Ms. Sarita, Eeshwar Sahu and Preeti Sahu
Department of Agriculture Extension, Department of Fruit Science
Department of Agronomy,  College of Agriculture Raipur-492012 (C.G) India. 
*Presenting author.

Citrus Post Harvest Technology Grading The fruit is inspected and unripe, immature, undersized, damaged or decayed fruits are discarded. For local markets, the citrus fruits are graded as per the size into small, medium and large grades. The differences between categories will depend on the type of fruit. For exports of Nagpur mandarins, the various grades recommended are as follows

Grade Size (mm)

No. of Fruits/ 10 Kg Packing











Packaging Citrus fruits are packed in sacks, bags, bamboo baskets and wooden boxes for sending to local markets. For urban markets, citrus fruits are packed in telescopic cardboard boxes. Corrugated trays are equally effective as packaging material while transporting the fruits. Use of such trays is cost effective due to its reusability. For export of Nagpur mandarin, usually 2 pieces, telescopic, corrugated fibreboard boxes of three ply or five ply should be used. The size of the box may vary according to the requirement of the importing country. Normally a box size of 49.5 x 29.5 x 17.5 cm having 10 kg capacity is recommended. The boxes must have 5% area punched as holes for ventilation. To immobilize the movement of fruits inside the box, three ply wax treated dividers having ventilation holes are used.

Preparation of marketing
Fruit should be cleaned to remove dirt and extraneous material in order to meet the consumer’s demand for clean produce and better price for growers. Cleaning can be done manually by hand rubbing individual fruit soaked for five minutes in a tank filled with sodium hydrochloride @150 ppm active chlorine. Fruits can be also be cleaned mechanically by passing the citrus through roller conveyor fitted with a series of roller brushes and spray nozzles. Fruit should be allowed to stay in water only for a short time as possible. Fungicide can be used as high-pressure sprays or applied as emulsion wax in wash water like imazall (1000 ppm) fruits if to be kept for long storage.

Citrus should be packed in strong well-ventilated containers that can be stacked without collapsing. The commonly used containers for domestic market are large sacks usually containing 30 kg fruits. However, they do not provide enough protection against bruise damage and causing injury while stacked. Wooded crates provide much better protection to the fruit.

After the fruits are harvested, they should be treated with wax to reduce post -harvest damage. Treatment of fruits with Bavistin (1000 ppm) can reduce post- harvest losses and extend the shelf life to 25-26 days even at room temperature. Shelf life of Nagpur mandarin can be extended by three weeks on wrapping the fruits with heat shrinkable polythene and Cryovate film (D 955 and BDF 2001). O The ideal storage temperatures for Nagpur mandarin are 6-7 C at 85-90% relative humidity while O lime & lemon are stored at 10-12 C with 90-95% relative humidity.

Citrus fruits are transported by rail or road as ordinary cargo and without refrigeration, which often leads to heavy loss due to decay and fungal infections.

Cool Chain
Cool chain is essential during the transport of export quality commodity all the way from the farm to the customer. This helps in maintaining the temperature inside the box at the same low level as in the cold storage.

The various stages of the cool chain are:
  1. Cold store at the farm.
  2. Refrigerated truck from farm to the airport.
  3. Cold store at the airport.
  4. Building up of the pallet in a cold store at the airport.
  5. Loading the aircrafts directly from the cold store in a short time.
  6. Cargo aircraft maintains cold store temperature in hold.
  7. Offloading direct into a cold store in the receiving country.
  8. Refrigerated truck to the customers.