Handharvesting

Most of the world's pineapples are harvested by hand. For cannery processing, fruit are picked and placed into bags or baskets for

Fig. 6.19. Slices of 'Smooth Cayenne' pineapple fruit showing the range from opaque (not translucent) to fully translucent (photo courtesy of W.G. Sanford).

removal from the field. The fruit may be accumulated at roadways for transfer into trucks (Fig. 6.20) or loaded directly for transportation to either the cannery or a central location, such as a broker, where fruit can be accumulated before transfer to the cannery. Harvested fruit should not be left exposed to direct sunlight for more than an hour or so, as the sides and lower parts of the fruit are susceptible to sunburn.

Fruits destined for fresh market are usually harvested with the crowns and are often cut from the plant with a short length of peduncle remaining attached to the fruit. For local markets, the peduncle length may be 5-10 cm long, but for international trade, peduncle length is limited to 2.0 cm under the Codex standard referred to above. On some farms and plantations, fresh fruit are packed directly into shipping boxes in the field. Cut surfaces on these fruit may be treated with fungicides to reduce black rot and waxed to help retain fruit quality.

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