Green Peppers: fruit size, firmness, color
Colored Peppers: minimum 50% coloration
- Uniform shape, size and color typical of variety
- Freedom from defects such as cracks, decay, sunburn
Peppers should be cooled as soon as possible to reduce water loss. Peppers stored above 7.5°C (45°F) suffer more water loss and shrivel. Storage at 7.5°C (45°F) is best for maximum shelf-life (3-5 weeks); peppers can be stored at 5°C (41°F) for 2 weeks, and although this reduces water loss, chilling injury will begin to appear after that period. Symptoms of chilling injury include pitting, decay, discoloration of the seed cavity, softening without water loss. Ripe or colored peppers are less chilling sensitive than green peppers.
> 95%; firmness of peppers is directly related to water loss
Rates of Respiration
To calcualte heat production multiply ml CO2/kg·hr by 440 to get BTU/ton/ day or by 122 to get kcal/metric ton/day.
Rates of Ethylene Production
Bell peppers are nonclimacteric in behaviour and produce very low levels of ethylene: 0.1-0.2 µl/kg·hr at 10°-20°C (50°-68°F).
Responses to Ethylene
Bell Peppers respond very little to ethylene; to accelerate ripening or color change, holding partially colored peppers at warm temperatures of 20-25°C (68-77°F) with high humidity (>95%) is most effective.
Responses to Controlled Atmospheres (CA)
Peppers generally do not respond well to CA. Low O2 atmospheres (2-5% O2) alone have little effect on quality and high CO2 atmospheres (>5%) can damage peppers (pitting, discoloration, softening) especially if they are stored below 10°C (50°F). Atmospheres of 3% O2+ 5% CO2were more beneficial for red than green peppers stored at 5°C (41°F) to 10°C (50°F) for 3-4 weeks.