The great voyager Christopher Columbus used to refer papaya (Carica papaya L.) as “Fruit of the Angels” which makes you to love it is due to the presence of the miracle enzyme papain along with other rich sources of vitamin A, B, C, K and minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. It’s loaded with antioxidant that can reduce inflammation, fight diseases and help keep you looking young. While consuming papaya nature’s best will pave the way for reducing the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, asthma, age-related macular degeneration, aiding in digestion, improving wound healing and excellent immunity booster.
Losses due to post-harvest diseases ranged from 1-93 percent depending on post-harvest handling and packing procedures. Most of the post-harvest diseases occur when pathogens enter through small wounds after harvest. The major post-harvest diseases which lower the market values are as follows.
When the infected fruits have 25% or more skin yellowing, beads of latex are exuded at the fruit surface and small water-soaked spots appear. As the infection advances, a circular sunken lesion with translucent light brown margins forms and on cross-section view, a greyish white discolouration is seen that later turns brown. A layer of firm callose tissue forms at the border of the soft semi-circular lesion.
After harvest fungi, as well as fungal spores, invade through the crevices between the peduncle or through small wounds. When the fungal hyphae invade the vascular tissue, a slight browning can be seen at the peduncle. As the infection advances, the lesion margin remains translucent while the remaining infected tissue becomes black, wrinkled and dry. At an advanced stage of infection, white mycelium forms at the stem end.
When the fruit is 40-60% yellow, cuticle disruption occurs, as latex vessels break down. The fungus enters through the breaks in the cuticle or through the punctures made by the fruit fly. Infected fruits become covered by a mass of coarse grey mycelium and finally, fruit gets watery fruit rot.
Infected tissue wrinkles become translucent and a band of water-soaked tissue advances rapidly towards the fruit cavity which can be lifted free from the rest of the fruit.
Alternaria fruit spot
Circular to oval black lesions that become covered with black spore masses are the symptoms of Alternaria infections.
To maintain the quality of the fruit for high returns
By Golda S.B, Plant Pathologist, IWDM-K, Chadayamangalam,Kerala