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Harold A.A. Gibbs and Leonard W. O'Garro

Colorimetric and chromatographic methods were used to assess capsaicinoid levels in a pungent Caribbean-grown pepper collection comprising 28 accessions of Capsicum chinense and one each of C. annuum and C. frutescens. Two colorimetric methods, one commonly used and attributed to Bajaj (1980) and a modification of the Bajaj method were also compared for congruity and ease of use. Capsaicin content of the cultivars ranged from 37.6 to 497.0 mg/100 g in ripe fruits and 27.8 to 404.5 mg/100 g in green fruit, as determined by Bajaj's method. The corresponding Scoville units of pungency varied from 15,000 to 300,000 for ripe fruit and 7,500 to 270,000 for green fruit. Levels of capsaicin assessed by the modified Bajaj method varied from 15.0 to 402.4 mg/100 g and 13.7 to 356.4 mg/100 g in ripe and green fruit, respectively. On the basis of capsaicin levels assessed by each colorimetric method, the pepper cultivars were differentiated into seven distinct pungency groups. For each method, similar groupings of cultivars were observed for ripe and green fruit and groups of the same numerical designation were mainly comprised of common assessions. These results indicate that the two colorimetric methods generally agree. In contrast, the modified colorimetric method was more efficient than Bajaj's procedure, which required pretreatment of pepper extracts to remove the extracting solvent by evaporation and interfering chromogenic pigments by column chromatography. Phase separation of capsaicin and interfering pigments in pepper extracts by use of dilute acid was the only pretreatment required in the modified Bajaj method before colorimetry. High performance liquid chromatography performed on fruit extracts of the cultivars revealed the presence of the capsaicinoids capsaicin, homocapsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, nordihydrocapsaicin, and homodihydrocapsaicin. Capsaicin and homocapsaicin were detected in greater abundance than dihydrocapsaicin and nordihydrocapsaicin in fruit of all cultivars. Homodihydrocapsaicin was the least abundant of the capsaicinoids and was generally absent in ripe fruit.

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P. Perkins-Veazie, J.R. Clark, D.J. Huber, and E.A. Baldwin

Fruit were harvested from an erect, thornless blackberry (Rubus L. subgenus Rubus Watson, `Navaho' to study ripening changes. Soluble solids content increased between the red (unripe) and dull-black (overripe) stages of ripening while titratable acidity decreased sharply between the mottled and shiny-black ripeness stages. Anthocyanin content increased sharply between the mottled and shiny-black stages. Firmness of drupelet and receptacle tissues decreased between the mottled and shiny-black stages of ripeness. In whole blackberries, total uronic acids decreased, and water soluble uronic acids increased between the green-red and shiny-black ripeness stages. Volatile production paralleled ripening changes, and was highest in dull-black fruit, with alcohols and aldehydes predominating. Respiration of intact fruit maintained in water decreased between the green and red ripeness stages and increased at the mottled (part-black) and black ripeness stages. Ethylene production remained below 10 nmol·kg-1·h-1 until the dull-black (overripe) stage of maturity. Free 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) and ACC oxidase did not increase in berries until the shiny-black stage, corresponding with the onset of detectable ethylene production. ACC oxidase activity decreased in the drupelet tissue (0.5 to 0.01 μmol·kg-1·h-1) and increased in the receptacle tissue (2 to 3.8 μmol·kg-1·h-1) as fruit changed from red to dull black. These results indicate that ripening in blackberries may be initiated in the receptacle tissue. Ripening in blackberries is likely independent of ethylene, but ethylene may regulate berry detachment from pedicels, thus controlling timing of fruit harvests.

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Mustafa Ozgen, Artemio Z. Tulio Jr., Ann M. Chanon, Nithya Janakiraman, R. Neil Reese, A. Raymond Miller, and Joseph C. Scheerens

