Optimum Relative Humidity: 95-100%
Benefits of CA: Low O2may aid in maintaining white curd and green leaves as well as reduce weight loss and curd spotting. Cauliflower does not benefit from elevated CO2. In general, the benefits to cauliflower of CA have been slight. Good temperature and humidity control are more important to good cauliflower handling than are atmospheric modifications.
Benefits of Ethylene Removal: Cauliflower produces very little ethylene but is sensitive to the effects of ambient ethylene. Ethylene may cause yellowing of the leaves. Keeping the temperature low is usually sufficient protection against ethylene. However, cauliflower should not be shipped in proximity to ethylene producing commodities.
Special Treatments Before Shipping: Cauliflower should be rapidly cooled after harvest and then kept cold at all times. Warming for even short periods of time reduces quality and significantly shortens postharvest life.
Varietal Differences: Varietal differences in postharvest handling have not been documented for cauliflower.
Mixed Loads: Cauliflower is sensitive to ethylene and so should not be shipped with commodities that produce ethylene.
Cautions: O2less than 2% can cause persistent off-flavors and off-odors after cooking. CO2greater than 5% can also cause off-odors. CA storage of cauliflower is chancy because low oxygen and/or high carbon dioxide injury does not show up until after cooking.
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