Fruit firmness is one of the most important quality aspects in the production of pickling cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) for industry. This study compared the fruit firmness of different cultivars and evaluated the usability of different firmness variables. Firmness of fruit of five to six cultivars from a cultivar experiment was measured penetrometrically over 3 years. The maximum load needed to penetrate the skin, distance at maximum load, load at the end of the measurement, and the mean work during the whole measurement were recorded. Different variables gave a versatile impression of the fruit texture. Although there were some differences in the measured values each year, the ranking of the cultivars was similar each year. Cultivars Celine and Servus had the firmest skin and overall texture. `Aubade' and `Carine' had lower skin firmness but the inner part of the fruit of `Aubade' was very firm. `Etude' was similar to `Carine'. `B2590', measured in only 2 years, had lowest firmness both in skin and flesh. The results show that penetrometric measurement of fruit firmness is a suitable method for analyzing the texture of cucumbers intended for pickling.
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