Online measurement of temperature and relative humidity as marker tools for quality changes in onion bulbs during storage
A long shelf life of onions (Allium cepa L.) is of high importance in the onion industry. Onions are dried and stored in large wooden boxes that are difficult to access. Monitoring temperature and relative humidity during these processes is challenging. Moreover, quality may change in storage without being noticed. Therefore, there is a need to find alternative methods for monitoring and controlling the drying and storage processes of onions and to identify early changes in quality during storage. The potential use of online measurements of temperature and relative humidity (RH) in the vicinity of onions was evaluated during drying and long-term storage of six onion batches (four cultivars and three selections of one of the cultivars) in commercial storage. The batches varied in bulb weight, dry matter content, firmness and disease incidence. The dry matter content and firmness decreased during storage, while the respiration rate and incidences of individual and total disease increased. Two of the batches had low storability with high disease incidences and high average temperatures and variations in the RH. The results showed that tracking the temperature and RH in the vicinity of the onions is a promising tool for improving the drying and storage processes in commercial storage and for identifying onion batches with reduced storability early in storage.
Islam, M.N.; Wei, A.; Pedersen, J.S.; Sørensen, J.N.; Körner, O.; Edelenbos, M. 2019. Online measurement of temperature and relative humidity as marker tools for quality changes in onion bulbs during storage. PLOS ONE 14(1): e0210577.