colour persimmon had minimum firmness (1.01 kg/cm2). The influence of different storage duration had significantly affected the fruit firmness. In all tested treatments, fruits that were stored for 10 days were firm as compared to the fruits stored for 20 days and 30 days. From our study we observed the impact of harvesting stage and storage duration on fruit firmness, which was significantly different. The firmness of the fruits were reduced from yellow to orange stage (2.61 to 1.01 kg/cm2), similarly extended storage duration predominantly reduced the firmness of fresh fruits from 3.22 kg/cm2 to 0.80 kg/cm2, when stored for 30 days. The interactive influence of different harvesting stage and storage duration also resulted in significantly higher fruit firmness(1.59 kg/cm2) for yellow orange fruits stored for 30 days, while low firmness (0.24 kg/ cm2) was recorded for orange red fruits stored or 30 days.
Total Soluble Solids (0Brix)
The change in total soluble solids (TSS) of different harvesting stage and storage is given in Figure-2a.A maximum TSS (13.23) was observed at orange-red fruits, progressively followed by orange fruits (11.70) and yellow-orange fruits (9.78).Similarly, different storage duration had also influenced the TSS of the fruits significantly. The value of TSS was increased from 10.86 for fresh fruits to 12.21 for fruits stored for 30 days. The recorded TSS for fruits stored for 10 and 20 days were 11.36 and 11.84, respectively. The interaction of maturity stage and storage had significantly influenced the TSS contents of the fruits, which were recorded high in fruits picked when orange-red (13.98) and stored for 30 days as compared to the yellow-orange fruits (10.61).
Electrical conductivity (S/m)
The data in Figure-2b concerning the electrical conductivity showed a significant difference among the fruits harvested at a different stage and stored for longer time. The fruits that were harvested after having orange red colour had a higher electrical conductivity (4.85 S/m) as compared to the fruits that were harvested at yellow-orange stage (1.91 S/m). Likewise, a significantly higher electrical conductivity (3.81 S/m) was recorded in fruits that were stored for 30 days, followed by 20 days (3.72 S/m) and 10 days (3.30 S/m) of storage. A very low electrical conductivity was recorded for the fresh fruits (2.88 S/m).The interaction effect of harvest stage and storage duration revealed a higher electrical conductivity (4.43 S/m) in fruits that were harvested at orangered stage and stored for 30 days, compared to the fruits that were harvested at yellow-orange stage (3.42 S/m).
pH of the fruits
The fruits pH from all treatments was significantly increased over the time (Figure-3a). A maximum pH (6.22) were observed, when the fruits were orange red followed by the orange fruits (5.64) and yellow-orange fruits (5.15). Moreover, the pH of the fruits was increased with increasing storage duration. The pH of fresh fruits was 5.45 that were increased to 5.61, 5.71 and 5.91, when stored for 10, 20 and 30 days, respectively. The interaction of harvesting stage and storage duration has also influenced the pH of the fruits. A higher pH (6.89) was recorded for the fruits that were harvested at orange-red stage and stored for 30 days.
A maximum titratable acidity (7.51) were observed at yellow orange stage of the fruit (Figure-3b), whereas fruits harvested at orange-red stage had minimum titratable acidity (3.85). The interactive effect of different harvesting stage and storage duration on titratable acidity was significantly different. A maximum titratable acidity was observed at yellow orange stage of fruits, followed by orange fruits, while minimum titratable acidity was recorded for fruits that were harvested at orange red stage and stored for 30 days.
Ascorbic Acid (mg/100ml)
A significant difference in AA was existed among the fruits harvested and stored at different stages (Figure-4a). Significantly higher values of ascorbic acid (6.72 mg/100ml) were observed in fruits that were picked at yellow orange stage, while lower values of ascorbic acid (3.60 mg/100 ml) were recorded in fruits that were harvested at orange red stage. The effect of different storage duration on ascorbic acid resulted in a decreasing trend in the concentration of ascorbic acid. The fruits that were stored for 30 days have the lowest concentrations of ascorbic acid (4.41 mg/100 ml) as compared to the freshly harvested fruits (5.73 mg/100ml).The interaction between harvesting stage and storage duration had significantly influenced the concentration of ascorbic acid. A significantly higher concentration of ascorbic acid (5.94 mg/100ml) was recorded in fruits that were harvested at yellow orange stage and stored for 30 days. While a minimum values for ascorbic acid (3.16 mg/100 ml) was observed in fruits that were harvested at orange-red stage and treated under similar conditions as other treatments during storage.
Disease incidence (%)
The effect of different harvesting stage on disease incidence resulted in significant losses due to diseases (Figure- 4b). The fruits that were harvested at orange stage of the fruit were prone to diseases as compared to the fruits that were harvested at orange stage. The fruits that were harvested at yellow orange stage were found resistant to diseases. The data regarding storage duration revealed that the fruits losses its resistance to diseases with passage of time during storage. The incidence of disease were higher in fruits that were stored for 30 days, followed by the fruits that were stored for 20 days and days, whereas no incidence of disease were recorded in fresh persimmon fruit. The interaction effect of different harvesting stage and storage duration revealed higher chances of diseases in fruits that were harvested at orangered stage and stored for 30 days. On the other hand, minimum losses have been observed in fruits that were harvested at orange stage and stored for 30 days.
It is obvious that biological systems can loss water over
time, which is controllable by making changes in either
extrinsic or intrinsic condition of the system. In our study, we
observe a rapid weight loss in persimmon fruits during the
extending storage duration that were harvested at orangered
stage. But, such losses can be greatly reduced by delaying harvesting till achieving a yellow orange colour of the
persimmon fruit. Many researchers in the past had also found
that a swift loss in weight of a fruit occurs beyond a certain
point during storage of perishable fruits  . Rab et al.
