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  • Author or Editor: David H. Picha x
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The origin and distribution of counter-seasonal fresh fruit and vegetable imports from Latin America into the U.S. was evaluated. Infrastructure comparisons were made among various U.S. ports of entry capable of receiving perishables. Economic comparisons were made utilizing different transportation routes. Market boundary analyses indicated significant cost savings would result from changing existing transportation routes to certain final U.S. destinations. Currently the port of Philadelphia receives the majority of South American fruit which is mostly shipped break bulk or palletized. South Florida ports (Miami and Port Everglades) receive the majority of Central American and Caribbean fruits and vegetables which are mostly shipped containerized. Interest exists among Latin American exporters to diversify their U.S. ports of entry in order to avoid distribution bottlenecks. Future trade routes will likely see an increased utilization of more economical U.S. Gulf of Mexico ports.

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Six sweetpotato cultivars were evaluated for changes in individual sugar concentration, dry weight, and alcohol insoluble solids (AIS) during growth and development. Measurements were taken at weekly intervals from 7 to 21 weeks after transplanting. Sucrose, the major sugar during all stages of development, generally increased in concentration throughout development for `Heart-o-gold', `Travis', and `Jewel', but peaked at 17 weeks for `Beauregard' and `Whitestar'. The high-dry matter white flesh cultivars of `Rojo Blanco' and `Whitestar' contained the lowest sucrose concentration. The monosaccharides glucose and fructose generally decreased in concentration up to 17 weeks in 4 of 6 cultivars, followed by an increase from 17 to 21 weeks in all cultivars. Glucose concentration was marginally greater than fructose at all stages of development in each cultivar. Little or no increase in total sugar concentration occurred during development in `Whitestar' and `Rojo Blanco'. A substantial increase in total sugars occurred during development with `Jewel', `Beauregard', `Heart-o-gold' and `Travis'. Cultivars differed widely in their individual sugar concentrations during development. Percent dry matter increased in all cultivars from 7 to 14 weeks. Dry matter and AIS decreased during the later stages of development.

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Three different style fresh-cut (shredded, French fry, and sliced) sweetpotatoes [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] were stored at 0 and 5 °C for 4 and 8 days. At specified storage intervals, the fresh-cut sweetpotatoes were analyzed for total phenolics, individual phenolic acids, and antioxidant activity. Sweetpotato tissue analyzed immediately after cutting was considered the control. Storage at 5 °C resulted in an increase in total phenolics in all types of fresh-cut sweetpotatoes, except in shredded tissue analyzed after 4 days of storage. However, at 0 °C, only sliced tissue accumulated higher total phenolics than the control. In general, antioxidant activity in all fresh-cut sweetpotatoes held at 5 °C was higher than in the control. No significant increase in antioxidant activity was observed in shredded sweetpotatoes stored at 0 °C. Chlorogenic acid followed by 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid were the predominant phenolic acids present in fresh-cut sweetpotatoes. The highest content of chlorogenic acid (539.9 μg·g−1 dry weight) in sliced tissue stored for 8 days at 5 °C was ≈6-fold higher than in the control (88.3 μg·g−1 dry weight). No significant development of tissue browning, off-odors, or off-flavors were observed after 8 days of storage and the products were considered to be marketable.

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Sweetpotato is considered a good source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and certain B vitamins. These water-soluble vitamins (WSV) play essential roles in sustaining human health. Besides the root, sweetpotato vegetative tissues are also edible and considered high in nutritional value. Despite the availability of general reference values for sweetpotato WSV content in the root and leaves, little is known about the distribution of these vitamins in specific sweetpotato root and vegetative tissues. The objective of this study was to determine the ascorbic acid (AA), thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), and vitamin B6 content in a range of foliar tissues including buds, vines, young petioles, young leaves, mature petioles, and mature leaves and root tissues including the skin, cortex, and pith tissue at the proximal, distal, and center regions of the root. Among foliar tissues of ‘Beauregard’ sweetpotatoes, the AA content was highest in young leaves (108 to 139 mg/100 g fresh weight) and lowest in mature petioles (7.2 to 13.9 mg). No thiamin was detected in foliar tissue, whereas mature leaves contained the highest riboflavin and vitamin B6 content (0.22 to 0.43 mg and 0.52 to 0.58 mg, respectively). In root tissues of ‘Beauregard’ and ‘LA 07-146’ sweetpotatoes, the AA content was lower in the skin (1.9 to 5.6 mg and 2.54 to 3.82 mg, respectively). The AA content in the cortex and pith tissue at the proximal, distal, and center of the root was generally similar. The thiamin content was variable among root tissues, whereas the skin contained the highest riboflavin content and the lowest vitamin B6 content across root tissues of both cultivars. The results of this study confirmed earlier reports suggesting that sweetpotato leaves can be a good source of multiple WSV in the human diet.

