Optimum Relative Humidity: 85-90%
Benefits of CA: Low O2 delays senescence. Elevated CO2 may delay loss of green color.
Benefits of Ethylene Removal: Limes produce very little ethylene but are moderately sensitive to the effects of ethylene. Ethylene causes limes to lose their green color and unmask their yellow pigments. Ethylene may make limes more susceptible to infection by molds. Removal of ethylene can be beneficial in retarding degreening and reducing decay.
Special Treatments Before Shipping: Limes rapidly lose water which reduces their life and quality. Limes are often waxed prior to shipping to retard water loss.
Varietal Differences: Tahiti (Persian) limes should be picked still green but after the skin has become smooth and the fruit are mature and somewhat rounded. They can be kept at 9-10°C for 6-8 weeks. There is some loss of green color after 3-4 weeks. Key limes and Mexican limes typically keep somewhat better than Tahiti limes. Key limes at market are usually yellow.
Mixed Loads: Limes should not be mixed with ethylene-producing commodities. Limes are chilling sensitive and should not be kept at less than 10°C. Limes absorb odors from some strongly scented vegetables and so should not be mixed with many vegetables. In addition, odors from limes are absorbed by meat, eggs and dairy products.
Cautions: O2 less than 5% can cause scald-like injury and decreased juice content. CO2 greater than 10% may cause increased susceptibility to decay.
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