Indicators of Maturity and Storage Quality of `Lapins' Sweet Cherry

in HortTechnology
Authors: S.R. Drake1 and D.C. Elfving2
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  • 1 USDA-ARS-TFRL, 1104 N. Western Ave., Wenatchee, WA. 98801.
  • | 2 Washington State University, Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, 1100 N. Western Ave., Wenatchee, WA 98801.

Three commercial `Lapins' sweet cherry (Prunus avium) orchards were used for this study during three crop seasons. Orchards were selected based on the historical average date of commercial harvest. The difference in commercial harvest date among the three orchards was 5 to 7 days. Three harvests were carried out in each orchard each year: 1) beginning 4 to 5 days before commercial harvest, 2) at commercial harvest, and 3) 4 to 5 days after commercial harvest. Fruit quality was determined after 0, 7, 14, and 21 days of storage. Harvesting fruit up to 5 days later than normal commercial harvest resulted in increases in fruit weight and soluble solids content along with no loss of firmness or change in acidity. Pedicel color did not change as harvest was delayed. Changes in visual ratings of both fruit and pedicel appearance with delayed harvest were detectable in only 1 of 3 years. Neither pitting nor bruising was influenced by harvest date. The amount of pitting or bruising present was related more to the year of harvest than to harvest date. Delaying harvest a short time beyond the normal commercial harvest date could enhance consumer appeal and increase fruit value. Storage time after harvest resulted in reduced fruit and pedicel appearance, but only beyond 14 days of storage.

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