Optimum Relative Humidity: 85-90%
Benefits of CA: Low O2 delays senescence. Elevated CO2 may delay loss of green color.
Benefits of Ethylene Removal: Lemons produce very little ethylene but are moderately sensitive to the effects of ethylene. Ethylene causes lemons to lose their green color and unmask their yellow pigments. Ethylene may make lemons more susceptible to decay-causing pathogens.
Special Treatments Before Shipping: Most lemons are picked dark green and require conditioning after harvest to develop color, juice content and flavor. This is normally achieved by storage at 13-15.5°C and 85-90% relative humidity with sufficient ventilation to allow escape of ethylene and reduce fungal growth. Tree ripened, yellow fruit do not keep well and should not be transported long distances or held in storage. Lemons packed for the market often contain sheets impregnated with biphenyl to reduce incidence of decay.
Varietal Differences: Unknown.
Mixed Loads: Lemons should not be mixed with ethylene-producing commodities. Lemons are chilling sensitive and should not be kept at less than 12°C. Lemons absorb odors from some strongly scented vegetables and so should not be mixed with such commodities. In addition, odors from lemons are absorbed by meat, eggs and dairy products.
Cautions: O2 less than 5% can cause off-flavors. CO2 greater than 10% may cause increased susceptibility to decay as well as decreased acidity.
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