Revista Chapingo. Serie horticultura
versão impressa ISSN 1027-152X
Cactus pear fruit prices drop significantly during August and September in North-Central Mexico because harvest peak is concentrated on those months. Harvest delay is an option to alleviate this problem and it was the aim of the research conducted. Four-year-old cactus pear trees cv. Cristalina were used in this trial. The treatments were: 1) leaving the normal development of the first vegetative and reproductive flux, which was considered as control, and 2) inducing a second vegetative and reproductive flux. The second treatment set back the harvest by 45 days, increased weight and flesh firmness of fruit, but yield was reduced by 65% compared with control. After four weeks in storage, flesh firmness and dry mass concentration were higher in out of season fruits. It is possible to delay the harvest period of the cv. Cristalina, however, additional research work is needed under different environments and other cactus pear cultivars with high commercial value.
Palavras-chave : Opuntia spp; fruit phenology; reflowering; yield; fruit quality; postharvest.