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Yanina Perez Cayo, Steven Sargent, Cecilia do Nascimento Nunes, and Vance Whitaker

Strawberries are one of the most important food crops grown in Florida, with a harvested area of ≈10,000 acres. The University of Florida strawberry breeding program develops cultivars adapted to this region and its particular weather conditions, with a major aim of increasing overall quality. The objective of this study was to compare the fruit of advanced breeding selections to those of commercial cultivars, for compositional attributes. Seven different strawberry genotypes were compared at harvest and after 7 days at 4 °C across multiple harvest dates during two consecutive years. Compositional attributes were highly influenced by year, harvest date within a year, genotype, and storage. Overall, compared with other genotypes, selection FL 09-127 exhibited consistently higher soluble solids and total sugar (TS) contents at harvest and after cold storage. Higher ascorbic acid (AA) and phenolic contents at harvest were observed in selection FL 07-193. However, its anthocyanin content was among the lowest. In contrast, FL 10-47 exhibited relatively low AA content at harvest but consistently high total anthocyanins (TACs) and total phenolic (TP) contents after storage. Overall, results from this study provide valuable information to the breeding process by identifying new genotypes with improved compositional attributes combined with suitable quality characteristics after cold storage.

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Sharon Dea, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Maria Cecilia do Nascimento Nunes, and Elizabeth A. Baldwin

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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William Pelletier, Jeffrey K. Brecht, Maria Cecilia do Nascimento Nunes, and Jean-Pierre Émond

Commercial shipments of strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa) were evaluated from the harvest point to the distribution center (DC). Simulated retail conditions were afterward imposed on the fruit. Commercially harvested ‘San Juan’ strawberries in California were instrumented in the field for temperature and relative humidity (RH) monitoring during handling and distribution. At the cooling facility, five different treatments were imposed on five pallets of strawberries: prompt precooling to a final temperature of 1.7 or 10.0 °C, 4-hour delayed precooling to a final temperature of 1.7 or 10.0 °C, and no precooling. Immediately before being loaded into the trailer, all pallets were wrapped in a modified atmosphere (MA) pallet shrouds. Upon arrival at the DC in Florida, fruit from the same five pallets were exposed to three simulated retail temperatures (0, 6, and 21 °C) for 3 days. Results from this study showed that the refrigerated trailer was unable to maintain the temperature of any of the pallets during transport. In addition, upon arrival at the DC in Florida, strawberries from the partial precooling (cooled to 10.0 °C), 4-hour delayed precooling, and no precooling treatments had higher water loss and lower visual quality compared with fruit that were immediately precooled to a final temperature of 1.7 °C. On the basis of the quality control standards of the cooling facility in California, most of the fruit from the no precooling treatment were considered unacceptable for shipment 1 day after harvest. During simulated retail display, quality of the fruit held at 21 °C was inferior to that of fruit maintained at 0 or 6 °C, particularly that of fruit from the partial and delayed precooling treatments. Strawberries from the prompt precooling to a final temperature of 1.7 °C treatment had acceptable visual quality after simulated retail display for 3 days at 0 °C, whereas visual quality of the fruit from the delayed or partial precooling treatments ranged from slightly poor to poor after the same period of time. The presence of bruises due to mechanical damage shortened the shelf life of the fruit because of accelerated development of decay. Overall, results obtained from this study highlight the importance of prompt precooling and the use of optimum storage temperature (i.e., 0 °C) throughout the distribution chain and during retail display.

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Vance M. Whitaker, Craig K. Chandler, Natalia Peres, M. Cecilia do Nascimento Nunes, Anne Plotto, and Charles A. Sims

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Vance M. Whitaker, Luis F. Osorio, Natalia A. Peres, Zhen Fan, Mark Herrington, M. Cecilia do Nascimento Nunes, Anne Plotto, and Charles A. Sims

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Vance M. Whitaker, Craig K. Chandler, Bielinski M. Santos, Natalia Peres, M. Cecilia do Nascimento Nunes, Anne Plotto, and Charles A. Sims

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Vance M. Whitaker, Natalia A. Peres, Luis F. Osorio, Zhen Fan, M. Cecilia do Nascimento Nunes, Anne Plotto, and Charles A. Sims

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Anne Plotto, Elizabeth Baldwin, Jinhe Bai, John Manthey, Smita Raithore, Sophie Deterre, Wei Zhao, Cecilia do Nascimento Nunes, Philip A. Stansly, and James A. Tansey

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.

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Elizabeth Baldwin, Jinhe Bai, Anne Plotto, John Manthey, Smita Raithore, Sophie Deterre, Wei Zhao, Cecilia do Nascimento Nunes, Philip A. Stansly, and James A. Tansey

‘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.