Postharvest Quality and Behavior of Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum L.) Fruits due to The Effects of Agronomic Practices
Nephelium lappaceum L. is a highly perishable tropical fruit because of its susceptibility to pericarp dehydration and oxidation, which decreases its acceptance in the fresh produce market. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of agronomic practices such as pruning, girdling and water stress on some postharvest quality parameters in rambutan fruits from ‘RJA Clone’ trees in Chiapas, Mexico. A split-plot experimental design in randomized complete blocks with a factorial arrangement and six replicates was used. Fruits from trees managed under water stress conditions showed greater fresh weight (40.2 g), concentration of total soluble solids (TSS, 22.62 °Brix), total sugars (423 mg∙100 g-1), vitamin C (37.79 mg∙100 g-1) and titratable acidity (0.30 %). On the other hand, it was found that water stress caused a 33 % weight loss in fruits, in relation to fruits from irrigated trees (48 %). The latter were characterized by having less sweetness (between 18 and 19 °Brix) and higher acidity (0.417 %). In general, the application of temporal drought, girdling and pruning contributed to the obtaining of fruits with greater size, shelf life and sweetness, less weight loss and with a higher concentration of bioactive compounds (vitamin C and total phenols), in addition to acquiring physical and biochemical characteristics desirable for fresh consumption.