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  • Author or Editor: Carl E. Sams x
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Fruit from five apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) cultivars were pressure-infiltrated at 103 kPa for 6 min with a 0%, 0.73%, 1.46%, 2.91%, or 5.82% (w/v) Ca-equivalent solution of CaCl2, Ca EDTA chelate, or buffered CaCl2 solution (Stopit). The fruit were stored at 0 ± 1C for 18 weeks and then evaluated for Ca content, firmness, and injury. Fruit treated with Ca chelate had no increase in fruit Ca content and were injured at all treatment levels. No significant differences occurred in fruit Ca levels between CaCl2 and Stopit treatments across all cultivars tested. Apples treated with Stopit were firmer than apples treated with CaCl2, when averaged across cultivars. Fruit Ca levels, firmness, and incidence of injury were positively correlated with concentrations of CaCl2 and Stopit for all cultivars.

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The viability of Penicillium expansum Link conidia in sporulating culture declined rapidly when exposed to 38 °C, and when conidia were exposed to 38 °C prior to inoculation of apple fruits (Malus ×domestica Borkh.), the resulting lesions were smaller than those on fruit inoculated with nonheated conidia. `Gala' apples were heated after harvest (38 °C for 4 days), pressure infiltrated with a 2% solution of CaCl2, or treated with the antagonist Pseudomonas syringae van Hall, alone or in combinations to reduce postharvest decay caused by Penicillium expansum. After up to 6 months in storage at 1 °C, no decay lesions developed on fruit that were heated after inoculation with P. expansum, or any combination of P. expansum, antagonist, or Ca. Parallel lots of heat-treated and nonheated fruit that were either infiltrated or not infiltrated with Ca were stored up to 6 months. They were then inoculated with P. expansum alone, or with the antagonist followed by P. expansum. Prior heat treatment did not influence lesion size. Calcium alone, the antagonist alone, and heat plus Ca all reduced the incidence of decay by ≈25%, whereas heat plus the antagonist reduced it by 70%. Calcium plus the antagonist or Ca plus the antagonist and heat reduced decay incidence by 89% and 91%, respectively. The integrated strategy of heat-treating fruit, followed by Ca infiltration and then treatment with an antagonist, may be a useful alternative to controlling postharvest decay with fungicides.

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In several experiments, strong negative correlations were found between fruit and leaf N vs. fruit color and fruit N vs. firmness, but a positive correlation existed between fruit Ca vs. firmness in apples. Based on these relationships, several models were developed to predict postharvest quality using preharvest nutrient status. Quantity and timing of N application to produce optimum-quality fruit in `Delicious', `Fuji', and `Gala' apples have also been investigated. High levels of nitrogen adversely affected fruit quality and increased endogenous ethylene and respiration. In separate experiments, the effects of seven post-bloom CaCl2 applications on various postharvest pathogens were studied in four apple cultivars. Calcium applications did not increase fruit Ca sufficiently enough to reduce colonization or maintain firmness after 4 months of 0C storage, but did slightly reduce infection by these pathogens during the growing season.

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`Golden Delicious' apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) were treated postharvest with heat (38C/4 d or 42C/24 h) or 2% CaCl2 (applied as a dip or pressure-infiltrated) or a combination thereof and then stored. Decay caused by Botrytis cinerea was virtually eliminated in fruit heated at 38C after inoculation prior to storage, regardless of Ca treatment. Apples inoculated upon removal from storage were almost completely protected from decay if they had been previously pressure-infiltrated with Ca, regardless of heat regime. Heating at 42C or Ca dips were only partially effective in preventing decay. Pressure infiltration of Ca (regardless of heat regime) or heating at 38C (regardless of Ca treatment) resulted in firmer fruit (68 N) than Ca dips or heating at 42C (56 N), which were firmer than nontreated fruit (52 N).

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High glucosinolate content in brassica meal is a limiting factor in consumption of rapeseed. In recent years canola cultivars of rapeseed with decreased glucosinolate content have been developed. However, environmental and nutritional factors are also believed to influence glucosinolate content. This study was conducted to determine the relationships among water stress, B nutrition, and glucosinolate content in canola. Two canola cultivars (`Cyclone' and `American A112') were grown in a continuously recirculating hydroponic system with modified Hoagland solution (0.6 ppm B). Water stress was induced gradually (2% per day using polyethylene glycol 8000) starting when plants were 4 weeks old. Osmotic potential was maintained at –0.1 MPa (high stress level), –0.085 MPa (medium stress), or 0.05 MPa (control). Treatments were arranged in a randomized incomplete-block design, with three blocks, four replications, two cultivars, and three treatments. Upper leaves (no. 15 and higher) were collected and analyzed by inductively coupled plasma emission spectrometry for B content. Total and indole glucosinolate content of seeds were measured colorimetrically and by HPLC. The leaf B content of stressed plants decreased by 55% in `Cyclone' and 29% in `American A112'. Total glucosinolate content increased 28% and 12%, respectively, in stressed plants of `Cyclone' and `American A112'. Indole glucosinolate content was 44% and 13% higher in the same plants. The interaction between cultivar and water stress was not significant for glucosinolate content but was significant for B content of the leaves.

