Paul J. R. Cronje
Citrus Research International | Department of Horticultural Science, Stellenbosch University
Ockert P. J. Stander and Karen I. Theron
Department of Horticultural Science, Stellenbosch University
Various citrus cultivars of ‘Navel’ and ‘Valencia’ orange [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck], as well as mandarin and mandarin hybrids (Citrus reticulata Blanco) are prone to a preharvest physiological rind disorder, known as fruit splitting.
Similar disorders occur as fruit cracking and/or splitting in other commercially important horticultural crops, most notably in apple, apricot, cherry, grape, nectarine, prune, and tomato. Fruit splitting in citrus differs from other crops due to the unique morphology of a citrus fruit, consisting of the pulp and rind, which is made up of the spongy white internal layer, the albedo (mesocarp), and the external layer, the flavedo (exocarp).