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  • Author or Editor: Elizabeth Baldwin x
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Apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf. (`Gala', `Delicious', `Granny Smith' and `Fuji')], pretreated or nontreated with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP, 0.6 to 1.0 μL·L–1 for 18 hours at 20 °C), were stored in controlled atmosphere (CA, 1 to 1.5 kPa O2; 1 to 2 kPa CO2) or in regular atmosphere (RA) for up to 8 months at 1 °C. Firmness, titratable acidity (TA), soluble solids content (SSC), and volatile abundance were analyzed every month directly or after transfer to air at 20 °C for 1 week to determine effect of 1-MCP, storage atmosphere and storage time on apple quality immediately after cold storage and after simulated marketing conditions at 20 °C. The 1-MCP ± CA treatments delayed ripening and prolonged storage life as indicated by delayed loss of firmness and TA in all four cultivars during storage. The 1-MCP ± CA also slightly delayed loss of SSC for `Gala' but had no effect on SSC levels for the other cultivars. There were differences among treatments for firmness and TA content [(1-MCP + RA) > CA] for `Gala', `Delicious', and `Granny Smith' apples, but not for `Fuji'. These differences were generally exacerbated after transfer of fruit to 20 °C for 1 week. A combination of 1-MCP + CA was generally best [(1-MCP + CA) > (1-MCP + RA) or CA] for maintaining `Delicious' firmness and TA. However, the treatments that were most effective at retaining TA and firmness also retained the least volatiles. The results indicate that the efficacy of 1-MCP and CA in maintaining apple quality factors is cultivar dependent and that 1-MCP + RA may be a viable alternative to CA for optimal eating quality for some cultivars.

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Strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) is grown during the winter months in subtropical southern Florida and must thrive in higher than average temperatures and limestone soils. This is the first strawberry cultivar trial in southern Florida to include ‘Florida Beauty’, ‘Florida Brilliance’, ‘Strawberry Festival’, ‘Florida Radiance’, ‘Sensation FL127’, and ‘Winterstar’. Overall, ‘Strawberry Festival’ and ‘Sensation FL127’ were the top yielding cultivars, with the highest average total yields of 0.7 and 0.8 kg/plant fresh fruit, respectively. ‘Sensation FL127’ had a 36% greater late-season marketable yield compared with ‘Strawberry Festival’. ‘Sensation FL127’ consistently had the greatest soluble solids content (7.6% to 8.7%). Overall, this study demonstrates significant differences in yield and fruit quality among the cultivars tested in southern Florida.

Open Access

Oranges can be satisfactorily processed for fresh slices using a process of enzyme infiltration under vacuum. Scored ‘Valencia’ and ‘Hamlin’ oranges were placed under 90 kPa vacuum in water, 1% citric acid (CA), or 1000 ppm pectinase (Ultrazym) at 30 °C for 2 min followed by 30 min incubation in air. After peeling, fruit were washed, cut, and all but CA-infused slices were dipped in water or 1% CA for 2 min. Drained slices were placed in sealed 454-mL deli containers and stored at 5 °C for up to 21 days. All ‘Valencia’ slices had microbial counts less than 1.0 log cfu·g−1 (cfu = colony-forming units) after 7 days storage, and slices from CA-infused fruit had less than 1.0 log cfu·g−1 after 21 days storage. For ‘Hamlin’, CA dips controlled bacterial growth on slices from water-infused oranges, except at 14 days. Enzyme-infused oranges resulted in slices with lower counts for both cultivars. CA-treated sliced (post enzyme treatment or by infusion) oranges had higher titratable acidity initially (‘Hamlin’) and after 14 days (‘Valencia’). When presented to a taste panel, ‘Valencia’ slices from enzyme-peeled fruit were preferred for texture after 2 days and 8 days in storage. In contrast, slices from fruit infused with water or citric acid were least preferred, were firmer, and had thicker segment membranes. Appearance of enzyme-treated fruit was preferred for ‘Hamlin’ oranges. Enzyme treatments increased levels of aroma volatiles, methanol and methyl butanoate, in ‘Hamlin’ slices, but overall sensory flavor data were unaffected.

