AbstractStudies were conducted to determine a suitable procedure for ripening local papaya cultivars for the local fresh fruit market and for processing. Varietal characteristics and harvesting at the proper stage of maturity proved essential factors for producing high quality ripened papayas. Green papayas from local markets were found to ripen unevenly with impaired quality. Changes in the fruit latex and observations in peel color changes were used as criteria for picking papayas at their optimum maturity. The following ripening procedure was successful in ripening the fruit from local papaya cultivars: Properly harvested fruits were dipped in a hot water bath at 120° F for 20 minutes, followed by a tap water rinse to cool them. The treated papayas were placed in stainless steel trays in an airtight chamber at 77° F and 85 to 95 percent humidity. The chamber was exhausted for 5 minutes after 24 and 48 hours of storage. An ethylene application at the rate of 1:1,000 followed each chamber ventilation period. Papayas from cultivar P.R. 8-65 ripened into good quality fruits in 6 to 7 days under these conditions.
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