, reported that moisture losses in sweet oranges were
significantly decreased during prolonged storage that mainly
contributed towards the weight loss of fruits. Similarly, the
firmness of the fruits was also falling off over the storage
period. Such decline in firmness may be due to
polygalacturonases that are associated with the cell walls of
the intact cells . The wall polymerase enzymes upon
release from the cells can make specific cuts on the pectic
backbone of the cell walls, which leads to the breakdown of
pectic polysaccharide in to more simpler and soluble fractions.
Similar observation has been reported by many researchers,
for example Jan et al. , reported that firmness mostly
depends on TSS and texture content of the apple fruit.
The increase in TSS contents of the fruits over the storage duration might be due to the continuous respiration of the fruits and loss of water contents. As freshly harvested fruits are living entities, which are able to respire and continue its physiological process, such as conversion of starches to organic acids. As, we know that TSS represents the ºBrix of the system, so another possibility of such increase might be the breakdown of the polysaccharides in to the simpler sugar. The results of our work are in parallel to that of Khan et al. , and Rab et al. , who found that TSS increases by extending the storage duration. Besides, a significant change in electrical conductivity has been observed in all tested treatments that might be attributed to the leakage of the electrolytes from the cells as a result of broken cell walls due to intrinsic and extrinsic enzymes. The prolonged storage might lead to the softening of the cell walls and membranes that ultimately cause breakage of cell walls, cell membranes, loss of water and leakage of electrolytes .
Persimmon fruit's pH was significantly increased during the storage of the fruits for 30 days in all tested treatments. The high pH value reflects on the utilization of organic acid into their respective metabolites. The results of our finding are analogous to Jan et al.,, who reported that during storage pH value increases. On the contrary, titratable acidity decreased as a function of storage time in all tested fruits. The decrease in the acidity is often used as an indicator for maturity as organic acids (i.e. citric acid, malic acid and acetic acid) decrease during the ripening of fruit  . The results of our findings are in close agreement with the work of Ghafir et al.,, who reported that during storage the organic acid can be consumed due to respiration and ripening processes thus decrease the acidity. According to Kazemi et al. , fruit titratable acidity is the most important attribute and primarily its concentration specifically depends on organic acid.
Another quality parameter that was significantly affected during storage of persimmon fruits was ascorbic acid. The results of our work confirmed the work of Jung and Watkins, , who observed that during postharvest handling and storage the fruits can loss a significant amount of antioxidants including ascorbic acid. Similarly, Jan et al. , also reported a decrease in ascorbic acid contents of apple fruits during storage. Moreover, the increased rotting of the fruits due to late harvest can be attributed to the softening of the fruits. Upon the maturity, the cell wall of the fruits become loose that can easily be damaged. To minimize such damages the fruits may be harvested before it reaches to full maturity  .
The influence of different harvesting stages (yellow orange, orange and orange red) and the storage duration significantly affected the quality attributes of the persimmon. It is, therefore, concluded from the present study that the persimmon fruits should be harvested at yellow-orange stage. The harvested fruits if stored at room temperature can then be kept for 20 days at most to restrict significant losses in quality as well as quantity of the persimmon fruits.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors confirm that there is no conflicts of interest regarding this manuscript.
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Figure.1 Effect of Harvest stage and storage duration on weight loss and fruit firmness of persimmon fruit.
The data in Figure 1a shows weight loss (%) and Figure 1b shows fruit firmness (kg/cm2). The abbreviations YO represents the data regarding persimmon fruits harvested at yellow-orange stage, O represents the data regarding persimmon fruits harvested at orange stage and OR represents the data regarding the persimmon fruits harvested at orange-red stage. The digits 0, 10, 20 and 30 represent the number of days for which the persimmon fruits were kept in storage at room temperature. Each error bar represents ±S.E. at p=0.05.
Figure.2 Effect of Harvest stage and storage duration on TSS and EC of persimmon fruit.
The data in Figure 1a shows TSS (ºBrix) and Figure 1b shows EC (S/m). The abbreviations TSS stands for total soluble solids; EC stands for electrical conductivity; YO represents the data regarding persimmon fruits harvested at yellow-orange stage, O represents the data regarding persimmon fruits harvested at orange stage and OR represents the data regarding the persimmon fruits harvested at orange-red stage. The digits 0, 10, 20 and 30 represent the number of days for which the persimmon fruits were kept in storage at room temperature. Each error bar represents ±S.E. at p=0.05.
Figure.3 Effect of Harvest stage and storage duration on pH and titratable acidity of persimmon fruit
The data in Figure 1a shows pH and Figure 1b shows titratable acidity. The abbreviations YO represents the data regarding persimmon fruits harvested at yellow-orange stage, O represents the data regarding persimmon fruits harvested at orange stage and OR represents the data regarding the persimmon fruits harvested at orange-red stage. The digits 0, 10, 20 and 30 represent the number of days for which the persimmon fruits were kept in storage at room temperature. Each error bar represents ±S.E. at p=0.05.
Figure.4 Effect of Harvest stage and storage duration on AA and DI of persimmon fruit.
The data in Figure 1a shows AA (mg/100 ml) and Figure 1b shows disease incidence (%). The abbreviations AA stands for ascorbic acid; DI stands for Disease incidence; YO represents the data regarding persimmon fruits harvested at yellow-orange stage, O represents the data regarding persimmon fruits harvested at orange stage and OR represents the data regarding the persimmon fruits harvested at orange-red stage. The digits 0, 10, 20 and 30 represent the number of days for which the persimmon fruits were kept in storage at room temperature. Each error bar represents ±S.E. at p=0.05.