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Temperature abuse during ground and in-flight handling operations affects quality of snap beans


, : Temperature abuse during ground and in-flight handling operations affects quality of snap beans. Hortscience 36(3): 510, June

Intact and bruised snap beans (cv. Opus) were stored under two temperature regimes (semi-constant and fluctuating) typically encountered during ground and in-flight handling operations. The objective of this work was to: 1) study the effects of simulated commercial temperature regimes on the quality of snap beans throughout the handling chain; 2) determine which of the handling procedures was primarily responsible for quality losses; and 3) determine which quality parameter(s) limits the salability of snap beans. Weight loss and visual quality evaluations were made for every step of temperature change for intact pods. Bruised pods were evaluated for browning and decay incidence. Intact snap beans stored in semi-constant temperature lost less weight, had better visual ratings for color, firmness and shriveling, less incidence of browning and bruising than those stored in fluctuating temperatures. Bruised snap beans stored in semi-constant temperature had less browning and decay than those stored in fluctuating temperatures. Weight loss, color, browning, and bruising were the main factors that limited the salability of the beans. Losses in quality were more important during simulation of the airport handling operations and retail display. Snap beans from the fluctuating temperature were considered unmarketable before exposure to retail conditions, while those from the constant temperature treatment were no longer acceptable after 24 h in the retail display. The results indicate that, even for short periods of time, fluctuating and/or high temperatures that are often encountered during handling operations may result in rejection of a whole load of snap beans.

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