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R.E. McDonald, T.G. McCollum, and E.A. Baldwin

Mature-green `Sunbeam' tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) were treated in varying order with C2H4, 42 °C water for 1 hour, 38 °C air for 2days, held 2 days at 20 °C (partial ripening), or not treated and then stored at 2 °C (chilled) for 14 days before ripening at 20 °C. Heat-treated fruit stored at 2 °C and transferred to 20 °C ripened normally, while 63% of nonheated fruit decayed before reaching the red-ripe stage. Partially ripened fruit developed more chilling injury, were firmer, were lighter, and were less red in color than fruit not partially ripened. Lycopene content and internal quality characteristics of fruit were similar at the red-ripe stage irrespective of sequence of C2H4 exposure, heat treatment, or a partial ripening period. Of the 15 flavor volatiles analyzed, 10 were reduced by storage at 2 °C, Exposure to C2H4 before the air heat treatment reduced the levels of four volatiles, while C2H4 application either before or after the water heat treatment had no effect on flavor volatiles. Two volatiles were decreased and two were increased by partial vipening, Storage at 2 °C decreased the level of cholesterol and increased levels of campesterol and isofucosterol in the free sterol pool. Exposure to C2H4 before or following heat treatments, the method of heat treatment, and partial ripening had little effect on free sterols, steryl esters, steryl glycosides, or acylated steryl glycosides in the pericarp of red-ripe fruit. A shortor long-term heat treatment of mature-green tomatoes could permit storage at low temperatures with little loss in their ability to ripen normally, whereas partial ripening did not reduce chilling injury.

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Richard P. Marini, Donald Sowers, and Michele Choma Marini

Girdled or nongirdled `Biscoe' peach (Prunus persica [L.] Batsch) secondary scaffold branches were covered with shade fabric to provide a range of photosynthetic photon flux densities (PPFD) from 44 to 20 days before harvest (DBH), from 20 to 0 DBH or 44 to 0 DBH. Fruit quality was affected differently by the various periods of shade during the final swell of fruit development. Shading 40 to 20 DBH did not affect fruit weight or quality, whereas shading 44 to 0 DBH had the greatest effect on fruit weight and quality. Fruit quality was generally similar on branches exposed to 100% and 45% incident PPFD (IPPFD). Fruit on” girdled branches generally responded to shade more than fruit on nongirdled branches. Fruit weight was positively related to percent IPPFD for girdfed but not nongirdled branches shaded 20 to 0 DBH and 44 to DBH. On nongirdled branches, fruit exposed to 45% IPPFD for 44 to 0 DBH had 14% less red color and 21% lower soluble solids content (SSC) than nonshaded fruit. Harvest was delayed >10 days and preharvest fruit drop was increased by shading to <23% IPPFD. Shading branches for 20 to 0 or 44 to 0 DBH altered the relationship between flesh firmness and ground color: Firmness declined as ground color changed from green to yellow for fruit shaded 44 to 20 DBH, but firmness declined with little change in ground color for fruit shaded 20 to 0 or 44 to 0 DBH. Girdling results indicated that fruit weight and SSC partially depended on photosynthate from nonshaded portions of the canopy, whereas fruit redness, days from bloom to harvest, and ground color depended on PPFD in the vicinity of the fruit.

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James E. Motes, Brian A. Kahn, and Niels O. Maness

Our objective was to increase the percentage of marketable red fruit at harvest time on paprika pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) plants intended for mechanical harvest by using ethephon [(2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid] to remove late-developing blooms and green fruit. We conducted three experiments on field-grown plants in southwestern Oklahoma. We tested ethephon solutions of 0, 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 μl·liter–1 as a one-time foliar application on various dates. Total dry weight of harvested fruit decreased linearly with ethephon rate in all three studies. Marketable fruit as a percentage of total harvested fruit weight increased linearly with ethephon rate in two studies. There was no consistent effect of ethephon on the intensity of red pigment extracted from dehydrated marketable fruit. With proper timing, as little as 1000 μl ethephon/liter was enough to alter the distribution of total harvested fruit weight toward marketable fruit and away from green fruit. A target spray “window” of the last 10 days in September seemed appropriate for southwestern Oklahoma, and the recommended rate of ethephon was between 2000 and 3000 μl·liter–1.

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Brandon M. Hurr, Donald J. Huber, and James H. Lee

Research (T-STAR). Special thanks to West Coast Tomato Inc. and Pacific Tomato Inc. for supplying tomato fruit.

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Paul M. Chen, Diane M. Varga, and Eugene A. Mielke

`Columbia' and `Gebhard' strains of red `d'Anjou' pears (Pyrus Communis L.) harvested at similar maturity exhibited different ripening behavior after monthly removal from 1C storage in air. `Columbia' fruit produced ethylene at higher rates than `Gebhard' fruit during 15 days of ripening at 20C after each corresponding storage interval, `Gebhard' fruit required a longer period of chilling than `Columbia' fruit to generate noticeable rates of ethylene during ripening. The unripened fruit of both strains contained similar amounts of ACC at each corresponding storage interval. At each corresponding ripened state, ACC content in `Columbia' fruit increased 2 to 3-fold, while that in `Gebhard' fruit changed very little. After sufficient chilling, `Columbia' fruit were capable of softening to proper ripeness, and they developed buttery and juicy texture as indicated by the apparent reduction of extractable juice (EJ) content. `Gebhard' fruit also softened but to a lesser extent than `Columbia' fruit. Ripened `Gebhard' fruit had only slightly lower levels of EJ than unripened fruit and did not develop a buttery and juicy texture after any storage intervals. Titratable acidity (TA) in fruit of both strains varied between for the 1988 and 1989 seasons but decreased significantly during storage in both years. Soluble solids concentrations (SSC) in both strains also varied seasonally but did not change during storage or ripening. Chemical name used: 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC).

