Chilling injury is damage to plant parts caused by temperatures above the freezing point.
Plants of tropical or subtropical origin are most susceptible.
Characteristics of chill injury:
- Surface discolouration
- Surface Pitting
- Water Soaked areas
- Lack of ability to ripen
- Increased decay
Below 13C some enzymes systems are inhibited in tropical fruit while others continue, causing accumulation of toxic intermediate products. This causes desicolouration, flavour and texture change in the fruit.
Rotting - when food spoilage takes place, 2 distinct processes are involved.
Cellular breakdown caused by enzymes contained within food. Breakdown starts immediately after harvest.
Once cellular structure becomes disorganized - food is vulnerable to attack by micro-organisms (bacteria, mould yeast) - break down complex organic components into simpler to cause alteration in flavour, texture, colour and smell.