From Cargo Handbook - the world's largest cargo transport guidelines website
Infobox on Limes
Example of Limes
Freshness facts
Optimum carrying temperature 8°C to 9°C
Highest freezing point -1,6°C
Acceptable product temp. at loading into containers Max. 2°C above carrying temperature
Optimum humidity 90%
Ventilation setting for containers 25 m³/hr
Storage life 1-2 months
Climacteric / non-climacteric Non-climacteric
Ethylene production Very Low
Ethylene sensitivity Moderate
Modified / controlled atmosphere 0%-10% CO2; 5%-10% O2
Potential benefits CA storage can retard senescence, but commercial use is very limited
South America (Brazil)
South Africa
January - June
On demand


Harvesting and handling

High quality limes should be oval, firm, with smooth peel and deep green (Persian/Tahiti varieties)) or green and/or yellow (Key lime/Mexican varieties) colour. Most consumers prefer green limes but in some countries yellow limes are preferred because of their greater juice content. Limes should be turgid, and free from decay, splitting and blemishes. Careful handling to minimize mechanical damage can help to reduce (blue and green) mold growth. Proper sanitation of packingline equipment and use of postharvest fungicides aid in reduction of postharvest diseases. The cargo must be protected from extraneous moisture, as there is otherwise a risk of premature spoilage.

Cooling and storage

Trade literature generally recommends storage temperatures of approx. +9°/10°C, at which lime fruit stores satisfactorily for approx. 6 to 8 weeks. However, some loss of green colour becomes apparent after approx. 4 weeks of storage. After 8 weeks of storage, the rind colour is often yellow-green. Green colour is retained better at approx. +4°C, but limes are subject to chilling injury at temperatures of approx. +7°C and below.

The fruit should be cooled immediately postharvest, as limes, like other citrus fruit, are susceptible to mould. Limes are living organs in which respiration processes predominate, because their supply of new nutrients has been cut off by separation from the parent plant.

Care of the cargo during the voyage must be aimed at controlling respiration processes (release of CO2, water vapour, ethylene and heat) in such a way that the cargo is at the desired stage of ripeness on reaching its destination. Inadequate ventilation may result in fermentation and rotting of the cargo as a result of increased CO2 levels and inadequate supply of atmospheric oxygen.

Exposing limes to temperatures below the optimum storage temperature can result in chilling injury. Chilling injury is characterized by peel pitting and brown discoloration. Pits disorders may coalesce and form leathery, brown, sunken areas on the rind. Severity increases with temperatures below 8°-10°C and longer durations of exposure to these temperatures.

Mixed loads

Limes should not be mixed with ethylene-producing commodities. Lemons absorb odours from strongly scented vegetables and so should not be mixed with such commodities.


O2 below 5% can cause scald-like injury and decreased juice content. CO2 greater than 10% may cause increased susceptibility to decay.

Storage disorders

Alternaria rot, Anthracnose, Aspergillus rot, Black mould rot, Black pit, Black spot, Blue mould, Brown rot, Canker, Chilling injury, Cottonry rot, Degreening, Fusarium, Green mould rot, Grey mould rot, Insect damage, Melanose, Rind discoloration, Scab, Scald, Senescent breakdown, Sooty blotch, Sooty mould, Stem end rot.