How is harvest maturity identified, Chemistry

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How is harvest maturity identified?

Before harvesting, the first thing to be looked into is the identification of harvest maturity. We have already seen what the term actually means; let us see how can we identify it. Picking should be done as per maturity indices, which are different for each variety of fruit and vegetable. Most growers decide when to harvest by looking and sampling.  
 
Some of the judgments are based on:

  • Number of days from setting
  • Sight-colour, size and shape
  • Touch-texture, hardness or softness
  • Smell-odour or aroma
  • Taste-sweetness, sourness, bitterness
  • Resonance-sound when tapped.
  • Minimum juice content (citrus)
  • Break in rind colour (citrus, mango, papaya, pineapple)
  • Sugar-acid ratio (citrus, grapes, pineapple)

Experience is the best guide for this kind of assessment. Harvest maturity can be readily observed in some crops: bulb onions, when their green tops collapse and potatoes, when the green tops die off. While other crops can be more difficult: avocados remain unripe off the tree even after maturity.

 


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