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Fragaria vesca is a diploid strawberry species that produces gourmet, aromatic fruits with only limited commercial production because of its relative obscurity. Most F. vesca research focuses on genetics and fruit aroma, but yield and fruit quality data across diploid accessions are lacking. Sixteen F. vesca accessions were grown in replicated field plots in southern Florida to measure field performance and fruit quality over multiple harvests during a single growing season. Accessions ‘Reine des Vallees’, ‘Baron Solemacher’, ‘Fragolina di Bosco’, and ‘Reugen’ all had significantly higher yield (115–140 g/plot/week) and fruit number (117–139 fruit/plot/week) compared with ‘Bowlenzauber’, ‘Attila’, ‘Ali Baba’, and ‘Pineapple Crush’ (31–57 g/plot/week and 32–60 fruit/plot/week) during peak production. Total average yield ranged from 240 g (‘Pineapple Crush’) to 1194 g (‘Baron Solemacher’) per plot of 10 plants. Fruit number and fruit yield were highly correlated (R 2 = 0.96) for all accessions, and there was no significant difference in fruit weight among accessions through the entire season. Total soluble solids ranged from 10.9 to 13.5 °Brix, and fructose, glucose, sucrose, and total sugars ranged from 15.3 to 22.1, 13.5 to 20.0, 0.1 to 2.7, and 29.7 to 42.5 mg/g, respectively, fresh weight. Acidity ranged from 1.00% to 1.18% citric acid and was not consistently significantly different among accessions over multiple harvests. Forty-two aroma compounds were putatively identified over three harvests for each accession and included mostly esters and ketones with a few alcohols, terpenes, and aldehydes. The majority of these compounds were similarly abundant over harvests and among accessions with a few exceptions, including methyl anthranilate. These results are the first in-depth study of yield and fruit quality for a large number of F. vesca accessions that could lead to increased cultivation of this species for local markets.

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The University of Florida strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch. ex Rosier) breeding program has maintained a continuous breeding effort since 1968 to develop cultivars that are highly adapted to winter production in west-central Florida. To gain insight into breeding progress over time, two advanced selections (UF1 and UF2) and 10 released cultivars, from Florida Belle (1975) to Florida Radiance (2008), were compared for various fruit quality traits in a two-location field study during the 2009–2010 season. Fruit size varied dramatically from 30.8 g for ‘Elyana’ to 16.2 g for ‘Dover’ at Balm, FL, and from 28.3 g for UF2 to 16.6 g for ‘Dover’ at Dover, FL. A linear regression of fruit size on year of release revealed an average gain of 2.6 g per year since 1975 for the cultivars and selections tested (R 2 = 0.44). A similar analysis revealed a reduction over time in the proportion of cull fruit (R 2 = 0.30). Gains were apparent for the redness of the internal flesh, from a colorimeter a* value of 16.1 for ‘Florida Belle’ (1975) to 34.7 for ‘Carmine’ (2002) but were not sustained for later releases and selections. Although there were significant differences among genotypes for all chemical traits affecting flavor, there were no discernable patterns over time. There were wide month-to-month variations in individual sugars and organic acids, except for citric acid, which was stable across months and locations. The ratio of soluble solids content to titratable acidity ranged widely among genotypes, from a high of 15.7 for ‘Florida Belle’ in February at Dover, FL, to a low of 6.4 for ‘Winter Dawn’ in January at Balm, FL. The observed variability and trends in fruit quality traits will help guide future genetic studies and inform decisions about future breeding priorities and selection procedures.

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The optimal ripeness stage for processing and marketing fresh-cut mangoes (Mangifera indica ‘Kent’) with best quality and maximum shelf life was determined. The initial ripeness stage selection was based on whole fruit firmness because this quality attribute was more reliable in predicting fresh-cut shelf life than flesh color or soluble solids content (SSC). Overall, the visual quality deteriorated differently and at different rates among ripeness stages. The shelf life, based on subjective visual evaluation, was 10, 7, and 5 days for ripeness stages corresponding to an average flesh firmness of 35, 30, and 25 N, respectively, and was mainly limited by desiccation and development of off-odor for the two firmer ripeness stages or symptoms of edge tissue damage and spoilage for the least firm stage. The slices from fruit with the highest initial firmness remained firmer during storage, had the lowest pH and SSC to titratable acidity (TA) ratio, and had the highest contents of volatile ketones and esters. The softest slices had the highest pH, SSC:TA ratio, and total ascorbic acid (TAA) content, as well as the lowest TA and highest volatile aldehyde and alcohol contents. Intermediate firmness slices had intermediate pH, SSC:TA ratio, color, and TAA content. Also, they had less volatile alcohols and aldehydes than slices from riper fruit but had similar content of esters as slices from the less ripe fruit. Therefore, based on the results from this study, an initial firmness of 30 N is recommended to process mangoes into fresh-cut slices because it assures the best quality and maximum shelf life based on textural, visual, and compositional attributes.

