Strawberry Fruit Composition during the Harvest Season

in HortScience

Fruit composition can be affected by genetic and environmental factors during development and ripening. Red-ripe strawberries were harvested at regular intervals during the harvest season to determine how early or later ripening fruit may vary in composition. The cultivars `Cavendish', `Honoeye', and `Kent' were harvested twice weekly over a 3-week period and FW, %DW, and sugar, acid, and anthocyanin pigment content was measured. The study was repeated for 2 years. Fresh fruit weight declined over the harvest period, while the %DW increased in all cultivars. Although the content of sucrose and glucose (mg/g DW) did not vary among the harvest dates, their content was different among the cultivars. Citric and malic acid content (mg/g DW) was lower in the later harvests, although their content was similar among the cultivars. Total anthocyanin content increased and then declined during the harvest season. Pelargonidin 3-glucoside, the major strawberry anthocyanin, was highest in `Honoeye', while cyanidin 3-glucoside content was similar among the three cultivars.

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