Evaluation of Post-harvest Applications of Gibberellic Acid on The Quality and Shelf Life of Three Varieties of Mexican Lime
Among the acid limes produced in Mexico, the Mexican lime is the most important in the domestic market; however, because of the heterogeneous quality of the fruit at harvest time, the export volume is limited. Due to the thin epicarp, the fruits are sensitive to weight and green color loss, so their shelf life is short. Three varieties have recently been registered, namely Colimex, Colimón and Lise, whose response to the use of plant hormones to slow senescence and maintain quality is unknown. The aim of this research was to study the effect of pre-harvest treatment with gibberellic acid (GA3) on the quality and shelf life of the fruit of the above-mentioned varieties. In two periods of fruit growth, spraying with GA3 (30 mg∙L-1) was performed. After the harvest, a wax was applied to fruits with and without GA3; in addition, there were fruits without any treatment (control). The fruits were stored for 10 days at 22 ± 2 °C. At the end of this time, the following variables were evaluated: weight loss, color index, and concentration of chlorophyll, citric acid, TSS and ascorbic acid. AG3 treatments decreased weight loss and delayed changes in color, chlorophyll, TSS and citric acid, with ascorbic acid remaining unchanged. This response was more consistent in the Colimex and Lise varieties. We conclude that pre-harvest treatment with GA3, in combination with wax, maintains fruit quality for a longer period.