Evaluation and chemical characterization of postharvest degreened bell peppers (Capsicum annuum)
Wright, Joy Marie
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Bell peppers are used as foods or flavorings and are consumed as green or colored fruits. During pepper season many green bells are sold at or below cost or rot in the field rather than being sold. Colored bells command a higher market price and provide an alternate channel for the pepper crop. We investigated the potential of an on-farm degreening process for bell peppers. Ethylene treatments did not assist the degreening process. Holding sufficiently mature peppers at 20°C/90% relative humidity (RH) provided significant degreening. The storage life of the degreened peppers was 7 to 14 days. With precautions against decay, this should allow sufficient time for distribution. Pepper maturation results in flavor and nutritional quality differences. These characteristics of degreened peppers were studied, the expected changes occurred. Ascorbic acid, dry matter, and total soluble solids increased with maturation; titratable acidity and pH decreased. Volatile levels also decreased with maturation.