Optimum Relative Humidity: 90-95%
Benefits of CA: CA is beneficial in combination with low temperatures. CA can delay yellowing of flower buds and suppress the growth of decay causing fungi. CA may also preserve vitamins С and A.
Benefits of Ethylene Removal: Broccoli is sensitive to ethylene. However, unless ethylene levels are very high, the CO2 in the controlled atmosphere will reduce the damage from ethylene. In most cases, ethylene removal will be unnecessary if CA is used.
Special Treatments Before Shipping: Rapid and thorough cooling is essential to maintaining the fresh quality of broccoli. Broccoli should be cooled as close to 0°C as possible within hours of harvest. The low temperature should be maintained throughout shipping and marketing.
Varietal Differences: The expected postharvest life will be affected by variety. However, cultivation practices, condition at harvest, delays in cooling and temperature during transport will have greater effects than any varietal differences. In one study, florets stored best in 0.5% O2 + 10% CO2at 0°C.
Mixed Loads: Broccoli should not be shipped with commodities that emit ethylene, such as apples or pears.
Cautions: CO2 greater than 15% or O2 less than 1% can cause persistent off-odors in broccoli.
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