To investigate the variation in the phytonutrients of Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas L.), fruit was harvested at the blush (S1), red (S2), and ripe (S3) stages from five genotypes maintained at the Secrest Arboretum, Wooster, Ohio. The S1-S3 samples were characterized for color reflectance and then frozen at –28 °C. After storage, samples were analyzed for dry weight (DW), total soluble solids (TSS), sugars (FRU + GLU), organic acids (ORG), total phenols (PHE), total anthocyanins (ACY), individual anthocyanins (IA), hydroyzable tannins (HT), and antioxidant capacity (FRAP and ABTS). From S1 to S3, DW and TSS increased by 24% and 21%, respectively, and L, hue angle, and chroma values decreased. On a DW basis, all analytical parameters were significantly influenced by genotype and stage. The ACY levels rose 7-fold during ripening, but PHE contents declined by 10%. In ripe fruit, HT comprised the bulk of the PHE constituents, whereas ACY accounted for only 7.6% of PHE levels. Variability among genotypes was moderate for all ripe fruit parameters but ACY. Ripe fruit varied little in color parameters and ACY (fwb) and IA (fwb) were not significantly different among cultivars. The Cy 3-gal and pel 3-gal levels were negatively correlated. Antioxidant capacity declined 16% to 18% during ripening. Ripe fruit FRAP and ABTS values were higher than those reported for most fruits, averaging 596 ± 85 and 629 ± 85 μmol TE eq./gDW, respectively. ABTS and FRAP values were highly correlated with each other and with PHE and HT contents, but were loosely and negatively related to ACY levels. Considering our limited sample size, we concluded that the phytonutrient capacity of cornelian cherry is substantial, predominantly associated with tannins and moderately variable among genotypes.

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H.J. Jia, K. Mizuguchi, K. Hirano, and G. Okamoto

Effects of fertilizer application levels on fruit texture and flesh pectin compositions of a melting peach were investigated. Hakuho trees (Prunus persica Batsch) were supplied with normal (M), high (H; M × 2), and superhigh (SH; M × 4) levels of complete liquid fertilizer twice a week. Flesh firmness of the H and SH treatment fruit was lower than that of M treatment fruit at the hard-mature and firm-mature stages, although no difference was detected at the full ripe stage. Sensory scores for flesh texture at the full ripe stage were highest in the N treatment fruit and lowest in the SH treatment fruit. The content of water-soluble polyuronides (WSP) in flesh was highest in SH fruit and lowest in M fruit at the hard-mature stage, although the difference became smaller at the full ripe stage. Molecular mass analysis using a gel filtration column revealed that water-soluble polysaccharides in alcohol-insoluble solids (AIS) of the H and SH fruits had a peak of high molecular mass, ≈200 kDa, at the hard-mature stage, and the molecular mass decreased gradually to ≈23 kDa at the full ripe stage. In the M fruit, however, the molecular mass was rather constant during the ripening period, 112 kDa even at the full ripe stage. The analysis of acidic fractions (pectin) in the polysaccharides using an ion exchange column, as well as juice gellation test by adding Ca and Tris buffer, also indicated that high levels of fertilizer application impairs an early degradation of flesh polyuronides resulting in the accumulation of low-molecular-weight WSP. This may ultimately cause the inferior flesh texture of overfertilized peach fruit.

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T. Casey Barickman, Dean A. Kopsell, and Carl E. Sams

after seeding. Subsequently, fruit were sorted by the use of USDA tomato color for red ripe ( USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, 1975 ) and size classification into extralarge, large, medium, and small ( USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, 2007

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Ricardo Goenaga, Brian Irish, and Angel Marrero

higher yield of this cultivar at both locations. It also confirmed good BLSD resistance in ‘FHIA-21’. Plantain is usually consumed unripe (starchy) and is prepared by frying, boiling, or steaming; however, it can be consumed ripe (sweet) and prepared by

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John M. Swiader and William H. Shoemaker

Field experiments were conducted over a 5-year period (1994-98) to determine the effect of various cropping systems (rotations) on fertilizer N requirements in processing pumpkins [Cucurbita moschata (Duchesne ex Lam.) Duchesne ex Poir.] on medium- to fine-textured soil. Treatments consisted of a factorial combination of five N fertilization rates (0, 56, 112, 168, 224 kg·ha-1 N) and four pumpkin cropping systems: 1) pumpkins following corn (Zea mays L.); 2) pumpkins following soybeans [Glycine max (L.) Merrill]; 3) pumpkins following 2-years corn; and 4) pumpkins following fallow ground. Cropping systems were chronologically and spatially arranged in two complete cycles, with pumpkin studies taking place in 1996 and 1998. Averaged over the two studies, the optimal N fertilization rate for highest total weight of ripe fruit following soybeans was estimated at 109 kg·ha-1 N, compared to 128 kg·ha-1 N following fallow ground, even though yields were similar, suggesting a soybean N-credit of 19 kg·ha-1 N. Concurrently, the N fertilizer rate for highest total ripe fruit weight following corn was estimated at 151 kg·ha-1 N, and 178 kg·ha-1 following 2-years corn, indicating a negative rotation effect on pumpkin N requirements of 23 and 50 kg·ha-1 N, respectively. Minimum N fertilizer requirements, the N fertilizer rate associated with a ripe fruit yield of 50 t·ha-1, were calculated at 45, 37, 69, and 47 kg·ha-1 N in the respective cropping systems. Negative effects from excessive N fertilization were greater in pumpkins following soybeans than in pumpkins following corn or 2-years corn, with reductions in total ripe fruit weight of 21%, 9%, and 3%, respectively, at the highest N rate. A critical level for preplant soil NO 3-N of 17.6 mg·kg-1 was identified above which there was little or no pumpkin yield response to N fertilization.

