Management of Apple Maturity and Postharvest Storage Conditions to Increase Polyphenols in Cider

in HortScience

Hard cider production in the United States has increased dramatically during the past decade, but there is little information on how harvest and postharvest practices affect the chemistry of the resulting cider, including concentrations of organoleptically important flavanols. For 2 years we assessed fruit, juice, and cider from a total of five apple (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) cultivars in two experiments: sequential harvests and postharvest storage. Different cultivars were used in 2015 and 2016 with the exception of ‘Dabinett’, which was assessed in both years. There were no differences in polyphenol concentrations in cider made from fruit that was harvested on three separate occasions over a 4-week period in either 2015 or 2016. Fruit storage durations and temperatures had little influence on the chemistry when the experiment was conducted in 2015, but polyphenol concentration was greater after storage in the 2016 experiment. In 2016, total polyphenols in ‘Dabinett’ ciders were 51% greater after short-term storage at 10 °C and 67% greater after long-term storage at 1 °C than the control, which was not subjected to a storage treatment. In 2016, total polyphenols in ‘Binet Rouge’ ciders were 67% greater after short-term storage at 10 °C and 94% greater after long-term storage at 1 °C than the control. Although results varied among cultivars and harvest years, storing apples for longer periods of time and at warmer temperatures may be a strategy to increase polyphenol, particularly flavanol, concentrations in hard cider.

Contributor Notes

This work was supported by the Virginia Wine Board project titled “Managing Apple Maturity and Post-Harvest Regimes to Increase Quality of Virginia’s Ciders.”

We are thankful for the assistance provided by Abby Kowalski, Ken Hurley, and Ann Sandbrook.

Current address: School of Food Science, Washington State University, Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center, 16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Corresponding author. E-mail: amanda.stewart@vt.edu.

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    Total polyphenol concentrations in ciders measured by the Folin-Ciocalteu assay. Error bars represent se for four biological replicates. Common letters indicate no significant difference (P < 0.05) among treatments within a single cultivar in a single harvest year. Cultivars analyzed in 2015 include ‘York’ (YK) and ‘Dabinett’ (DA); cultivars analyzed in 2016 include ‘GoldRush’ (GR), ‘Dabinett’, and ‘Binet Rouge’ (BR). Treatments include a control (CON), short-term storage at 1 °C (S-1C), short-term storage at 10 °C (S-10C), and long-term at 1 °C (L-1C). Comparisons are not made between cultivars and harvest years.

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    Individual polyphenols (+)-catechin (CAT), (–)-epicatechin (EPI), procyanidin B1 (PCB1), procyanidin B2 (PCB2), procyanidin B5 (PCB5), procyanidin C1 (PCC1), cinnamtannin A2 (CA2), and chlorogenic acid (CLA) as measured by UPLC/MS analysis for ‘Dabinett’ (DA) and ‘Binet Rouge’ (BR) ciders in Harvest Year 2016. Error bars are represented as se for four biological replicates. Common letters indicate no significant difference (P < 0.05) among treatments within a single cultivar in a single harvest year. Treatments include a control (CON) plus storage of apples for a short-term period at 1 °C (S-1C), a short-term period at 10 °C (S-10C), and 4 months at 1 °C (L-1C).

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