Optimum Relative Humidity: 85-90%
Benefits of CA: Low O2 delays senescence and maintains firmness. Elevated C02 may reduce chilling injury symptoms in some cases.
Benefits of Ethylene Removal: Oranges produce almost no ethylene but they are moderately susceptible to ethylene effects. Removing ethylene from the atmosphere by venting with air can help reduce stem-end decay and loss of desirable orange flavor.
Special Treatments Before Shipping: When transported long distances to terminal storages, oranges must be adequately precooled and refrigerated in transit. Orange quality does not improve in storage so only high quality fruit should be selected for long distance transport. Oranges are subject to decay caused by a great number of fungi. Most oranges are treated with fungicidaes before shipment or storage. Degreening with ethylene may be necessary for some oranges before marketing. However, degreening can increase susceptibility to decay, particularly if high concentrations of ethylene are used.
Varietal Differences: There are storage life differences among the many varieties of oranges grown commercially, as well as differences among different growing areas. Become familiar with oranges from specific sources to refine shipping protocols. Florida and Texas oranges can generally be shipped at 0-1°C with the expectation of 8-12 weeks of postharvest life. California and Arizona oranges are chilling sensitive and more subject to rind disorders than are Florida/Texas oranges. Most California and Arizona oranges should be kept at 5-7°C. Arizona Valencia's are quite chilling sensitive and should be kept at 9°C for early harvested fruit and slightly lower temperature for fruit harvested later in the season.
Mixed Loads: Oranges should not be shipped with apples, eggs, cheese or butter due to migration of odors. Oranges should not be shipped with ethylene-emitting products which might promote decay.
Cautions: 02 less than 5% can cause off-flavors. C02 greater than 5% can cause off-flavors. CA has not generally been found to benefit oranges.
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