Postharvest Physiology, Biochemistry and Quality Management of Chili Plum (Spondias purpurea var. Lutea): A Review

  •  Majeed Mohammed    
  •  Puran Bridgemohan    
  •  Owen Graham    
  •  Lynda Wickham    
  •  Ronell S. H. Bridgemohan    
  •  Zareef Mohammed    


The chili plum (Spondias purpurea L.) is an exotic fruit with a climacteric pattern of respiration belonging to the Anacardiaceous family and is consumed in both the fresh and processed states. The fruit has a yellow pulp, pleasant aroma, sweet sour taste with vitamin A content being higher than cashew, guava, some papaya and mango cultivars. However, a relatively short shelf-life of 5-6 days at ambient temperatures for harvested fruits and widespread incidence of fruit-fly infestation are two major limitations for increased utilization of this fruit. Fruits can be successfully stored up to 14 days at 12.5oC. Fruits stored at 12.5oC and then subsequently transferred to 30-32oC ripened normally with a shelf-life of 4 days. Storage at temperatures below 9-10oC resulted in the occurrence of chilling injury damage accompanied by an inhibition of ripening. Chili plums have a caloric density of 74 kcal/100 g-1 edible portion which is significantly higher than the 39 to 58 kcal/100g-1 for peach, apricot, and mango and cherry. The higher caloric density is attributed to its total carbohydrates of 19.1% and fructose, glucose and sucrose which together account for 65% of the soluble matter. Unlike the other fruits, chili plum retains a fair amount of starch in the mesocarp. It is a moderate source of potassium (250 mg/100g-1 edible portion) and an excellent source of vitamin C (48 mg/100g-1 edible portion). Analysis of volatile flavour compounds showed 2-hexenal to be the main flavour compound present.

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