Once a crop is harvested, it is almost impossible to improve its quality. Losses of horticultural crops occur due to improper storage and handling. Proper storage conditions are necessary to lengthen storage life and maintain quality once the crop has been cooled to the optimum storage temperature.
Fresh custard apples are living tissues, although they are no longer attached to the plant. Their composition and physiology continue to change after harvest.
Fruit continues to ripen until cellular breakdown commences. But this process can be slowed with optimal storage conditions, so that water loss is reduced, and food value, quality and energy reserves are maintained.
- Fruit ripened above 25 degrees Celsius may be damaged.
- Between 18 ~ 24 degrees Celsius is the best ripening range. Soft fruit may be stored in refrigeration for a couple of days.
- Fruit will not ripen under 13 degrees Celsius.
- Store un-ripened fruit between 8 ~ 12 degrees Celsius for up to five (5) days. Any longer than these timeframes, chill injury may occur to the fruit.