REGIONAL DIFFERENCES AND THE IMPORTANCE OF HARVEST MATURITY ON ROYAL GALA' FRUIT QUALITY

in HortScience
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  • 1 DSIR Fruit and Trees, Mt Albert Research Centre, Private Bag, Auckland, New Zealand,
  • | 2 1Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003

The apple growing districts of New Zealand are spread across a wide range of latitudes. Differences in growing conditions associated with these various districts may influence the way fruit mature on the tree. In this study, the relationships between background colour and physiological maturity of Royal Gala apples have been compared in four major production areas. Royal Gala apples were strip picked from trees in three orchards during the commercial harvest period Hawkes Bay, Canterbury, Nelson and Otago. The maturity of these fruit was assessed, and fruit stored at 0°C for 12 weeks. Following removal from “storage, the quality of the fruit was assessed paying particular attention to -greasiness. Results from this trial indicate that the relationship between background colour and fruit maturity is not consistent. Indeed, the maturity of apples of a particular background colour may differ according to district and harvest date. Greasiness of fruit was related to harvest maturity in Hawkes Bay. However, fruit from Canterbury and Otago became severely greasy even when harvested at early maturities.

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