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  • Author or Editor: Carlos Crisosto x
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Efficacy of controlled atmosphere (CA) conditions for decay control in 'Thompson Seedless' table grapes was evaluated during the 1998-2000 seasons. During the 1998 season, early (16.5% soluble solids concentration = SSC) and late harvested (19% SSC) grapes were exposed to 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, or 25% CO2 combined with 3%, 6%, and 12% O2. In 1999 and 2000, 10% or 15% CO2 combined with 3%, 6%, or 12% O2 were used. In all trials, fruit were initially SO2 fumigated and air-stored grapes were used as controls. Storage atmospheres did not affect SSC, titratable acidity (TA), or sugar-to-acid ratio (SSC: TA). The main storage limitations for early harvested 'Thompson Seedless' table grapes were “off flavor” and rachis and berry browning development, which resulted from exposure to >10% CO2. However, ≥15% CO2 was needed to control total decay and nesting development independent of O2 concentrations. High carbon dioxide atmospheres (15% to 25%) were more effective in decay control without detrimental effects on quality when late harvested grapes were used. The combination of 15% CO2 with 3%, 6%, or 12% O2 is suggested for up to 3 months storage only for late harvested 'Thompson Seedless' table grapes; it should not be used for early harvested grapes.

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Abstract

‘Manzanillo’ olive (Olea europaea L.) seeds were subjected to chemical scarification with NaOH and H2SO4 for various periods of time to determine the most appropriate treatment for improving the germination of the seeds. A critical balance of concentration and time was necessary to achieve high germination percentages without loss of viability of the seeds. H2SO4 was more effective than NaOH in increasing germination percentages. Germination percentages as high as 98% were obtained on stratified seed using H2SO4, compared to 0% without chemical scarification.

Open Access

During the 1993 and 1994 seasons, the response of Kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa var. Hayward) flesh softening to exogenous ethylene applications was studied on fruit collected weekly from cold storage and directly from the vines. Fruit samples from both sources, were induced to ripen with and without ethylene preconditioning treatment (10 ppm, 24h at 0C).

During the first 3 weeks of fruit collection, flesh firmness decreased and SSC accumulation increased faster in ethylene treated kiwifruit than in the untreated. After this period, when kiwifruit had close to 9 pounds flesh firmness, ethylene treated and untreated kiwifruit softened at the same rate. Ethylene treatment did not enhance kiwifruit CO2 and ethylene production except at the first harvest time. Furthermore, ethylene treated kiwifruit did not have higher respiration and ethylene rates than untreated kiwifruit when measured at 0, 5 and 20C.

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Dark skin discoloration development on peach and nectarine cultivars was investigated in response to exogenous pH and metallic ions. The influence of skin abrasion and washing in combination with exogenous contaminants was studied in a factorial design experiment by using skin discs. Only abraded skin discs with and without washing developed discoloration after being exposed to high pH and different metallic ion concentrations. Among the metallic ion contaminants studied (Fe, Al, Cu, Sn, Zn, and Na), iron was the most effective in causing dark skin discoloration at physiological pH (3.5). Iron concentrations ≥10 ppm induced dark discoloration on abraded fruit skin. Dark discoloration development produced by exposing the skin tissue to pH levels >6 was reversible, whereas the dark discoloration induced by iron and aluminum remained stable.

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The formation of metallo-pigmentation and copigmentation as potential mechanisms of inking formation was investigated in peach and nectarine skin tissues. Cyanidin-3-glucoside, the most abundant anthocyanin in peaches and nectarines, formed very purple ferric complexes with an anthocyanin/iron molar ratio of two. Greenish metallo complexes between ferric ion and chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, catechin, or epicatechin formed with an phenolic/iron molar ratio of one. The lack of copigmentation pointed out the importance to focus research on the metallo-phenolics reaction. High intensity of dark color formation was developed with cyanidin-3-glucoside, followed by caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, catechin, and epicatechin on an equal molar basis. Citric acid acted as a strong iron chelator to prevent and reverse the formation of ferric cyanidin-3-glucoside complexes. The variety of dark and light colored spots observed on the surface of peaches and nectarines is explained by the formation of metallo-pigment complexes.

