Grapefruit is a great healthy food item that is enjoyed by people all over the world. With flavors ranging from seriously sour to semi-sweet, this citrus fruit can offer both immense health benefits as well as a distinctive taste profile that many people swear by.
To ensure that grapefruit tastes the best it possibly can, proper knowledge of cooling and storage procedures is crucial. To this end, the following information is essential to keeping grapefruit tasting great long after it’s been harvested.
Get to Know the Grapefruit
In general, there are quite a few varieties of grapefruit available to shoppers. Ruby Red is perhaps the most popular variety thanks to its sweetness, which is a staple among those varieties sharing a similar red hue. Other types of grapefruit include pink, Star Ruby, Oro Blanco, White Marsh, and even flame, which offers a combination of tart and sweet flavors. Grapefruit is grown in numerous countries, with U.S. production concentrated within Florida and Texas.
In addition to the unique flavor, grapefruit is also an exceedingly healthy food source. Grapefruit is rich in fiber and antioxidants, as well as being a great source of vitamin C. Grapefruit is also known for its fat-burning properties thanks to its low glycemic index. Many dieters rely on grapefruit as a means of boosting metabolism, which is why this fruit is often consumed for breakfast.
Proper Storage of Grapefruit
When it comes to storing grapefruit, there are a number of considerations one must make to ensure the fruit is tasty and long-lasting. Harvesting at the right time is just one of many factors involved in producing a quality fruit, as well as making certain that cooling and storage is successful.
Grapefruit should be harvested at full maturity, as ripening ceases once the fruit is harvested. Determining ripeness involves observing the following:
- No evident decay or defects (staining, scars, pitting, damage from insects, etc.)
- Thickness/smoothness of peel
- Intensity and uniformity of color
Proper storage of grapefruit entails maintaining the correct temperature, as well as ensuring that humidity remains at an acceptable level. When storing grapefruit, temperatures should remain between 54-57°F, while humidity should be between 90-95%.
Additionally, growers must look out for certain issues that often befall grapefruit harvest. For instance, oil spotting can occur due to physical stress on overly-hard fruits. Pathological disorders can also pose a threat. Diseases of note include blue and green mold, stem end rot, brown rot, and sour rot.
Implementing common sense control strategies can help reduce the likelihood of issues with harvests. Proper handling is important to prevent physical damage from occurring, while treatment with fungicides post-harvest can greatly inhibit mold growth.
Grapefruit Cooling Techniques
Grapefruit can also be cooled to maintain longevity. In this case, it’s important to utilize the proper methods to ensure your fruit retains its delicious flavor post-harvest. Being aware of the different types of cooling methods is also extremely helpful:
Room Cooling – As the name suggests, room cooling entails storing grapefruit in a room with a built-in refrigeration unit. This method affords a gradual adjustment to cooler temperatures, which is less disruptive to the fruit. For the best results, be sure to keep grapefruit in packs with a decent amount of airflow.
Cooling via Forced-Air – Forced-air cooling offers a slight tweak on the above method via the introduction of a fan into a refrigerated room. Grapefruit should be placed around the fan, which will then increase the cooling speed by forcing air into the fruit. This is a good method when the cooling process must happen at an accelerated rate, which is not possible with room cooling alone.
Hydrocooling – While fully chilling grapefruit via hydrocooling is not recommended, this method can help prepare grapefruit for the above storage methods. Hydrocooling requires submerging grapefruit in near freezing water to remove any residual heat from the field. Grapefruit can either be cooled via room cooling or forced-air, both of which offer long-term methods for keeping fruit cool.
Treating Grapefruit With Care Will Offer the Best Results
As with all fruits, maintaining flavor and freshness requires taking the right approach to post-harvest storage. Doing so will not only afford the best taste possible, it can also allow fruit to retain its maximum quality for even longer. This is especially true of grapefruit, which offers an unbelievable flavor when handled accordingly. Semco provides cooling and storage systems that are ideal for use with grapefruit and other produce.