Handling: Sweet cherries for fresh shipment
Sweet cherries are among the most perishable of California stone fruits, and high losses sometimes result from serious fruit deterioration during marketing. The study reported here resulted from an industry request to determine how losses could be reduced and high quality maintained. A program designed to evaluate the effect of current handling methods on fruit quality was initiated in 1964. While much work remains to be done, certain results obtained during the first season are of immediate value to the cherry industry. For example, delays of only a few hours between harvest and cooling of the fruit caused noticeable deterioration of quality. An eight-hour delay before cooling was found to cause more deterioration in the fruit than nine days of subsequent holding under good transit and marketing conditions. Slowest fruit deterioration occurred when temperatures were kept just above the freezing point of the cherries.