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The relationship of phenolic composition and polyphenoloxidase activity (PPO, E.C. 1.14.18.1) to browning potential (BP) was studied in buffer extracts of peach [Prunus persica L. Batsch) and nectarine [P. persica var. nectarine (L.) Batsch] fruit skin. The BP varied among cultivars with `Flavorcrest' having the highest value and `Maycrest' the lowest. On average, over 83 % of the browning measured at the end of the S-hour incubation occurred during the first hour. The total soluble phenolics (TSP), the total anthocyanin (TA), and glutathione content (GLU) varied among cultivars, but were not significantly correlated to the BP. Of the phenolics determined by HPLC, only chlorogenic acid had a significant positive correlation and epicatechin a significant negative correlation with BP by the first hour of incubation. The PPO activity, ranging from 4 to 11 optical density units per gram dry weight per minute among peaches and nectarines, was not significantly correlated with BP. However, no browning was detected if the buffer extract was previously boiled. These results indicated that browning in the buffer extracts of peach and nectarine skin tissue depends on the presence of PPO activity and chlorogenic acid, which are major contributors to enzymatic browning.

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Abstract

The endocarp of ‘Manzanillo’ olive (Olea europaea L.) seeds was subjected to several treatments in order to determine its effect on germination of the olive seed. The endocarp inhibited germination in stratified as well as unstratified olive seeds. Removing the endocarp resulted in high percentages of germination, but only when it was completely removed or when the radicle end was removed. The endocarp did not inhibit germination by preventing imbibition, since water uptake occurred in the seed through the untreated endocarp and through the clipped cotyledon end. The endocarp also did not contain water soluble inhibitors that prevent germination. Rather, the endocarp seemed to inhibit germination through mechanical resistance. High percentages of germination can occur only when the structure of the endocarp is altered, reducing its resistance to embryo expansion.

Open Access

Dark skin discoloration development on peach and nectarine cultivars was investigated in response to exogenous pH and metallic ions by using skin discs. The influence of fruit abrasion and washing interaction was studied in a factorial design experiment. Only abraded skin discs developed discoloration after being exposed to high pH and to different metallic ion concentrations. The response of fruit tissue and pure anthocyanins to different pH levels were the same, indicating that anthocyanins was the substrate for the dark color formation. Among the metallic ion contaminants (aluminum, copper, tin, zinc, and sodium) - studied, iron was the most effective in causing fruit dark discoloration at the physiological pH. Iron at concentrations equal and/or higher than 10 ppm induced dark discoloration on abraded fruit skin. Dark discoloration development produced by exposing the skin tissue to pH level higher than 6 was reversible while the dark discoloration induced by iron and aluminum ions remained stable. Iron-induced black discoloration was removed by using acidified solution in combination with EDTA.

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Cultivar segregation according to their organoleptic perception was attempted by using trained panel data evaluated by principal component analysis in four sources of 24 peach and 27 nectarine cultivars as a part of our program to develop minimum quality indexes. Source significantly affected cultivar ripe soluble solids concentration (RSSC) and ripe titratable acidity (RTA), but it did not significantly affect sensory perception of flavor, sourness and aroma by the trained panel. On two out of 51 cultivars tested, source played a role on sweetness perception. In all of these cases, when source fell out of the proposed cultivar organoleptic group it could be explained by fruit being harvested outside the commercial physiological maturity (immature or overmature). The perception of the four sensory attributes was reduced to three principal components that explain 92% for peach and 94% for nectarine of the variation in the sensory characteristics of the cultivars tested. Season did not affect significantly the classification of three cultivars that were evaluated during these two seasons. By plotting organoleptic characteristics in PC1 and PC2 (∼76%), cultivars were segregated into groups (balanced, robust, sweet, peach or nectarine aroma, and/or peach or nectarine flavor) with similar sensory attributes; nectarines were classified into five groups and peaches into four groups. Based on this information, we recommend that cultivars should be clustered in organoleptic groups and a development of a minimum quality index should be attempted within each organoleptic group rather than proposing a generic minimum quality index based on RSSC. This organoleptic cultivar classification will help to match ethnic preferences and enhance the current promotion and marketing programs.

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The effect of two fruit maturity stages on the quality attributes of four fresh fig cultivars was examined, including consumer acceptance and antioxidant capacity. Fig quality attributes such as weight, soluble solids concentration (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), SSC:TA, firmness, antioxidant capacity, and consumer acceptance varied by cultivar. Fig cultivars harvested at the advanced maturity stage (“tree ripe”) had lower TA and firmness but higher weight, SSC, and SSC:TA than figs harvested at “commercial maturity.” Fig maturity did not affect antioxidant capacity, but tree ripe figs had higher consumer acceptance than commercial maturity figs. SSC was more highly correlated with consumer acceptance than TA or SSC:TA, but other factors may also be important in controlling this relationship. Cultivars with high SSC and firmness, at a maturity stage high enough to tolerate harvesting and postharvest handling, should be selected to develop the fresh fig industry. Because fig firmness is a concern, changes to packaging should be evaluated to protect the flavor of advanced maturity figs during postharvest handling.

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