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Current Style: Standard

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Waxing and pretreatments

Wax (Primafresh C) extended the shelf-life of fruits, reduced weight losses and maintained an adequate external appearance during storage at 12°C and 80% r.h. Purple passion fruit coated with 1% Semper fresh (an edible mixture of sucrose esters of fatty acids and carboxy methyl cellulose) had lower storage weight losses, less shriveling and were sweeter but had more fungal disease than untreated fruit.


The major limitations to storage are fermentation of the pulp, shriveling and fungal decay, although it was found that moisture was lost mainly from the skin rather than the pulp, and shriveled samples had a similar flavour to those of smooth samples. In storage trials on yellow passion fruit at 5, 10 and 15°C, the soluble solids percentage did not change over a 45-day period at 5 or 10°C but deceased linearly at 15°C and the external appearance of fruit deteriorated rapidly at 5 and 15°C. Fruits used in the experiments were vine ripened and the percentage of pulp increased linearly during storage at 5°C, did not change at 10°C but at 15°C it increased up to 30 days then deceased from that point to the end of the experiment at 45 days. Storage of vine-ripened yellow passionfruit at 29 ± 2°C retained their fresh, characteristic, ester-type aroma (ethyl butanoate and ethyl hexanoate) for only 3 days after harvest. There was a continuous increase in the concentration of ethyl acetate over the 15 days of storage. Hexyl butanoate levels were highest after 3 days of storage, decreasing thereafter. Benzaldehyde and hexanol levels decreased after 9 days of storage but 2-heptanone increased continuously during storage. At a room temperature of 20°C and 60% r.h. they could be kept for about 1 week.

Other refrigerated storage recommendations are as follows:

• 5.5–7°C and 80–85% r.h. for 4–5 weeks (Anon 1967)

• 5.6–7.2°C and 85–90% r.h. for 3 weeks with 32% weight loss for purple passionfruits (Pantastico 1975)

• 8°C and 90% r.h. for 3–4 weeks (Mercantilia 1989)

• 7–10°C and 85–90% r.h. for 3–5 weeks (Snowdon 1990)

• 12.2°C and 90–95% r.h. for 14–21 days (Sea Land 1991).

Chilling injury

Storage below 10°C led to chilling injury in the form of blood-red discoloration of the skin, quickly followed

by mould attack.

Modified atmosphere packaging

Storage in plastic bags can prolong their storage life. In Colombia the fruits of the cultivar Degener were considered unsaleable after only 5 days at a mean ambient temperature of 23°C and 76% r.h., but after storage for 14 days in non-perforated and perforated bags there were 99% and 80% of saleable fruits, respectively. Packing purple passion fruit fruits in polyethylene bags reduced weight loss and the fruits stored well at 6°C for 42 days. Storage of fruit in polyethylene bags  25 μm thick reduced moisture loss and shriveling and extended their storage life to 28 days without adversely affecting the internal quality.


Adding 500 μl litre–1 ethylene during storage at 25°C resulted in the climacteric peak being reached in only 2 days compared with 13–14 days in fruits without ethylene.

Market requirements

There is a very small market for the yellow granadilla in Europe, but at least 95% of demand is for the purple fruited form of passion fruit.

Standard specifications are as follows, but note that with the many different cultivars and hybrids now available, detailed specifications should be established in advance with the intended market. Where the yellow granadilla is required, specifications are broadly the same although sizing, of course, differs.

Varieties: Cultivars of P.edulis f. edulis

Appearance: Entirely purple. Fully developed, glossy and ripe.

Size: 40 - 50mm diameter, though a narrower range may be specified with different counts per carton. Min 30g. Max 50g.

Shape & Aspect: Globose. Preferably round and not ovoid. Light wrinkling is permitted, but should not be excessive, nor distorting the shape. The fruit stalk of 2-4mm may be required or permitted.

Condition: Free from splits or cracks in the skin. Free from pests and disease. Free from blemishes.

Taste & Texture: Fruits at least 80% full. Flesh yellow/orange, juicy with brown/black seeds, characteristically aromatic. No taints, off-flavours or fermentation.

Storage: 7-10°C. Susceptible to chilling injury. Note that passion fruit produces much ethylene - beware of mixed loads of produce.

Presentation: Boxes should contain fruit of uniform size.

Export process


At maturity passion fruit colour turns from green to purple (or yellow). The fruit should be fully developed at harvest and can finish colouring during storage. The fruit must, however, arrive at the destination market fully coloured but not shrivelled. The fruit can be allowed to drop and picked off the ground or, preferably, it is harvested from the vine with knives or secateurs. If picked off the ground there is a greater risk of extraneous material (sticks, stone, and other rubbish) and water loss: the fruit must not have begun to shrivel. The ground underneath the vines must be kept clear. When cutting from the vine it is critical that the fruit is sufficiently mature to colour before import, and it should not be cut before it is full and almost ready to drop. Fruits picked too early will not ripen properly and the pulp may have a woody taint. Fruits should be picked with the up to 30mm stem intact.