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A 3-year study was undertaken to establish the effect of field nutritional sprays, combined with insecticide treatments or not against Asian Citrus psyllid, on the fruit quality of ‘Valencia’ orange trees affected by the greening disease Huanglongbing (HLB). Four replicated plots were harvested, juiced, and pasteurized. Nine to twelve trained panelists evaluated the juice using seven flavor, five taste, four mouthfeel and three aftertaste descriptors. There was little difference between treatments in 2013; only orange peel flavor and bitterness were significantly lower for the insecticide treatment. In 2014, positive attributes, such as orange and fruity flavor, sweetness and mouthfeel body, were significantly higher in the insecticide treatment. Sourness was highest in untreated control, and there were no differences between treatments for bitterness. In 2015, negative attributes, such as grapefruit, orange peel and typical HLB flavor, sourness, bitterness, and astringency, were significantly higher in untreated control fruit, suggesting perhaps that the beneficial effect of nutritional and insecticide treatments was cumulative, only manifesting on the 3rd year of the study, and or because of the progression of the disease affecting untreated controls. Data are discussed in relation to juice chemical composition, including volatiles, sugars, acids, limonoids, and flavonoids, adding to the fundamental knowledge concerning chemical drivers of orange flavor.

Free access

‘Valencia’ orange trees from groves with 90% infection by Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the presumed pathogen for citrus greening or huanglongbing (HLB) disease, were treated with insecticide (I), a nutritional spray (N), and insecticide plus nutritional spray (I + N). Controls (C) were not treated. Fruit were harvested in March to April, 2013, 2014, and 2015, juiced, and the juice was frozen for later chemical analyses. Titratable acidity (TA), soluble solids content (SSC), SSC/TA ratio, many volatiles, flavonoids, and limonoids showed differences because of season, whereas SSC, several volatiles (ethanol, cis-3 hexenol, α-terpinene, ethyl acetate, and acetone), flavonoids (narirutin, vicenin-2, diosmin, nobiletin, heptamethoxy flavone), and limonoids (nomilin and nomilinic acid glucoside) showed differences because of treatment. However, consistent patterns for chemical differences among seasons were not detected. TA tended to be higher in N and C the first two seasons and SSC/TA higher in I and I + N for all seasons (not significant for 2014). Bitter limonoids tended to be higher in I, N or I + N over the seasons. Principal Component Analysis showed that there was a good separation by season overall and for treatment in 2013. In 2014 and 2015, the insecticide treatments (either I or I + N) had the highest sugar and SSC/TA levels and lowest TA levels, although not always significant, as well as higher juice CLas cycle threshold (Ct) levels, indicating lower levels of the pathogen.

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The effect of controlled-release chlorine dioxide (ClO2) gas on the safety and quality of grapefruit was studied. The experiments were run under controlled chamber systems with inoculated fruit, and in boxed fruit under commercial conditions. For the inoculation test, fruit artificially inoculated with either Escherichia coli or Penicillium digitatum, or naturally inoculated Xanthomonas citri ssp. citri (Xcc) (fruits with citrus canker lesions), were incubated in a chamber containing a dose equivalent to 0–60 mg·L−1 of pure ClO2 as an antimicrobial agent. After 24 hours, the microbial population on treated grapefruit was significantly reduced compared with that of control fruit: a dosage of 5 mg·L−1 completely inhibit the growth of E. coli and P. digitatum, but a dosage of 60 mg·L−1 was needed to completely kill Xcc. For the simulated commercial experiment, fruit were harvested in late Oct. 2015 passed through a commercial packing line, and packed in 29 L citrus boxes. ClO2 packets were attached to the top lids with the following five treatments: fast-release, slow-release, slow/fast-release combination (each containing 14.5 mg·L−1 of pure ClO2), double dose fast-release (containing 29 mg·L−1 of ClO2), and control. After 6 weeks of storage at 10 °C (to simulate storage and transportation) + 1 week of storage at 20 °C (to simulate retail marketing), the fruit quality was evaluated. The slow-release treatment at standard dose exhibited the best antimicrobial activity, reducing total aerobic bacterial count and yeast/mold count by 0.95 and 0.94 log colony-forming units (cfu)/g of fruit, respectively, and maintained the best visual, sensory, and overall quality. However, the higher dosage treatments resulted in phytotoxicity as evidenced by peel browning.

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