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  • Author or Editor: F. Chéour x
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The objective of this study was to compare the effects of the foliar application of CaCl2 on the shelf life and Ca content of the fruit of the strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) cultivars Kent and Glooscap, which differ in fruit firmness. Calcium was applied repeatedly, 3 days, 3 and 6 days, or 3, 6, and 9 days before harvest at 0, 10, or 20 kg·ha-1. Calcium treatment influenced amounts of free sugars and organic acids, color, texture, and disease development during storage in air at 4C. Calcium application had more effect on the fruit of the softer `Glooscap', which contained relatively low levels of Ca at the time of treatment. Calcium content of the fruit appeared to depend mainly on the ability of the plant to accumulate and distribute Ca.

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Effects of CaCl2 preharvest treatment on postharvest strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) ripening and gray mold development were assessed. Two experiments were carried out in 1987 on two sites. In the first experiment, the effects of rate of application of CaCl2 and degree of fruit maturity at treatment were studied with the conventional cultivar Kent. In the second experiment, the influence of concentration and frequency of application of CaCl2 was investigated with day-neutral `Tribute'. Calcium treatment caused a significant increase in fruit and leaf Ca contents, which were closely correlated. The degree of fruit maturity at application and the frequency of treatment did not affect Ca concentration in the tissues. Several maturity criteria were measured during fruit storage in air at 4C. Anthocyanin and free-sugar contents and tissue electrical conductivity increased, while titratable acidity and firmness decreased. In both experiments, Ca treatment delayed ripening and gray mold development. The delay increased with increasing Ca concentration.

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