Post-harvest, Harvest Index, consumption ripeness, Total Soluble Solids (TSS).
Objective: To identify the morphological and biochemical variations of achacha (Garcinia humilis (Clusiaceae) (Vahl) C.D. Adam) in three ripeness stages of consumption.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The morphological and biochemical variables of fruits in three ripeness stages were evaluated to identify the preferred stage for consumption. We collected 15 fruits from 10 productive-stage trees (n=150) for each ripeness stage for their subsequent evaluation in the laboratory. The morphological and biochemical variables were evaluated in each one. Each fruit was considered an experimental unit. The morphological and biochemical variables were evaluated for each unit.
Results: Delaying the harvest for a few days increases the weight, length, diameter, and pulp:seed ratio of the fruits and decreases the firmness of the epicarp and the acidity. The °Brix increases and the fruits lose a considerable weight during storage. The pulp of the ripest fruits had light and unsaturated colors.
Study Limitations/Implications: Changes in the conditions of the production systems and the variation in the availability of rainwater throughout the year and from one year to another can cause variation in fruit quality.
Findings/Conclusions: The ripest fruits had outstanding biochemical parameters for its consumption and better morphological characteristics (length, total weight, diameter, and pulp:seed ratio). With adequate training, the results enable the color of the epicarp and the pulp variables to be used as a harvest index.