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FutureStarrA How to Store Cactus Pear
Many people in Arizona's Sonoran Desert are growing cactus pear, the state's official fruit. Resident apricot, peach and cherry growers need to know how to store these pears so they will keep for sale, or to preserve and can for the winter. Learn how to store your cactus pear, whether or not it's a tasty treat, so you can preserve them, can them or even sell them.Prepare. Use care in preparing the prickly pear for cooking, a pair thick leather gloves is recommended. Remove the sharp spines with pliers, cut off ends of the pear, make a shallow slit in the skin down the length of the fruit and peel back both the inner and outer layers skin back from top to bottom with a sharp knife. The prickly pear can have small stinging nearly invisible hairs. You can remove these hairs by passing the fruit through an open flame. To remove the seeds, press the fruit through a sieve or food mill. Be sure to remove the seeds before cooking, otherwise they will harden during cooking. Prickly pears are native to the tropical regions of the Americas and have been eaten by native peoples since ancient times. The prickly pear is a member of the Optunia cactus family with more than 300 species. Most originated in northwest Mexico or the southwestern United States. The best known varieties are ‘Cardona’ which has a large purplish red flower and fruit and ‘Amarilla’ which is mostly yellow.
If there’s a downside to prickly pears, it comes from the “prickly” parts that gave them their name. Not only do they have long, vicious spines sticking out of the pads, they also have small, fur-like clusters that are called glochids. While these little hairs may look harmless, they are not. They’ll brush against your skin and get stuck there like tiny needles. There are several spineless varieties of both the pads and the fruit, but even these will sometimes retain their glochids. Fruits of present study were hand collected by a traditional way from a farm located in Yayla village of Northern Cyprus. Fruits were then peeled to prepare fresh-cut prickly pears for further experiments. Fruit peeling was carried out in three steps: (i) slicing off and discarding the both ends of the prickly pears, (ii) making one long vertical slice down the body, and (iii) peeling back the skin by sliping our finger into the slice and preparing a peeled prickly pear without skin. The six treatments of present study are: (1) control—dipping the fruits into distilled water, (2) covering the fruits with Vitis vinifera leaves, (3) dipping the fruits into jelly, (4) dipping the fruits into Aloe vera gel, (5) dipping the fruits into Portulaca oleracea extract and (6) dipping the fruits into cactus gel. Totally 108 fruits (replications) were used for each treatment and 18 fruits from each treatment were selected for quality analysis with 3-days interval (3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 days). Fruits of each treatment (6 from same treatment) were placed into an open plastic box (dimensions: 20 * 13 * 5 cm; material: PET) and was covered with a stretch film (LLDPE, 10 µm) for storage. The fruit boxes were stored at storage rooms adjusted to 5 ± 1 °C and 55 ± 5% relative humidity.
) (Cantwell 1995). Cactus pears are non-climacteric and have very low ethylene production rate after harvest (Amaya-Cruz et al. 2019). Cactus pears are very sensitive to marketing conditions (20 °C, 60–70% R.H) and have a few days of shelf life due to decay and weight loss; and the harvest time has significant influence on the chemical composition of the prickly pear fruits (Juhaimi et al. 2020). Cold storage is an important way of postharvest quality preservation for fresh fruits, but it is known that temperatures below 9–10 °C increases the susceptibility of cactus fruits to chilling injury (Granata and Sidoti 2002). Film packaging, controlled atmosphere (2% O After harvest, fruits were immediately brought to laboratory, selected to eliminate unripe and damaged fruits, and then professional workers peeled the fruits carefully. The fresh-cut fruits of present study were prepared by peeling the fruit skin. The peeling was performed in three steps: (i) slicing off and discarding the both ends of the prickly pears, (ii) making one long vertical slice down the body, and (iii) peeling back the skin by sliping our finger into the slice and preparing a peeled prickly pear without skin. Experimental studies were conducted with six treatments, which was listed above. Studies were planned to continue for 18 days and quality parameters of the fruits were analyzed with 3-day interval (3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 days). 108 fruits (replications) were used for each of the six treatments (listed above) and 18 fruits from each treatment were selected for quality analysis (18 fruits * 6 measurement point = 108 fruits).After peeling, fruits were subjected to the treatments listed above. The descriptions of the treatments are: (Source: cabiagbio.biomedcentral.com)