Fruit of 10 `Delicious' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) strains were harvested 149 days after full bloom in 1988. Fruit color was measured at four locations on each fruit at the midpoint between the stem and calyx end with a Minolta CR-200b portable tristimulus calorimeter. Anthocyanin content of corresponding skin disks was determined spectrophotometrically. Significant differences existed among strains in both the amount and distribution of anthocyanin around the fruit. High-coloring strains had a significantly higher anthocyanin concentration at both the blushed and the nonblushed surface when compared to low-coloring strains. A linear regression of anthocyanin content on the ratio of (a*/b*)2 provided an R2 = 0.59; precision was enhanced by using a separate equation for each strain (R2 = 0.80). Regressing log (anthocyanin) on L* using two linear splines yielded an R2 = 0.78. These relationships allow the use of a portable calorimeter for rapid, nondestructive estimation of fruit anthocyanin content in situ.
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