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Maintaining Cranberry Fruit Quality during Storage and Marketing .

Forney, C.F. (2010). "Maintaining Cranberry Fruit Quality during Storage and Marketing ."


The American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) produces a tart red fruit and is native to northeastern and north central North America. In recent years its popularity has increased due to claims of potential health benefits. While most fruit are processed into juice, sauce or other products, a growing market for fresh fruit exists. To expand fresh market opportunities, fruit must be stored for extend periods of time. During storage, substantial losses of fresh cranberries can result from decay and physiological breakdown. Incidence of both decay and physiological breakdown are influenced by cultural practices, harvest methods, and storage conditions. Plant cultivar, age and vigor, soil fertility, water availability, and the presence of both abiotic and biotic stresses can influence fruit quality and market life. Bruising that occurs during harvest and postharvest handling can induce physiological breakdown and substantially reduce market life. Proper management of relative humidity (RH) and temperature during storage are also critical to maximize storage life. High RH can increase rates of decay and physiological breakdown; optimum storage humidities are around 80%. Cranberry fruit have been reported to be chilling sensitive and fruit stored at 0°C often have greater quality loss than fruit stored at 2 to 7°C. However, greater losses at low temperatures could be a result of high RH rather than low temperature. A variety of postharvest technologies have been tested to extend cranberry storage life, including controlled atmospheres, heat treatments, irradiation, and fumigation, but none have been shown to provide consistent benefits.

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