Grape is one of the commercially important fruit crop cultivated in the country under wide range of soil and climatic conditions. In India, it is cultivated in an area of 1.18 lakh ha with annual production of 25.85 lakh MT. Tamil Nadu (1.8 %) ranks third with a production of 0.47 lakh MT over an area of 2,800 ha after Maharashtra and Karnataka. The major grape growing regions in Tamil Nadu are Theni, Dindigul and Coimbatore districts. Grape berries are highly perishable in nature and losses due to inadequate post-harvest management amounts to about 20 to 30 per cent. Muscat Hamburg (Gulabi/ Panneer) grape variety is extensively grown in Tamil Nadu with an average yield is 10 to 12 tonnes per hectare. The storage experiment was laid out in Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with two treatments and ten replications. A total weight of ten kilogram was stored in each replication under each treatment. The grape bunches were harvested (120 days after pruning), trimmed and packed in corrugated fiber board boxes from farmer’s vineyard. Then the grapes were stored at Horticultural College and Research Institute, Periyakulam under ambient condition (30±2°C; 50-70 %) as well as under cold storage condition (4±2°C; 90-92 %). In this experiment, all the observations on post-harvest quality characters were made on daily basis under ambient storage condition, whereas two days interval under cold storage condition till the berries were over-ripe and become unfit for consumption. The results showed that grape bunches stored under cold storage condition had better shelf-life of 31.33 days with 4.51 % physiological loss in weight, 4.50 N mm-1 berry firmness, 14.77°Brix TSS, 0.32 % titrable acidity and organoleptic score of 6.4 than grape bunches stored at ambient condition.
Key words : Grapes, Shelf-life, Storage.