Combinations of various heat treatments with individual fruit sealing, packaging in polyethylene liners or waxing were tested as means to control pathological and physiological spoilage of 'Oroblanco' fruit (Citrus grandis L, x C. paradisi Macf.). The following heat treatments were used: curing at 36 degreesC for 72 h, hot water dip at 52 degreesC for 2 min or 'hot drench brushing' at 52, 56 or 60 degreesC for 10 s, The standard packinghouse treatment included waxing with addition of thiabendazole (TBZ) and 2,4-D isopropyl ester. The fruit was stored for 2 weeks at 1 degreesC (simulated low-temperature quarantine treatment), followed by 12-13 weeks at 11 degreesC (simulated sea transportation to Japan) and 1 additional week at 20 degreesC (simulated retail shelf-life period). The lowest weight loss and the highest firmness were observed with individually sealed fruit. Polyethylene liners were usually more efficient for weight loss control than waxing. However, the liner packaging enhanced the risk of postharvest disease development, if not accompanied by appropriate decay-controlling measures. Applying TBZ, hot water dip or curing controlled the development of postharvest pathogens, especially that of Penicillium molds. In another trial, both hot drench brushing at 56 or 60 degreesC and hot water dip reduced decay incidence. Hot drench brushing at 60 degreesC and hot water dip slowed fruit softening and reduced buttons abscission. In addition, the hot drench brushing at 60 degreesC significantly delayed the loss of 'Oroblanco' green rind color, especially at the stylar and stem ends of the fruit. The hot dip at 52 degreesC inhibited yellowing only when combined with individual seal-packaging. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.