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BIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF

POSTHARVEST HANDLING
STRUCTURE OF FRUITS AND
VEGETABLE
BY: PRISCILL A L. VILL AVER
FRUIT STRUCTURE

Fruits are the mature ovary or ovaries of one or more


flowers. In fleshy fruits, the outer layer (which is often
edible) is the pericarp, which is the tissue that develops
from the ovary wall of the flower and surrounds the
seeds.
PERICARP LAYER
The pericarp is typically made up of three distinct
layers:
1. epicarp, which is the outermost layer;
2. the mesocarp, which is the middle layer; and
3. the endocarp, which is the inner layer surrounding
the ovary or the seeds.
In a citrus fruit, the epicarp and mesocarp make up the
peel.
1. Epicarp is a botanical term for the
outermost layer of the pericarp (or fruit). The
epicarp forms the tough outer skin of the
fruit, if there is one. The epicarp is sometimes
called the exocarp, or, especially in Citrus, the
flavedo.
Flavedo constitutes the peripheral
surface of the pericarp. Flavedo
cells contain carotenoids (mostly
xanthophyll) inside chromoplasts,
which, in a previous
developmental stage, contained
chlorophyll. This hormonally
controlled progression in
development is responsible for
the fruit's change of color from
green to yellow upon ripening.
2. Mesocarp is the fleshy middle
layer of the pericarp of a fruit; it
is found between the epicarp
and the endocarp. It is usually
the part of the fruit that is
eaten. For example, the
mesocarp makes up most of the
edible part of a peach, and a
considerable part of a tomato.
"Mesocarp" may also refer to
any fruit that is fleshy
throughout.
3. Endocarp is a inside layer of the pericarp
(or fruit), which directly surrounds the
seeds. It may be membranous as in citrus
where it is the only part consumed, or thick
and hard as in the stone fruits of the family
Rosaceae such as peaches, cherries, plums,
and apricots. In nuts, it is the stony layer
that surrounds the kernel of pecans,
walnuts, etc., and that is removed prior to
consumption. In citrus fruits, the endocarp
is separated into sections, which are called
segments. These segments are filled with
juice vesicles, which contain the juice of the
fruit.
Fruits are found in three main anatomical categories:
1. Simple fruits are formed from a single ovary and may contain one or many
seeds. They can be either fleshy or dry. Berries and drupes are examples of
simple fleshy fruits. Pomes are both accessory fruits and simple fruits. Nuts are
dry fruits.
2. Aggregate fruits are formed from a single compound flower and contain many
ovaries. Examples include raspberries and blackberries.
3. Multiple fruits are formed from the fused ovaries of multiple flowers. An
example of a multiple fruit is pineapple.
4. Accessory Fruit - some or all of the edible part of accessory fruit is not
generated by the ovary. Accessory fruit can be simple, aggregate, or multiple,
i.e., they can include one or more pistils and other parts from the same flower,
or the pistils and other parts of many flowers
MORPHO- ANATOMICAL BASIS FOR
PERISHABILITY OF FRUITS AND
VEGETABLES
1. PLANT PART OR ORGAN UTILIZED

The response of a commodity


to its surroundings and to the
method of handling depends on
what organ it is.
Leaves and flowers wilt easily,
flower buds open, fruits ripen,
bulbs, tubers and storage roots
sprout and shoot tips elongate.
2. NATURE OF THE FRUIT WALL
Fruits and fruit vegetables vary in the nature of their fruit
walls. The fruit wall consists of both the peel and the edible
portion excluding the seed.
Some terminologies in relation to fruit wall:
1. Rind – the tough and leathery peel of citrus and
watermelon.
2. Pulp – the edible portion of citrus.
3. Aril – the edible portion of rambutan, mangosteen,
durian and lanzones.
2. NATURE OF THE FRUIT WALL
The nature of the fruit wall greatly influences the effect of the
environment on the organ and its susceptibility to mechanical
damages.
1. The thin outer part of the fruitwall and succulent pulp of some
fruits like tomatoes make them susceptible to damage.
2. Fruits with leathery peel are less susceptible to bruises as in
starfruit and apple.
Fruits with thick and hard fruit wall like cucumbers, melons and
squash are better able to withstand damage than those with soft fruit
walls like tomatoes and bananas.
2. NATURE OF THE FRUIT WALL
3. SURFACE AREA TO VOLUME RATIO

