The Australian passionfruit industry is small, but steadily growing. However, previous work conducted on passionfruit supply chains (PF13006) found that poor retail quality remains a key issue limiting growth. Fluctuations in supply and price, inconsistent grading, poor storage techniques and postharvest disease all affect retail sales and grower returns.
Even though passionfruit may appear to be a robust fruit, they are surprisingly fragile. They ripen extremely rapidly, having one of the highest respiration rates and ethylene production of any fruit. They also lose moisture readily, are relatively easily physically damaged and chilling sensitive.
This project aims to help growers and others in the supply chain understand and adopt best practice postharvest management for passionfruit. It will also increase awareness of emerging new techniques or technologies relevant to the Australian passionfruit industry. It will initially achieve this by conducting a thorough desktop review of postharvest best practice for passionfruit. Topics to be covered will include:
- Pre-harvest effects on postharvest quality
- Harvest methods and technology
- Postharvest treatments
- Cooling, storage and transport
- Packaging materials
- Measuring quality and grading
The results of the review will be condensed into a practical, usable document for Australian growers by producing a Best Practice guide. The guide will be prepared in plain English and use pictures and diagrams wherever possible. The guide will be reviewed by a stakeholder committee to ensure it is presented appropriately and covers the key topics relevant to growers. It will be provided both electronically and as a printed booklet and made available to all members of the supply chain.