ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 67 Number 2
Research Papers
Factors affecting the severity of deflowering latex stain on banana bunches in the Windward Islands
Nigel H. Banks
Variables associated with the volume of latex released from developing banana fingers after flower parts removal were studied to facilitate development of recommendations for reducing commercial levels of latex stain on harvested bananas. Fingers deflowered close to mid-day released less latex and became less severely stained than those deflowered early in the morning. Stain severity, and the difference in stain severity between fruit deflowered at the two times of day, declined between seven days after deflowering and commercial harvesting maturity, due to the sloughing off of latex residues. No effects on latex stain severity of bunch maturity at the time of deflowering (17-26 days after shooting), recent rainfall, sunshine or windspeed before deflowering could be detected. These results indicate that greatest control of latex stain from deflowering could be obtained by restricting deflowering operations to the middle of the day.
Keywords: Banana fruit; Latex; Latex stain; Time of day