It determines the reactive area for respiration, transpiration


penetration of chemicals and microorganisms.
The greater the surface area to volume ratio, the faster the
diffusion of gases involved in respiration, exit of water through
transpiration and entry of microorganisms and chemicals.
These result to shorter postharvest life.
4. NATURE OF THE CUTICLE
The cuticle is the non-cellular waxy layer
above the epidermal cells of the commodity.
The epidermal cells comprise the first layer of
the cells exposed to the environment.
The thicker and more complex the cuticle, the
greater is its protective capacity for:
1. moisture loss
2. penetration of microorganism and chemicals
3. mechanical damage
4. temperature changes
5. escape of flavor components
4. NATURE OF THE CUTICLE
Immature fruits deteriorate at a faster rate than mature ones.
Mature fruits have thick, complex and waxy cuticles whereas
immature ones have thin, irregular and less waxy cuticle.
In winged beans, the wing portion has thinner cuticle hence it
wilts at a faster rate than the other parts of the pod.
Lanzones is not waxy. Hence, Lanzones losses water fast which
shows up as browning. Banana deteriorates at a much slower
rate. Pomelo has thicker rind hence losses water slower
compared to dalandan.
5. NUMBER OF STOMATA
The stomata are the main passageways for the loss of water
and entry of air for respiration.
The more stomata, the faster will be the deterioration of the
commodities.
As the cuticle develops during full development and
maturation some of the stomata get covered.
1. Pechay has 13,000 stomates per cm2 in the lower surface of
one leaf and possibly twice as much for both surfaces.
Immature fruits have more stomata than mature ones which
partially explains why immature fruits deteriorate faster.
6. AMOUNT OF HAIRS AND/OR SPINES
Hairs or spines are elongations of the epidermal cells.
Visible hairs or spines are known as emergences, while tiny hairs
which may not be visible to the naked eye are called trichomes.
The special name for the hair of rambutan is spintern. The more
trichomes, the faster is the deterioration since they increase the
surface area to volume ratio of the commodities.
1. A single rambutan fruit has 200 to 400 spinterns with several
trichomes per spintern.
2. Lanzones has trichomes aside from having no wax on the cuticle.
3. Chinese cabbage has more trichomes than mustard while
pechay has none.
7. PRESENCE OF LENTICELS

Lenticels are circular groups of protruding air-filled


cells with a central opening which often takes the
place of stomates in fruits, stems and roots.
8. PRESENCE OF LATICIFERS

Laticifers are sap or latex producing ducts


surrounding the vascular bundles. When the laticifers
are cut open (when harvested or injured) latex is
released. Hence the flows of latex on the stem must
be avoided or washed off before it hardens.
CHEMICAL BASIS FOR HANDLING
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
1. CARBOHYDRATE CONTENT
Fruits and vegetables have complex carbohydrates which
supply nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals.
Storage organs contain more carbohydrates hence usually
last longer.
When sugars are being converted to starch, there is a loss
of sweetness in commodities such as in corn.
The conversion of starch to sugars in potatoes (when
stored at a temperature below 10ºC) becomes undesirable
for processing. Sugar causes browning during cooking.
2. PRESENCE OF PROTOPECTINS
Pectic substances are mainly deposited in the cell wall and
middle lamella, acting as cementing materials.
They occur in the form of:
1. Protopectin
2. Pectinic acids
3. Pectin Pectic acids
Total pectic substances increase in amount during the
development of fruits.
As the fruit ripens, the contents of soluble pectates
increase while the total pectic substances decrease.
2. PRESENCE OF PROTOPECTINS
Protopectin is one of the substances which form insoluble
salts with calcium or magnesium and is found as a cementing
substances between cells.
Pectin is a carbohydrate in the cell wall of plants. It is a
breakdown product from hemicelluloses (protopectins)
which is generated during ripening of the fruit. Pectin itself is
later broken down to pectinic acid and finally pectic acid.
During this chemical breakdown process, the fruit gets softer
as the cell walls degenerate.
2. PRESENCE OF PROTOPECTINS

Guava, pineapples and oranges contain high


pectin, while soft fruits like cherries and
strawberries contain few.

Under acidic conditions, pectin forms a gel. This


effect is used for making jams and jellies.
MAIN PIGMENTS RESPONSIBLE FOR SPECIFIC COLOR
OF SOME COMMODITIES

The change of color during ripening is due to


changes in the pigments.
Color Pigment Found In
Green, Blue Green, Chlorophyll Most Commodities
Yellow Green
Red Anthocyanin Strawberry
Yellow Cryptoxanthin Papaya
Purple Delphinidine Eggplant
Blue/Purple/Red Anthocyanins Grapes, Red Peppers, Beets, Eggplant,
Berries,   Plums
Orange/Yellow Beta-Carotene Carrots, Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Citrus,
Papaya, Melon, Squash
Yellow Curcumin Turmeric
Yellow/Orange Lutein Kale, Broccoli, Spinach
Red Lycopene Tomatoes, Watermelon, Red Grapefruits
Yellow Zeaxanthin Corn
Fats and Acids
1. Fats - avocado
2. Malic acid - apple
3. Citric acid - citrus, pineapple, lemons and grapes
4. Ascorbic acid - guava, orange, grapes
5. Tartaric acid - grapes, bananas, tamarind

At maturation, reducing sugar increases while the acidity


decreases, hence the matured/ripe commodities taste
sweeter

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