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The effects of organosilicone and more conventional hydrocarbon surfactants on postharvest radiolabeled calcium (Ca) and on Ca solution infiltration into `Golden Delicious' apples were examined to provide a direct and more efficient pressure infiltration technique to increase fruit Ca concentration. Both radiolabeled Ca infiltration and the proportional increase in fruit Ca estimated by fruit weight gain from Ca solutions of known concentration were significantly enhanced by a range of surfactants having differing chemical structures. Two organosilicone surfactants, Silwet L-77 and Silwet L-7604, known for their greater capacity to lower the surface tension of solutions than conventional hydrocarbon surfactants, were the best among the surfactants tested at augmenting Ca infiltration. Applications of surfactants to fruit were as effective or more effective when used as a pretreatment rather than by mixing with Ca solutions. The applied atmospheric pressure necessary to infiltrate Ca to levels considered sufficient to maintain fruit firmness and resist decay during storage could be lowered in fruit treated with organosilicone surfactants. Postharvest surfactant and Ca treatments may offer a practical means of increasing the Ca concentration of apple fruit.

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Rapid cycling Brassica rapa L. were grown for 7 days in the presence of 11 levels of zinc (Zn) in hydroponic solution culture and evaluated for changes in Zn and glucosinolate (GS) content. Zinc levels were 0.05, 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, and 200 mg·L-1 Zn. Plants grown in solutions with ≥50 mg·L-1 Zn displayed severe Zn toxicity symptoms, grew little, or died and were not subsequently evaluated for GS content. Shoot Zn concentrations increased linearly with increasing Zn treatment levels. Gluconapin, which accounted for nearly 90% of the aliphatic GSs present, was the only aliphatic GS influenced by Zn, and decreased linearly with increasing Zn levels. Accumulation of glucobrassicin and 4-methoxyglucosbrassicin, both indole GSs, responded with a linear increase and quadratically, respectively, to Zn fertility. An aromatic GS, gluconasturtiin, was also influenced by Zn levels in solution, and had a quadratic response to increasing Zn. This suggested that Zn fertility can influence changes in GS that may affect flavor (bitterness, etc.) or medicinal attributes associated with the GS and their breakdown products, as well as elevate the nutritional status of Zn in the leaves of Brassica.

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`Golden Delicious' (`GD') and `Red Rome' (`RR') apples were pressure infiltrated at harvest with 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4% and 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8% CaCl2 solutions (w/v), respectively. Sauce was prepared after 0, 2, 4 and 6 months in 0°C storage. Sensory evaluation was conducted to determine the effects of CaCl2 concentration on color, off-flavors, consistency, uniformity of particles, and overall acceptability of the sauce. Sauce from `RR' was lighter while sauce from `GD' was darker with increased CaCl2. Calcium chloride increased the consistency of `RR' and `GD' sauce but the highest concentrations decreased the consistency of `GD' sauce. The uniformity of sauce particles from both cultivars decreased with increased CaCl2. The presence of off-flavors increased in `GD' sauce with the highest concentrations but decreased in `RR' sauce as CaCl2 was increased. Overall acceptability of sauce made from `RR' and `GD' increased as CaCl2 increased, however, acceptability of sauce made from `GD' decreased at the highest concentrations of CaCl2.

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A study was conducted to quantify volatiles generated from Indian mustard (Brassica juncea L. Czerniak) tissue incorporated into soils under controlled conditions. Mustard residues were incorporated into noncovered and covered soils that varied by texture, temperature, moisture, pH, or sterility (autoclaved or nonautoclaved). Sandy loam soil had 38% more allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) than clay loam soil. AITC concentration in 45 °C soil was 81% higher than in soil at 15 °C, and 56% higher in covered compared to noncovered treatments. The microbial catabolism of AITC was suggested by the result that AITC concentration in autoclaved soils was over three times that measured in nonautoclaved soils. The highest AITC level detected (1.71 μmol·L–1) occurred in the autoclaved covered soil. Several factors also influenced CO2 evolution. At 30 or 45 °C, CO2 concentration was at least 64% higher than at 15°C. The covered soil had over twice the CO2 found in the noncovered soil, and the nonautoclaved soil treatment yielded twice the CO2 measured in the autoclaved soil. There were no main effect differences among soil moisture, soil pH, and soil texture treatments for CO2 concentrations. This information could be helpful in defining ideal soil conditions for field scale experiments. Additionally, this study demonstrates a sampling technique for testing fumigation potential of biofumigation and solarization systems that may have the potential to replace methyl bromide.

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Dietary sources of selenium (Se) are associated with human health benefits, and Brassica species are good sources of Se in human diets. Selenium and S compete for absorption and accumulation in plant tissues; therefore, the ratios of Se to S in the growing environment determine the accumulation of selenium in plants. To determine responses for Brassica oleracea L., two levels of Na2SeO4 (96 mg·L−1 SeO4 2– and 0.384 mg·L−1 SeO4 2–) were added to nutrient solutions with or without MgSO4·7H2O (96 mg·L−1 SO4 2–). The highest plant fresh weight and S and SO4 2– accumulation were found when plants were grown in the medium with a SeO4 2– to SO4 2– ratio of 1 : 250 (0.384 mg·L−1 SeO4 2– and 96 mg·L−1 SO4 2–). However, the highest accumulation of Se was found when a low level of selenate (0.384 mg·L−1 SeO4 2–) was added to nutrient solutions without S. The activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx) was regulated by Se status; the highest GPx activity was measured when a high level of SeO4 2– (96 mg·L−1) was supplied to nutrient solutions without S supplementation. The lowest concentration of total glucosinolates was found when adding SeO4 2– to nutrient solutions without S. We saw no difference in plant growth and mineral accumulation when plants were grown with K2SeO4 versus Na2SeO4, suggesting that the growth-inhibiting effect of Na2SeO4 was the result of the SeO4 2– rather than potentially toxic effects of Na+.

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