Note that despite the tough leathery skin passion fruit are still quite easily damaged. Picked fruit should be collected into lined crates and removed from the field as soon as practicable.

Export Grading & Packing

Good grading will ensure that only the top quality is sent to Europe. Any consignment will only achieve the price of the poorest quality box and the cost of airfreight is too high to risk any reduction in sales price. Only fully developed and coloured fruit should be selected and there must be no shrivelling of the skin. The fruit should be smooth and spherical or slightly ovoid and free of any damage or mould. Where the importer specifies weight tolerances or counts per box, these must be achieved. The fruit can be wiped with a damp cloth or washed, cleaned and dried gently. The fruit should be sized with grading rings and sorted on the shipping day to ensure that each fruit is 90% coloured with no damage and a uniform size per carton. Packing, either loose in carton or in bags or punnets.

Packaging Requirements

Passion fruit are usually packed in cardboard outers to a net weight of 2kg with 48 fruits per carton. Sheets of paper should separate layers of fruit. Where fruit weight is specified, the number of fruit per carton may reduce. The importer, particularly in the UK and Germany, may require the passion fruit packed in clear plastic lidded punnets or micro-perforated bags, with four fruits to a pack, or

even individually wrapped. French importers only require loose packed passion fruit. The larger yellow granadillas are packed in 3.5kg trays.

All cartons should be legibly and indelibly marked with:-

  • The packer/dispatcher by name and address or mark.
  • Nature of the produce.
  • Origin of the produce.
  • Specifications of class, size, quantity.

Other useful information might include:-

  • This side up symbol.
  • Fragile symbol.
  • Temperature symbol with an indication of the temperature range.
  • Net weight.
  • Date of packing.
  • Tare.
  • Name and address of grower.

Storage & Transportation

Passion fruit continue to ripen after harvest and should preferably be stored at reduced temperatures. Ripening passion fruit can be stored for 3-5 weeks at 7-10oC in 90-95% relative humidity. Fully ripe passion fruit can be held for up to one week at 5-7 oC. Chilling damage occurs below 5 oC. Passion fruit are very high producers of ethylene, and it is imperative that they are not stored or transported with any produce that is sensitive to ethylene. Passion fruit are sent to Europe by air as the shelf life is too short for sea-freighting.

Access to market

Import Documentation

Consignments of passion fruit should be accompanied by the following:

Commercial invoice

Phytosanitary certificate

The information to be included on the commercial invoice and the need for any other documentation should be agreed with the importer in advance. Note that any hold – up to the process of releasing the passion fruit on import will reduce the shelf life.

Relevant Legislation

Import Duty

Passion fruit enter the EU free of duty under the tariff code 0810.90-40 (10).

Quality standards

There are no EC standards set for the import of passion fruit. There is only a minimum requirement that they should be





Free from injury, disease or pests


One of the key drivers in the European food market has been an increasing concern amongst consumers for health and healthy products. Fresh produce benefits from this interest in health, but there is increasing anxiety about the use of pesticides both in environmental impact and in food safety, as seen in the growth of the organic sector. The European commission addresses the issues of food safety with lists of banned chemicals and also through regulations on maximum residue levels (MRLs). It is critical that the producer and exporter fully understand the regulations. These should be discussed with the importer and followed. Accurate record keeping of all pesticide applications is essential and producers should follow an accepted Code of Practice. The regulations on MRLs are changing as the EC attempts to harmonise the levels set in different member states. The consequences of these changes for exporters of tropical fruits are serious: unless MRLs have been established for a crop/pesticide combination, the MRL is set at zero. This effectively prevents the use of that pesticide in case any traces are detected on arrival in Europe.

Environmental and Social Issues

There are a number of schemes that aim to reduce the impact of agriculture and horticulture on the environment. As noted in Section III here, the EUREP GAP (for Good Agricultural Practice) protocol, instigated by a collection of European retailers, is set to become important and suppliers should seek advice on how to comply.

Phytosanitary Issues

Council Directive 2000/29/EC regulates the import of fresh fruit and vegetables from outside the European Union in order to control the spread of damaging pests and diseases. Under this legislation a phytosanitary certificate is required for consignments of a number of species, including passion fruit. 

Post-harvest handling of passion fruit

Value Chain Analysis and Market Studies of Fruits and Vegetables


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Pineapple Research Station
Kerala Agricultural University
Ernakulam Kerala 686670