The internal issues affecting capsicums

Internal fruit rot can be a significant issue for capsicum growers. In response to this, a project is aiming to deliver capsicum growers with an integrated disease management strategy to control internal rot, as well as developing a predictive model that will help growers identify crops at risk and diagnose infection early. Dr. Jenny Ekman from Applied Horticultural Research reports.

Picture the scene: a suburban kitchen, preparing the dinner after a long day at work. It might be a stir fry, or pasta, but with one vital ingredient – red capsicum. But cutting open the apparently perfect, glossy fruit reveals a ball of revolting grey fluff. Yuck!

The supply chain includes many checks to intercept rotten products before they get to market. There’s the picker, the sorter, the box filler and finally quality control (QC) and retail staff. But how to find a problem that’s inside the product – invisible, until cut open?

Internal mould in capsicums is a sporadic issue affecting many, if not all, capsicum and chilli producing regions. Warm temperatures and high humidity favour the disease. Although infection is widely believed to occur at flowering, symptoms do not usually develop until the capsicum starts to ripen, spreading most rapidly after harvest. The fungus is usually found growing over the seeds but can also develop from the flower end of the fruit.

Read more at Ausveg

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