The path of the fruit

flowering, thinning, maturation, harvest, packaging and distribution

Health benefits of fruits

  • Fruits belong to group 5 in the Food Wheel
  • They are rich in natural sugars, vitamin A, vitamin C and minerals
  • They belong to the regulator food's group
  • Four servings of fruit in children and two in adults are recommended per day
  • They are low-calorie foods, composed of 80% water
  • They are recommended in healthy and weight loss diets

Growth and maturation of the fruit, until it reaches your house

- How and why does the fruit mature?

The changes that occur in fruit due to the maturation process are:

  • Chlorophyll degradation and appearance of yellow pigments called carotenoids and red pigments called anthocyanins.
  • Degradation of the pectin that forms the structure.
  • Transformation of starch into sugars and acidity reduction
  • Loss of astringency.

These transformations can continue until the deterioration of the fruit.

Ethylene is a chemical compound that produces the fruit before it is ripe, and is essential for the fruit to ripe. In ripe fruits, their presence determines the time of maturity, so that control of its production will be key to their conservation. In the non-climacteric fruits the ethylene presence causes an intensified ripening. The manipulation of the maturation process can be done by modifying the temperature, relative humidity and oxygen, carbon dioxide and ethylene levels.

- Suggestions for a good consumption and longer conservation of the fruit at home

  • The fruit should be consumed mainly as fresh fruit.
  • Prolonged storage is not appropriate, and would not be even possible for fruits as cherries or strawberries.
  • Many fruits can not be preserved fresh, because they tend to decompose quickly.
  • For the storage of fruit, ambient temperature must be taken in consideration, because high temperature promotes maturation and can affect flavor and color.
  • The fruit that is stored must be healthy, undamaged and free of external moisture.
  • Keeping together different varieties of fruit or fruit with vegetables is not recommended, particularly with potatoes, because maturation process could be affected.
  • Bananas should not be stored in the refrigerator because flavor and appearance can be deteriorated.
  • The rest of the fruit can be stored in the refrigerator.
  • Delicate fruit should not be stored more than two days, while stone fruits can be retained during a week, and mature citrus fruits can last 10 days.
  • Apples and pears can be stored several months in a dark and cool room at about 12 ºC, and aerated within 80% - 90% of humidity.
  • It is highly recommended to separate the ripe fruits of which are not, as one piece can affect the others.

- Keeping fruit in industrial refrigeration facilities

  • In industrial scale fruit’s conservation, the main goal in order to achieve this conservation, will be the control of the breathing of the fruit, preventing climacteric fruit from maturation and trying to achieve a slow maturation process for non climacteric fruits.
  • The unripe fruit is preserved in oxygen-poor environments and with high concentrations of carbon dioxide, if possible.
  • It should be placed in a dark place at temperatures below 20ºC.
  • These conditions control the ethylene production. The ripe fruit should be kept in low light conditions, low temperatures between 0ºC and 6ºC, and very high humidity, close to 90%.