- Malheur Experiment Station
Before onions are ready for the marketplace, they must be brought out of holding facilities, conditioned, and packaged. Conditioning is critical because it brings onions out of their dormant states with gradual temperature increases occurring inside the warehouse or packinghouse. Incorrectly or improperly warming onions can cause water to condense on onions if air moisture is high, preventing the outer layer of skin from easily being removed and thus making the cleaning process difficult and promoting bulb decay. Excess moisture can also have damaging effects on equipment designed to handle dry produce. If moisture is lost too rapidly during packing, onions will become severely dehydrated, resulting in bald onions (Matson, 1985; Opara, 2003).