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W. Kalt, C. Lawand, and C.F. Forney

Highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) fruit of the cultivars `Bergitta', `Bluegold', and `Nelson' were harvested at six stages of maturity and evaluated for their antioxidant capacity and anthocyanin and phenolic content. Fruit of the four earliest maturities were also stored at 20 °C for up to 8 days. At the time of harvest, fruit of different maturities had substantial differences in their anthocyanin content, and less marked differences in phenolic content and antioxidant capacity. Substantial anthocyanin synthesis occurred in under-ripe fruit during 20 °C storage, and varied depending on fruit maturity at harvest. Total phenolic content changed very little during storage, and there was no change in fruit antioxidant capacity. The results suggest that anthocyanin phenolics are formed on or off the plant, primarily from other pre-existing phenolic components. Whether phenolics are present as anthocyanins or other colorless forms, has relatively little impact on antioxidant capacity.

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Jerry C. Leyte and Charles F. Forney

A plastic tent was designed and constructed for the controlled atmosphere (CA) storage of fresh blueberries. The CA tent was suspended from pallet racking in a standard cold room and held two standard pallets stacked 6 feet high with flats of packaged blueberries. The tent was sealed with two air-tight zippers and a small water trough, resulting in an air-tight chamber that successfully maintained CA storage environments. The CA tent was easily set up and removed to allow flexibility in use of storage space. To provide efficient use of storage space, tents could be stacked two or three high on pallet racking. The tent was easily loaded and unloaded by a single person using a forklift. CA tents provide an economical alternative to traditional CA rooms for the storage of small quantities of fresh blueberries and allows greater flexibility in marketing than traditional CA storage rooms. CA tents are suitable for the storage of other fresh produce that benefits from CA environments.

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Jerry C. Leyte and Charles F. Forney

Forced-air cooling rates of highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) packaged in 6-oz (177-mL) or 1-pt (473-mL) clamshell containers were affected by positions of vent holes in corrugated flats. Most rapid cooling occurred in flats with vents across the top of the flat. Additional vents aligned in front of clamshells resulted in more rapid and uniform cooling than vents placed between clamshells. Vent holes in the bottom of flats had no effect on cooling rates. Clamshells cooled more slowly in the front of the pallet where cold air entered than in the back of the pallet where cold air exited. Fruit in 6-oz clamshells cooled faster than fruit in 1-pt clamshells.

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Jerry C. Leyte and Charles F. Forney

A plastic tent was designed and constructed for the controlled atmosphere (CA) storage of small quantities of fresh produce. The CA tent is suspended from pallet racking in a standard cold room and can hold two standard pallets stacked 6 feet high with produce. Tents are sealed with two air tight zippers and a small water trough, resulting in an airtight chamber that successfully maintains CA storage environments. The CA tents are easily set up and removed to allow flexibility in use of storage space. To provide efficient use of storage space tents can be stacked two or three high on pallet racking. Tents are easily loaded and unloaded by a single person using a forklift. CA tents provide an economical alternative to traditional CA rooms for the storage of small quantities of fresh produce under CA environments.

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A. Howell, W. Kalt, J.C. Duy, C.F. Forney, and J.E. McDonald

It is now widely held that the antioxidants contained in fruit and vegetables can provide protection against certain human degenerative conditions that are associated with oxygen free radical damage. This view is supported by epidemiological, in vitro, and more recently, in vivo evidence. Phenolics (polyphenolics) contribute substantially to the antioxidant complement of many small fruit species whose ripe fruit are red, purple or blue in color. Fruit containing high levels of phenolic antioxidants would be attractive to health conscious consumers, therefore optimization of production and processing factors affecting small fruit antioxidant capacity is desirable. In many small fruit crops, antioxidant activity [measured as oxygen radical absorbing capacity (ORAC)] is positively correlated with their content of anthocyanins and total phenolics. Genera, species, and genotypes vary with respect to phenolic content. Both annual and geographical factors appear to influence ORAC, although many years of study are needed to distinguish these effects from other biotic and abiotic factors that influence fruit phenolic content. Antioxidant capacity due to phenolics is decreased by food processing practices, such as heat or aeration.

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A.R. Jamieson, N.L. Nickerson, C.F. Forney, K.A. Sanford, and D.L. Craig

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A.R. Jamieson, N.L. Nickerson, C.F. Forney, K.A. Sanford, K.R. Sanderson, J.-P. Privé, and R.J.A. Tremblay

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A.R. Jamieson, N.L. Nickerson, C.F. Forney, K.A. Sanford, K.R. Sanderson, J.-P. Privé, R.J.A. Tremblay, and P. Hendrickson