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W.R. Miller and R.E. McDonald

`Marsh' and `Ruby Red' grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) were harvested in Florida during Oct. and Nov. 1990, degreened in an ethylene chamber, exposed to vapor heat (VH) treatment (43.5 ± 0.1C for ≈240 min), and evaluated for deterioration in quality and development of injury after various storage regimes. Symptoms of aging averaged 6% and 8% of the surface on `Ruby Red' and `Marsh' fruit, respectively, and the VH treatment had reduced the incidence of aging by 45% after 5 weeks of storage (4 weeks at 16C plus 1 week at 21C). Total decay, mostly stem-end rots (Diplodia spp. and Phomopsis spp.), remained relatively low (≈5%) in both treated and nontreated fruit after 5 weeks of storage. The VH treatment had little effect on change in peel color during treatment or subsequent storage. After the final inspection, `Marsh' fruit was higher in total soluble solids and titratable acidity than `Ruby Red' fruit, but these quality indicators and pH were not affected by the VH treatment. VH treatment did not adversely affect the quality of `Marsh' or `Ruby Red' grapefruit harvested early in the season; hence, VH should be considered as a viable quarantine treatment for Florida grapefruit.

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R.E. McDonald, T.G. McCollum, and E.A. Baldwin

Mature green `Sunbeam' tomato fruit (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), were treated in varying order with C2H4, 42°C water for 60 minutes, 38°C air for 48 hours, partial ripening for 48 hours at 20°C, or not treated, and then stored at 2°C for 14 days before ripening at 20°C. Heat treated fruit stored at 2°C and transferred to 20°C ripened normally while 63% of nonheated fruit decayed before reaching red ripe. More chilling injury (CI) developed when C2H4 was applied following heat treatment rather than before. There was more CI in fruit that were 42°C water treated compared with the 38°C air treatment. Less CI developed on fruit that were partially ripened for 2 days at 20°C before a 42°C water treatment rather than following it. At red ripe, nonchilled fruit were firmer than chilled heat treated fruit. Fruit treated in 42°C water were firmer when the heat treatment was applied before the C2H4 treatment rather than following it. Chlorophyll and lycopene content and internal quality characteristics of fruit were similar at the red ripe stage irrespective of C2H4 or heat treatment. Chilling and heat treatments reduced some of the 15 flavor volatiles analyzed. Volatile levels were lower in fruit treated with C2H4 before heat treatment compared with fruit treated with C2H4 following heat treatment. Prestorage heat treatments could allow for storage of mature green tomatoes at low temperatures with little loss in their ability to ripen normally.

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J. A. Flore, M. Ventura, D. Neri, and M. Sakin

Auxin induction of ethylene, and fruit growth rates were investigated as early indicators of NAA thinning response for Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, McIntosh, Empire, and Tydeman's Red over a four period. Abscission at the end of the drop period was correlated with ethylene evolution from leaves 24-48 hours after NAA application and with changes in fruit growth at 2-3 day intervals through 10-14 days after application. Variation in ethylene evolution and fruit growth were also associated with environmental conditions prior to and at the time of NAA application to determine which factors have the greatest influence on response. Ethylene was a better predictor of final fruit drop than changes in fruit size for all varieties tested. However both performed very well. The ethylene bioassay requires more equipment, but the response is more-immediate. Bourse, and spur leaves as well as fruit were capable of producing ethylene in response to NAA application. Thinning response was greatest when all leaves and fruit were treated with NAA, followed by the bourse and spur leaves. Little or no response was produced when the fruit alone were treated. Concentration experiments and radioisotope data indicate that ethylene response is directly related to the amount of NAA absorbed. Regression analysis indicates that approximately 60% of the variation in response can be predicted by ethylene evolution

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Lajos Helyes, Zoltán Pék, and Andrea Lugasi

Soluble solids (Brixo), carbohydrate, organic acid, lycopene, polyphenols and HMF content of indeterminate round type tomato Lemance F1 fruits were measured in six ripeness stages from mature green to deep red stage. Color of fruits was determined by CIELab system. The L*, a*, b* values were received directly and used to calculate from which the a*/b* ratio was calculated. The Brixo, carbohydrate, lycopene and HMF content were the highest in the deep red stage. Carbohydrate contents constitute nearly 50% of the Brixo. The mature green stage had the lowest acid content but in subsequent stages it was fundamentally unchanged. Polyphenol content changed little during fruit ripening. Lycopene content changed significantly during maturation and accumulated mainly in the deep red stage. Analyses showed that a*/b* was closely correlated with lycopene and can be used to characterize stages of maturity in fresh tomatoes.

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Robert C. Ebel, Floyd M. Woods, and Dave Himelrick

Brown rot of peaches is one of the most devastating diseases that can occur before and after harvest. There has been extensive research that has shown that ultraviolet light (UV-C) kills the fungus that causes brown rot. However, it is has not been determined whether UV-C will also change ripening and fruit quality. We applied UV-C to `Loring' peaches that were harvested 10 days before normal harvest. We intentionally picked the fruit early because we wanted to make sure the fruit had not entered the climacteric. The fruit were treated with UV-C and ethylene, skin color, firmness, and soluble solids were measured. We also held fruit at three storage temperatures to determine whether there may be an interaction between UV-C treatment and storage temperature. Ethylene was slightly higher for UV-C treated fruit at 70 °F (20 °C) and 55 °F (12 °C), but not at 40 °F (4 °C). However, there was very little effect on firmness and soluble solids. There was a slight delay in development of red blush. UV-C had little effect on ripening and peach fruit quality.