Effects of Harvesting Stages and Storage Temperatures on Pigment Contents in Fresh Fig of Four Iranian Cultivars


1 Fig Research Station, Fars Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Training Center, AREEO, Estahban, Iran

2 Deptartment of Horticultural Science, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz Branch, Shiraz, Iran


Investigating of pigments changing trend in different stages of fruit maturity is essential for utilizing from nutritional value of pigments in fresh fruit consumption, unfortunately not known for Iranian fresh figs until now. In order to achieve this goal, this experiment was conducted in a factorial experiment based on a complete randomized design with three replications in Estahban Fig Research Station, Estahban, Iran in 2017. The first factor was fig cultivar in four levels (Sabz, Siah, Matti, and Shahanjir), and the second factor was fruit harvesting stage at three levels (before maturity, maturity and after maturity), and the third factor was the storage temperature at two levels (4 and 22 degrees Celsius). The levels of chlorophyll a and b, total chlorophyll, carotenoids and anthocyanin in fresh fruits of fig cultivars at different harvesting stages and storage temperatures were measured. The results showed an increasing trend in some pigments such as chlorophyll b, total chlorophyll, and carotenoids during the development of fig fruit maturation. The highest amount of tested pigments in this experiment was in Siah cultivar, which indicates the higher nutritional value of these fruits for fresh consumption. The majority of pigments content increase in harvested fruit after maturity. Therefore, in order to use the nutritional value of pigments in fresh figs, figs be harvested and used for fresh consumption after maturity.


  1. Aksoy U., 1998. Why figs? An old taste and a new perspective. Acta Hortic. 480, 25-26.
  2. Vinson J.A., Hao Y., Su X., Zubik L., 1998. Phenol antioxidant quantity and quality in foods: vegetables. J. Agric Food Chem. 46(9), 3630-3634.
  3. Stover E., Aradhya M., Ferguson L., Crisosto C.H., 2007. The fig: overview of an ancient fruit. HortScience. 42(5), 1083-1087.
  4. Solomon A., Golubowicz S., Yablowicz Z., Grossman S., Bergman M., Gottlieb H.E., Altman A., Kerem Z., Flaishman M.A., 2006. Antioxidant activities and anthocyanin content of fresh fruits of common fig (Ficus carica L.). J Agric Food Chem. 54(20), 7717-7723.
  5. Perkins-Veazie P., Collins J.K., Pair S.D., Roberts W., 2001. Lycopene content differs among redââ‚‌fleshed watermelon cultivars. J. Sci Food Agric. 81(10), 983-987.
  6. Kikha Z., Saifi I., Varasteh F., Qassim-Nejad A., 2015. Comparison of morphological and phytochemical traits of spring and summer products of three genotypes of figs in Golestan province- Iran. Environmental Plant Physiology. 10, 62-72.
  7. Puech A.A., Rebeiz C.A., Crane J.C., 1976. Pigment changes associated with application of ethephon ((2-chloroethyl) phosphonic acid) to fig (Ficus carica L.) fruits. Plant Physiol. 57(4), 504-509.
  8. Delgado-Pelayo R., Gallardo-Guerrero L., Hornero-Méndez D., 2014. Chlorophyll and carotenoid pigments in the peel and flesh of commercial apple fruit varieties. Food Res Int. 65, 272-281.
  9. Ferruzzi M.G., Blakeslee J., 2007. Digestion, absorption, and cancer preventative activity of dietary chlorophyll derivatives. Nutr Res. 27(1), 1-12.
  10. Sgherri C., Pérez-López U., Pinzino C., 2015. Antioxidant properties of food products containing lycopene are increased by the presence of chlorophyll. Lycopene: Food Sources, Potential Role in Human Health and Antioxidant Effects Edited by bailey JR. New York: Nova Science Publishers, inc, 39-90.
  11. Krinsky N.I., Johnson E.J., 2005. Carotenoid actions and their relation to health and disease. Mol Aspects Med. 26(6), 459-516.
