Lowbush Blueberry Quality Changes in Response to Mechanical Damage and Storage Temperature

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

Postharvest response of wild lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait. and V. myrtilloides Michx.) to mechanical damage and storage temperature was studied during 2 years. Fruit weight loss and the incidence of shriveled or split berries were major components that contributed to the loss of marketable yield resulting from mechanical damage and storage temperature. Decay of berries resulted in only 1% to 2% of the total marketable fruit loss. In general, the major quality attributes (firmness, microbial growth, hue, bloom, split, and unblemished berries) deteriorated with increasing damage levels and increasing storage temperature without significant interaction. Temperature had consistent effects in both years on moisture content, soluble solids concentration, titratable acids, weight loss, shriveled and decayed berries, Hunter L values, and anthocyanin leakage, while damage level had inconsistent or no significant effect.

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