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Evolution of the lychee maturation and influences of the geographic location of the production area (low land - tanety)

Rabodomanantsoa A.F., Razakaratrimo J., Jahiel M.. 2020. In : Ramananarivo Romaine (ed.), Avanzato D. (ed.), Chalak Lamis (ed.). Proceedings of the International Symposium on Survey of Uses of Plant Genetic Resources to the Benefit of Local Populations. Louvain : ISHS, p. 283-289. (Acta Horticulturae, 1267). International Symposium on Suvey of Uses of Plant Genetic Resources to the Benefit of Local Populations, 2017-09-18/2017-09-22, Antananarive (Madagascar).

The lychee (Litchi chinensis L.) of Madagascar is exported as a fresh fruit treated with sulfur dioxide mostly to European markets. To access these markets, the fruit must comply with some commercial and regulatory standards, which are very strict. The standards of quality are mainly about the diameter, the pericarp color and the flavor. These qualitative criterions are difficult to appreciate at the harvest. So, a study was carried out in the Toamasina region in 2014, which is the major lychee production and collection area, to establish a relationship between the maturity of the fruit and the harvest parameters (pericarp color, diameter and flavor). These latter depend on the water availability. A monitoring scheme of fruit development up to the fruit set at the maturity has been implemented. It took into account the variation of the altitude, water availability and solar exposition, depending on the geographic location. The fruit development was studied at two different geographic locations: the first one located on the low land and the second on tanety {high land). In each site, two types of tracking were done: a non-destructive tracking of diameter and coloration, and a destructive tracking with measure of total soluble solids (TSS) and titratable acids (TA). The main results show that tanety fruits tend to be smaller than fruits in low land place. A relationship exists between the diameter and the color evolution of the fruits. When color no longer changed, the diameter has reached its maximum size. When the brix degree, the color and the diameter no longer changed, the acidity decreased, especially on tanety. As a consequence, the visual maturity based on the observation of diameter and the pericarp color do not allow to know if the required flavor standard is reached (TSS/TA).

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