  12. Taylor M., Ramsay G., 2005. Carotenoid biosynthesis in plant storage organs: recent advances and prospects for improving plant food quality. Physiol Plant. 124(2), 143-151.
  13. Voutilainen S., Nurmi T., Mursu J., Rissanen T.H., 2006. Carotenoids and cardiovascular healthââ‚‌“. Am J Clin Nutr. 83(6), 1265-1271.
  14. Wang S.Y., Lin H.S., 2000. Antioxidant activity in fruits and leaves of blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry varies with cultivar and developmental stage. J Agric Food Chem. 48(2), 140-146.
  15. Echeverría G., Cantín C., Ortiz A., López M., Lara I., Graell J., 2015. The impact of maturity, storage temperature and storage duration on sensory quality and consumer satisfaction of ââ‚‌˜Big Top娉â‚‌™nectarines. Sci Hortic (Amsterdam). 190, 179-186.
  16. Tavarini S., Deglââ‚‌™Innocenti E., Remorini D., Massai R., Guidi L., 2008. Antioxidant capacity, ascorbic acid, total phenols and carotenoids changes during harvest and after storage of Hayward kiwifruit. Food Chem. 107(1), 282-288.
  17. Serrano M.a., Díaz-Mula H.M., Zapata P.J., Castillo S., Guillén F.N., Martínez-Romero D., Valverde J.M., Valero D., 2009. Maturity stage at harvest determines the fruit quality and antioxidant potential after storage of sweet cherry cultivars. J Agric Food Chem. 57(8), 3240-3246.
  18. Stavang J.A., Freitag S., Foito A., Verrall S., Heide O.M., Stewart D., Sønsteby A., 2015. Raspberry fruit quality changes during ripening and storage as assessed by colour, sensory evaluation and chemical analyses. Sci Hortic (Amsterdam). 195, 216-225.
  19. Kalt W., Forney C.F., Martin A., Prior R.L., 1999. Antioxidant capacity, vitamin C, phenolics, and anthocyanins after fresh storage of small fruits. J Agric Food Chem. 47(11), 4638-4644.
  20. Lo Piero A. R., Puglisi I., Rapisarda P., Petrone G., 2005. Anthocyanins accumulation and related gene expression in red orange fruit induced by low temperature storage. J Agric Food Chem. 53(23), 9083-9088.
  21. Cordenunsi B., Nascimento J.D., Lajolo F., 2003. Physico-chemical changes related to quality of five strawberry fruit cultivars during cool-storage. Food Chem. 83(2), 167-173.
  22. Shin Y., Ryu J.A., Liu R.H., Nock J.F., Watkins C.B., 2008. Harvest maturity, storage temperature and relative humidity affect fruit quality, antioxidant contents and activity, and inhibition of cell proliferation of strawberry fruit. Postharvest Biol Technol. 49(2), 201-209.
  23. Clark R., Menary R., 1979. The importance of harvest date and plant density on the yield and quality of Tasmanian peppermint [Mentha piperita] oil. J Am Soc Hortic Sci. 104, 702-706.
  24. Lima V.L., Mélo E.A., Maciel M.I.S., Prazeres F.G., Musser R.S., Lima D.E., 2005. Total phenolic and carotenoid contents in acerola genotypes harvested at three ripening stages. Food Chem. 90(4), 565-568.
  25. Wagner G.J., 1979. Content and vacuole/extravacuole distribution of neutral sugars, free amino acids, and anthocyanin in protoplasts. Plant Physiol. 64(1), 88-93.
  26. Arnon D.I., 1949. Copper enzymes in isolated chloroplasts. Polyphenoloxidase in Beta vulgaris. Plant Physiol. 24(1), 1-15.
  27. Doleh L., Hassanpour Asil M.A., Abdollahi H., 2010. Effective factors determining the commercial maturity of fruit in different pears. Iranian Horticultural Science. 41(2), 189-196.