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`Beauregard' sweetpotatoes (Ipomoea batatas L. Lam) were stored under a continuous flow of 0%, 1%, 1.5%, 2%, 5%, 10%, or 21% O2 (balance N2) for 14 days. Respiration rate was significantly lower at 1.5%, 2%, 5%, and 10% O2 compared with 21% O2, while respiration at 0% and 1% O2 was higher than at 1.5%, 2%, 5%, and 10% O2. Respiration rate at 0% O2 remained high for several days after exposure to air while that at 1.5%, 2%, 5%, and 10% O2 increased rapidly to equal that of 21% O2. Ethanol and acetaldehyde accumulated rapidly at 0% and 1% O2 but were lower at the other O2 levels. Ethanol increased 16- and 4-fold after 14 days of storage at 0% and 1% O2, respectively, compared to 21% O2. In addition, acetaldehyde increased 11- and 8-fold at 0% and 1% O2 respectively, compared to 21% O2. Sucrose and total sugar concentration increased under low O2 concentration while reducing sugars (fructose and glucose) and pH decreased.

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Abstract

Concentrations of the major sugars and organic acids within ripe ‘Charleston Gray’ and ‘Jubilee’ watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai] flesh were quantified in 5 different regions. The percentage of soluble solids (%SS) in both cultivars and the percentage of sucrose in ‘Charleston Gray’ were highest in the heart region, followed by the blossom end, and lowest in the stem end. Glucose, malic acid, and citric acid were generally higher in the heart and blossom end compared to the stem end, while fructose was higher in the blossom end than stem end. No significant differences between the top side and the soil side were found for any of the sugars or organic acids. Fructose was the major sugar in all regions in ‘Jubilee’, whereas the major sugar in ‘Charleston Gray’ (sucrose or fructose) depended on the region. Malic acid was the primary organic acid in all regions of both cultivars.

Open Access

Abstract

Sugars and organic acids in ripe ‘Charleston Gray’ and ‘Jubilee’ watermelons [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai] were measured at harvest and after 14 or 19 days of storage at 0°, 7°, 16°, 23°, or 27°C. Soluble solids content (SSC), sucrose, fructose, and glucose concentrations mostly did not change during storage at 0°, but all generally were reduced at the higher temperatures. ‘Charleston Gray’ contained about 3% to 4% sucrose, 2% to 3% fructose, and 1.0% to 1.5% glucose. Fructose was the major sugar in ‘Jubilee’, followed by sucrose and glucose. Malic acid was the major organic acid in both cultivars. Temperature of storage had little effect on malic acid concentration. The concentration of citric acid decreased during storage at 23° or 27°, but not consistently at low temperatures.

Open Access

Peaches stored in air for 40 days at OC developed severe internal breakdown and poor quality after transferring them to 20C to ripen. Comparable fruit stored under controlled atmosphere (1% O2 + 5% CO2) and then ripened at 20C had no breakdown and retained good quality. Fruit stored under CA had less reducing sugars but more sucrose than air stored fruit. Fruit pH increased and titratable acidity decreased over a 40 day storage period. Citric acid increased slightly while malic acid decreased during storage. Little or no differences in overall acidity and individual organic acids existed between CA and air storage. Little or no change in individual phenolic acid content occurred during storage or between CA and air storage. Internal color darkened and became redder with storage. CA stored fruit was significantly firmer than air stored fruit. Sensory evaluation indicated CA stored fruit was more acidic, sweeter, and had better overall flavor than air stored fruit.

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The glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PDH) and glucose oxidase methods are commonly adapted for plant invertase assay. A disadvantage of the G-6-PDH assay is the relatively high cost of the coupling enzymes and cofactors. A disadvantage of the glucose oxidase method, which uses a glucose kit (Sigma, 510-A), is the presence of high activities of acid invertase and alkaline invertase in the PGO enzyme formula (peroxidase and glucose oxidase), which gives a falsely high invertase activity value. An alternative and inexpensive coupled assay was developed for enzymatic assay of plant invertases. In this assay, ADP produced from phosphorylation of glucose and fructose (hydrolysis products of invertases) is coupled to oxidation of NADH by the enzymes pyruvate kinase and lactate dehydrogenase in presence of phosphoenolpyruvate and NADH. This method was compared with the glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase method by using protein preparations derived from plant materials of three different species. Statistical analysis indicated that the alternative assay was similar in accuracy to the glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase method, with an advantage of reducing the cost from $0.85 to $0.35 per assay.

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`Beauregard' sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L. Lam) roots were maintained under different controlled atmospheres ranging from 0% to 21% O2 at 22 °C in two separate trials for 14 days to study changes in activities of pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). Trial I showed no difference in activities of PDC and ADH between 0% and 1% O2, or among 2%, 5%, and 21% O2. Both PDC and ADH activities were significantly higher at 0% and 1% O2 compared to the 2%, 5%, and 21% O2 atmospheres. In trial II, both enzyme activities were lower at 1.5% O2 than at 0% O2, but higher than at 10% and 21% O2 atmospheres. The combined data of the two trials showed a very strong correlation between PDC and ADH activities (R 2 = 0.86). In addition, a strong correlation existed between PDC activity and acetaldehyde concentration (R 2 = 0.95). The maximal activities were at pH 6.5 for PDC and at pH 8.5 for ADH in the direction of acetaldehyde-to-ethanol. The results suggest that 1.5% O2 is the critical point for the transition from aerobic to anaerobic metabolism in CA storage of sweetpotato roots, and PDC is the key enzyme in alcoholic fermentation.

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