COLD TOLERANCE OF BANANA FRUITS OF DIFFERENT CULTIVARS

ABSTRACT The objective of this work was to evaluate the tolerance of fruits of different banana cultivars to low temperature storages. Fruits of the cultivars Nanicão (AAA), Prata (AAB), Vitória (AAAB), Maçã (AAB) and Caipira (AAA) were used. Clusters of three fruits were kept in cold storage for 7, 14 and 21 days, with average temperature of 10.53±0.37°C and relative humidity of 85%. Subsequently, the clusters were transferred to temperatures of 22±0.39°C and evaluated for 16 days. The fruits of all cultivars remained green after 21 days of storage at 10.53±0.37°C. Fruits of the cultivar Nanicão did not completely ripened after transferred to the 22°C storage, when stored for 7 days at low temperature. These fruits were firmer, with green peel and low soluble solids and titratable acidity. The fruits of all cultivars complete the ripening when transferred to room temperature after 21 days of cold storage. Chilling injuries increased with cold storage time in all cultivars. The cultivars Nanicão, Caipira and Maçã had more symptoms of chilling injury, while Prata and Vitória were more tolerant to the cold storage (10.53°C) for up to 21 days, showing normal ripening after transferred to the 22±0.39°C storage.