  28. Ding B., Shi G., Xu Y., Hu J., Xu Q., 2007. Physiological responses of Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb leaves to cadmium stress. Environ Pollut. 147(3), 800-803.
  29. Martı́nez G.A., Civello P.M., Chaves A.R., Añón M.A.C., 2001. Characterization of peroxidase-mediated chlorophyll bleaching in strawberry fruit. Phytochemistry. 58(3), 379-387.
  30. Costa M.L., Civello P.M., Chaves A.R., Martínez G.A., 2005. Effect of ethephon and 6-benzylaminopurine on chlorophyll degrading enzymes and a peroxidase-linked chlorophyll bleaching during post-harvest senescence of broccoli (Brassica oleracea L.) at 20 C. Postharvest Biol Technol. 35(2), 191-199.
  31. Serrano M., Martinez-Romero D., Guillen F., Castillo S., Valero D., 2006. Maintenance of broccoli quality and functional properties during cold storage as affected by modified atmosphere packaging. Postharvest Biol Technol. 39(1), 61-68.
  32. Koca N., Karadeniz F., Burdurlu H.S., 2007. Effect of pH on chlorophyll degradation and colour loss in blanched green peas. Food Chem. 100(2), 609-615.
  33. Salvador M., Aranda F., Fregapane G., 2001. Influence of fruit ripening on ââ‚‌˜Cornicabraââ‚‌™virgin olive oil quality A study of four successive crop seasons. Food Chem. 73(1), 45-53.
  34. Mashayekhi K., Sadeghi H., Akbarpur V., Atashi S., Qasemi Y., Mousavi Zadeh S.J., 2014. Changes in Carbohydrates of leaf and fruits of peach cv. Redgold during the growing season in Kerman weather conditions. Journal of Horticultural Science. 28(1), 1-9.
  35. Ding C.K., Chachin K., Hamauzu Y., Ueda Y., Imahori Y., 1998. Effects of storage temperatures on physiology and quality of loquat fruit. Postharvest Biol Technol. 14(3), 309-315.
  36. Rivera Pastrana D.M., Yahia E.M., González Aguilar G.A., 2010. Phenolic and carotenoid profiles of papaya fruit (Carica papaya L.) and their contents under low temperature storage. J Sci Food Agric. 90(14), 2358-2365.
  37. Roca M., Mínguez-Mosquera M.I., 2001. Changes in chloroplast pigments of olive varieties during fruit ripening. J Agric Food Chem. 49(2), 832-839.
  38. Chandrasekhar J., Madhusudhan M., Raghavarao K., 2012. Extraction of anthocyanins from red cabbage and purification using adsorption. Food and bioproducts processing. 90(4), 615-623.
  39. Arvanitoyannis I., Mavromatis A., 2009. Banana cultivars, cultivation practices, and physicochemical properties. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 49(2), 113-135.
  40. Shoja A., Ghasem Nejad M., Mortazavi N., 2011. Changes in antioxidant capacity and quality after harvest of Thomson and blood orange juice during storage. Journal of Horticultural Science. 25(2), 147-155.
  41. Bureau S., Renard C.M., Reich M., Ginies C., Audergon J.M., 2009. Change in anthocyanin concentrations in red apricot fruits during ripening. LWT-Food Sci Technol. 42(1), 372-377.
  42. Nergiz C., Engez Y., 2000. Compositional variation of olive fruit during ripening. Food Chem. 69(1), 55-59.
  43. Cabrita L., Fossen T., Andersen Ø.M., 2000. Colour and stability of the six common anthocyanidin 3-glucosides in aqueous solutions. Food Chem. 68(1), 101-107.
  44. Kulkarni A.P., Aradhya S.M., 2005. Chemical changes and antioxidant activity in pomegranate arils during fruit development. Food Chem. 93(2), 319-324.
  45. Rapisarda P., Bianco M.L., Pannuzzo P., Timpanaro N., 2008. Effect of cold storage on vitamin C, phenolics and antioxidant activity of five orange genotypes [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck]. Postharvest Biol Technol. 49(3), 348-354.