Pear fruits cv. 'Blanquilla', at various ripening stages, were studied under impact conditions. A 50·6-g spherical steel indentator, with a radius of curvature of 0·94 cm, was dropped on to the fruit from three heights: 4, 6 and 10 cm (0·0199, 0·0299 and 0·0499 J). The variables measured were analyzed. All variables were observed to be related to the impact energy-except impact duration, which was related to the fruit firmness. Bruising correlated with impact energy when considering different heights, but not with any specific variable when studying the impact phenomenon at individual heights; however, there was a clear correlation between impact bruising and firmness. Three bruise shapes were observed, corresponding to preclimacteric, climacteric and postclimacteric fruits; a theory for this response is offered. According to the results, the impact response in post-climacteric pear fruits (with firmness values of less than 25 N, and a maturity index above 55) may be explained by the role played by the skin rather than by the pulp. © 1991.
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