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  • Author or Editor: Alfred F. Trappey x
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Growth in juice-based products is supported by an increasing consumer base, which perceives fruit and fruit-based beverages as an integral component of nutritious food types that can benefit health. New flavor combinations, as well as added ingredients (i.e., vitamins) continue to help boost juice appeal as a nutraceutical. New juice-based food products such as blends, jellies, marinades, and pastry fillings could benefit from the unique flavor attributes specific to mayhaw fruit juice. Juice from one cultivar of muscadine grape (Vitisrotundifolia Michx.) `Carlos' (bronze skinned) was mixed with varying levels of juice from one cultivar of mayhaw (Crataegusopaca) `Texas Star' (reddish-orange skinned) fruit. Five different blend combinations were tested for both individual juice quality and for juice-blend compatibility. A consumer preference test was conducted (n = 75) on a 9-point hedonic scale for color, taste, and overall liking. Next to the taste/flavor preference scores for control (6.8), mayhaw juice used as the primary flavor ingredient in blends was the second most preferred of all juices by the panelists. A 50/50 juice blend and 70/30 mayhaw/muscadine blend were the least desirable of the five combinations tested. Juices from 60/40, 30/70, and 40/60 mayhaw/muscadine were considered by the panelists as best in flavor and overall acceptability. “Taste” had the strongest effect on overall acceptability of juice from varying levels of mayhaw juice in combination with muscadine grape juice. Panelists' mean score averages collectively were favorable of 60:40 and 50:50 juice blends and were significant (P < 0.05) toward acceptance of a “mayhaw-muscadine” fruit juice blended drink.

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The common fig is a popular backyard fruit tree and grown in small orchards throughout the coastal regions of the southeastern U.S. Two commonly grown cultivars in coastal areas have distinct fruiting patterns which would be of interest to processors and marketers of summertime fruit. A study was conducted over a 5-year period to determine the fruiting characteristics of `Celeste' and `LSU Purple' figs. The 9-year-old orchard used for the study is located in St. Gabriel, LA. Annual results over a 5-year period indicated a longer and more productive fruit-bearing season for `LSU Purple' than `Celeste'. The fruit-bearing cycle for `LSU Purple' is about 4 weeks longer than is for `Celeste'. `Celeste' and `LSU Purple' exhibited different fruiting patterns over a 5-year period. `Celeste' consistently produced ripe fruit about one week before `LSU Purple' over the 5-year period. `Celeste' produced 85% of its total yield in a 2-week period with one main crop per year. However, `LSU Purple' produced two and sometimes three distinct crops each year. `LSU Purple' produced a greater total yield compared to `Celeste' with 6.45 kg/tree compared to 4.57 kg for `Celeste' during the 5-year evaluation. Additionally, `LSU Purple' retained foliage longer each year than `Celeste'; a characteristic perhaps due to a higher level of resistance to fig leaf rust. In areas where `LSU Purple' is adapted, this selection of fig may offer a more productive alternative to traditional cultivars planted.

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National demand for authentic Southern cuisine has contributed to the increased utilization of mayhaw fruit. Certain fruit characteristics are essential for the processing of mayhaw. Most of the mayhaw fruit used in processing comes from wild populations. Efforts are being made to identify superior clones from native populations. This study was undertaken to determine the chances of finding a superior clone with desirable processing attributes in a completely random population of mayhaw seedlings. Trees were removed from a 36 year-old mayhaw seedling orchard and relocated to a new orchard. The original orchard contained over 1500 trees. Five years after establishment in the new orchard, fruit were harvested from 75 of the trees and evaluated for fruit weight, percent malic acid, percent soluble solids, and color. Of the 75 trees, 48 were within one standard deviation of the mean trunk diameter. Seven trees fell below 12.1 cm and only 4 trees were larger than 19 cm. The mean fruit weight was 2.1 g with a range from 1.77-2.4 g. Sixty-seven percent of the trees produced fruit having weights within one standard deviation of the mean. Percent malic acid of mayhaw juice averaged 1.35% among the 75 trees. Seventy-two percent of the trees produced fruit with percent malic acid within one standard deviation of the mean. Mean percent soluble solids of mayhaw juice were 6.1 with a range of 5.36% to 7.01%. Seventy-three percent of the trees produced fruit with soluble solids percentages within one standard deviation of the mean. The probability of finding individuals in this population that exceeded the mean of these parameters (percent malic acid,%SS, and fruit weight) is less than 10%.

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