Harvest kinnow only at maturity: PAU Experts
Kinnow mandarin is the king of fruits in Punjab, with most of the fruit area in the state being occupied by this fruit
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) experts stressed the need to harvest and market the kinnow fruit only when it has reached the appropriate maturity.
The advice came in the wake of media reports of the sale of immature kinnow in Abohar Mandi.
Head of department of fruit science HS Rattanpal said, “The university has always recommended that the kinnow fruit attains optimum edible quality in terms of sugar and acid ratio during January-February.”
Principal fruit scientist Gurteg Singh said,“Kinnow mandarin is the king of fruits in Punjab, with most of the fruit area in the state being occupied by this fruit. It takes 9 to 10 months from fruiting to harvest, depending on soil, climate and management practices.” About its maturity, he said,“A reliable indicator of the ripeness of Kinnow fruit is the ratio of total soluble solids (TSS) to acid. According to this indicator, the fruit is ready for harvest when the ratio of TSS and acid in the surrounding and internal parts of the fruit reaches 12:1 and 14:1, respectively. This harvest standard is achieved by fruits in the period from mid-January to mid-February under Punjab conditions. However, this may change for several days depending on weather conditions.”
Referring to immature fruit, Singh warned,“When Kinnow fruit is harvested unripe, it develops very high acidity and low sugar content, which affects the quality and flavour of the fruit. Moreover, harvesting and selling unripe fruits, in the current long-distance marketing and export scenario, may result in tarnishing the reputation of the palatability, taste and aroma of our ‘king’ fruit.”
The experts thus advised the Kinnow growers and traders to focus on the future of this premium fruit.