Fresh Produce Consultancy Mulberry Lodge Culmstock Cullompton Devon EX15 3JB UK2ADAS Arthur Rickwood Mepal Ely CB6 2AB UK

1. Introduction 234

2. Onion Quality 234

3. Preharvest Factors that Affect Storage 235

3.1 Cultivars 235

3.2 Mineral nutrition 236

3.3 Soil texture and irrigation 237

3.4 Temperature and humidity in the field 237

3.5 Carbon dioxide 237

3.6 Harvest time in relation to bulb maturity 237

4. The Harvesting Process 239

5. Curing and Drying 240

5.1 The curing process 240

5.2 Temperature and humidity during curing: effects on quality and on pathogens 240

6. Composition and Changes in Bulbs during Curing and Storage 241

6.1 Fresh weight and moisture loss 241

6.2 Respiration 242

6.3 Carbohydrates 242

6.4 Organic acids 243

6.5 Pungent flavours 243

6.6 Flavonol glucosides 244

6.7 Colours 244

6.8 Vitamins 244

6.9 Physical and chemical properties of onions and onion-skins 245

6.10 Mechanical injury 245

6.11 Growth substances 245

7. Dormancy and Dormancy Breaking 246

7.1 The nature of onion dormancy and changes over time 246

7.2 Cultivars 247

7.3 Temperature and dormancy breaking 247

7.4 Relative humidity 249

7.5 Internal atmosphere 250

© CAB International 2002. Allium Crop Science: Recent Advances

(eds H.D. Rabinowitch and L. Currah) 233

8. Effect of Chemical and Radiation Treatments on Storage and Quality 251

8.1 Maleic hydrazide (MH) 251

8.2 Ethylene and cytokinins 251

8.3 Other chemicals 251

8.4 Research into controlled-atmosphere storage 252

8.5 Irradiation 252

9. Methods of Curing and Storage 253

9.1 Field storage 253

9.2 Ventilation with forced ambient air 254

9.3 Ventilation with heated air 254

9.4 Stores with controlled-temperature facilities 254

10. Diseases of Storage 255

10.1 Black mould 255

10.2 Neck rot 255

10.3 Other pathogens 256

11. Conclusions and Future Directions 256 References 256

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