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Juan C. Diaz-Perez, Silvia Bautista, and Ramon Villanueva

Sapote mamey is a sweet and aromatic tropical fruit that is very perishable. It is a climacteric fruit and has high rates of respiration and ethylene production. Maturity indices for this commodity are difficult to define because fruit show few changes in external appearance as they ripen. The fruit flesh, however, shows large changes in color, firmness, and sugar content measured as soluble solids content (SSC). The objective was to model fruit ripeness from measurements of SSC. We selected SSC because it is easy to measure and because sweetness is an important quality attribute in sapote mamey. Typical values of SSC range from 12% (immediately after harvest) to 30% to 35% (ripe fruit). A linear-plateau model was used to describe the changes in SSC over time of ripening fruit kept at different temperatures. The model assumed that, as fruit ripened, SSC increased at a linear rate reaching a maximum of 30% SSC at the ripe stage after which SSC changed little. From the model we calculated the rate of fruit ripening and the time to reach the ripening stage (30% SSC). The rate of ripening showed a quadratic relationship with storage temperature. Fruit kept at 27, 25, or 20 °C ripened 3.5, 5, or 7 days after harvest. The model can be used to estimate when fruit will reach the ripe stage, as long as we know the initial SSC and storage temperature. This model was constructed from data obtained over 2 years from fruit grown in the state of Morelos, Mexico. It is still to be tested for its applicability on fruit from other growing regions.

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T.E. Young, J.A. Juvik, and J.G. Sullivan

To identify qualitative and quantitative chemical variation in tomato fruit dry matter, crosses were made between the high soluble solids concentration (SSC) line LA 1501 (6.3% SSC when red-ripe) and the nearly isogenic commercial tomato cultivar VF 145B-7879 with a lower SSC (4.4% when red-ripe). Fruit samples from the parents and the reciprocal F1 hybrids were collected at 3-day intervals, from 25 to 52 days after anthesis, to evaluate the accumulation of various quality components throughout the development of the fruit from immature-green to red-ripe stage. Fructose and glucose concentrations, titratable acidity, pH, and percent dry weight (pulp and serum) were determined for each sample on a fresh basis. Fruit maturity was evaluated by puree color using Hunter `a' colorimeter values. Changes in most of the chemical constituents of the fruit were found to regress linearly with changes in fruit color. Regression of puree color against fruit SSC, and fructose, glucose, and total sugar concentrations described more of the observed variability in these components than days after anthesis, indicating that Hunter `a' colorimetric values provide a more precise measurement of fruit physiological age. The variation between the parents in fruit dry matter was found to be primarily due to differences in SSC. The ratio of fruit soluble to total solids concentration increased 23.7% in LA 1501 (from 61.6% to 85.3%) throughout ripening compared to-an increase of only 8.9% (from 66.3% to 75.2%) in `VF 145B-7879'. At the red ripe stage, LA 1501 possessed a 44% higher SSC than `VF 145B-7879'. Differences in fructose and glucose accounted for 41% of the variation in SSC between the two lines. An unidentified component(s) was responsible for the residual variation. Application of the genetic and physiological information generated from this study can be used to isolate and select for genes controlling accumulation of tomato fruit dry matter.

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Roisin McGarry, Jocelyn A. Ozga, and Dennis M. Reinecke

Field experiments were conducted on two cultivars of saskatoon to test the effectiveness of ethephon in stimulating uniform fruit ripening without compromising fruit quality. Shrubs of cultivars Northline and Smoky were sprayed to runoff with ethephon (0, 250, 500, and 1000 mg·L-1 for `Northline'; 0, 500, and 1000 mg·L-1 for `Smoky') prior to fruit maturity. Fruit were harvested 4 to 8 days after treatment and sorted into ripeness categories by size, and the fully ripe fruit were evaluated for quality (surface color, firmness, mean fruit weight, soluble solids, and titratable acids). Ethephon significantly increased the percent ripe fruit per shrub (by up to 9.7%) in both cultivars, without a significant effect on fruit quality. At concentrations up to 1000 mg·L-1, ethephon may be an effective ripening agent for saskatoon fruit without reducing fruit quality. Although there were significant differences in yield from year to year for both cultivars because of their biennial-bearing habit, ethephon treatments did not significantly affect total yields.