Table grape quality: After harvest
Table grapes are subject to two important types of deterioration after harvest—desiccation and decay. Desiccation is aggravated by high temperatures, low humidities and air movement. It affects the stems before the berries, causing them to turn brown and become brittle. Subsequent breakage of these dry stems during handling results in the market loss called shatter. This can be largely prevented by prompt and thorough pre-cooling of the fruit after harvest followed by storage at 31°F to 32°F with a relative humidity of about 90%. Loss can be further reduced by careful handling of the fruit from the time it is harvested until it is sold at retail. If desiccation is severe the berries look dull and lifeless and become soft in texture, serious detrimental aspects of quality.