Kiwi Fruit Harvest

Tanja Folnovic

Agronomy Expert

Actinidia or kiwi (lat. Actinidia deliciosa) is a fruit native to southern Asia, and in China has been known over 2000 years as a medicinal fruit. Today it's mostly grown in New Zealand, which is also the world's largest manufacturer. The following are Italy, Chile and France.

With its planting and farming management, kiwi can be compared with grape vines. It's perennial deciduous plant with leaves in the shape of a heart. The fruit is round, with hairs and pleasant sour taste. It's planted in a climate with a lot of moisture and heat.

Kiwi contains the most vitamin C of all known fruit species. In 100 g of fruit is about 300 mg of vitamin C, which is almost 30% of the content. It also contains approximately 180 mg of vitamin A, vitamin B1 i B2, nearly 10% of sugar, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Kiwi has the ideal balance between the minimum number of calories and maximum healing effect on the human body. By eating a kiwi organism is supplied with large quantities of vitamin C which can reduce the risk of heart disease and circulatory system, stroke or cancer. It may help in the healing of wounds, maintenance of healthy bones, iron absorption and health of teeth.

In kiwi harvest management three degrees of fruit maturity are known. The first is botanical maturity, which occurs when the flow of nutrients into fruits is stopped. They're reached the final shape and size. The second is usable maturity when fully develop fruits have all typical qualities of meat such as strength, taste and smell and they're suitable for consumption. This maturity is usually achieved only in the warehouse. The third is technological maturity that indicates the degree of ripeness for immediate use. It coincides with a usable maturity, but fruits are harvested later. Fruits are ready for harvest when they're sufficiently softened at the point where the petiole connects with the fruit meat. Too early harvested fruits are not durable in storage and excessively lose their weight. Where is kiwi grown for household purposes, it can be harvested somewhat later, even after falling off leaves, but only if there is no risk of frost or freezing.

Knowing when to harvest kiwis can be a bit tricky. Commercial kiwi growers use a tool called a refractometer, which measures the amount of sugar in the fruit to determine the time of a kiwi fruit harvest (about 6.5% or greater). Home gardener may rely on the knowledge of when the kiwi fruit is generally mature enough for kiwi fruit harvest. Kiwi fruit has attained full size, but it's not mature enough for harvesting until the seeds have turned black and the sugar content has risen. Although fruit will soften off the vine after the sugar content is 4%, the sweet flavor has not developed until the content increases to 6-8%. After kiwi harvesting, the starch is converted to sugar and will then be ready to eat once the fruit contains an astonishing 12-15% sugar.

Commercial kiwi harvesting occurs all at once, but the home gardener may very well be harvesting kiwi sporadically beginning in early autumn. Softness of the kiwi fruit is not always the best indicator of readiness. Unlike some other fruits, kiwi ripens after it has been removed from the vine.

To store kiwi, chill the fruit as soon as possible after picking and store at a high humidity. The colder the temperature for kiwi storage, the longer the kiwis keep, up to 4-6 months at 31-32°F.

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