Organic Management of ‘Maradol’ Papaya (Carica papaya L.) Crops: Effects on the Sensorial and Physicochemical Characteristics of Fruits

Instituto de Biociencias, Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas, Boulevard Príncipe Akishino sin Número, Colonia Solidaridad 2000, C.P. 30798 Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico
 Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 September 2019 / Accepted: 28 October 2019 / Published: 1 November 2019
Abstract: The Maradol Papaya (Carica papaya L.) is a fleshy berry produced in the tropics; it is highly appreciated around the world for its high nutritional and medicinal value, as well as its attractive sensory properties. Evaluating the physiological, chemical, and sensory characteristics of ‘Maradol’ papaya fruits from organically managed crops was the primary objective of this study. Four treatments (T1–T4) were evaluated, all of which were fertilized using the same organic management practices. In addition, plant extracts were applied regularly to T1–T3 as pest control, and single (T2) and double (T1) rows of trap plants (roselle) were used. T4 did not receive additional treatment. Fruits under conventional agriculture outside the experimental site were included for comparative purposes (controls). The organic management of the plants did not negatively influence the physiological traits of postharvest ripening. Among the organic treatments, T1 fruits had the highest total soluble solids, vitamin C, and reducing sugars, as well as the lowest weight loss, which significantly improved the quality of the fruit, compared to conventionally produced fruits. In addition, sensory evaluation performed by trained judges, revealed that fruits from the organically managed plots (T1–T4) were the softest and juiciest, and had a higher score in fruit and papaya aroma, in contrast to the conventionally produced fruits, which turned out to be sour, more astringent, and less soft and juicy. The results show that the exclusively organic management of ‘Maradol’ papaya crops improves several post-harvest traits of the fruits, compared to those that can be purchased commercially and are conventionally grown.

Keywords: organic agriculture; trained judges; biofertilizers; fruits quality

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