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  • Author or Editor: Gail Uruu x
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Moringa (Moringa oleifera), also known as the pot herb drumstick or horseradish leaves, requires irradiation treatment for insect disinfestation before shipping to the west coast of the United States from Hawai’i. This irradiation treatment as well as packing and air shipment leads to leaflet abscission. To minimize this abscission, the shipper had been including frozen gel packs in the shipping carton. However, these packs are heavy and lead to chilling injury on the leaflets and the development of mold on the leaves adjacent to the gel pack. Holding and shipping the product at 12 °C negated the need for the frozen gel packs. Inclusion of a sachet of 1-methylcyclopropene in the carton significantly reduced leaflet abscission. Further reduction was obtained by the inclusion of an ethylene absorption sachet, thus helping to maintain the overall product quality and marketability.

Open Access

Slips are side-shoots or fruit with large crowns that grow from buds on the pineapple (Ananas comosus L.) peduncle. The slips are widely used for pineapple vegetative propagation when crowns are left attached to the fruit that is marketed. There is a difference between the two most popular low-acid pineapple hybrids grown worldwide. The ‘Pineapple Research Institute 73-50’ (CO-2, MD-1) slips develop few roots when planted compared with ‘Pineapple Research Institute 73-114’ (MD2). The slow rooting of 73-50 leads to slow field establishment and can extend the crop cycle. Our objective was to determine the cause of this reduced rooting and evaluate treatments to increase the rooting rate. Rooting trials in moist, coarse vermiculite showed that larger slips and green slips with red hues also had a greater number of roots compared with smaller slips and green or yellow slips. Delaying harvesting of the slips after the fruit were harvested also resulted in a greater number of roots. Treatments including components frequently used for rooting cuttings did not significantly increase root numbers. An exception was a tendency for slips treated with potassium nitrate to have greater rooting during some tests. We present data that support the conclusion that the poor root development is associated with the mechanical impedance of the root from the tightly affixed basal leaf bracts. Removal of the lower ten bracts can lead to greater root numbers. When the slip with the bracts removed was tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and masking tape, rooting was reduced. The sizing and selection of slips that are green with a red hue and collected as late as possible after fruit harvest had the best rooting response.

Open Access

Taro [Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott] corms from 57 vegetatively propagated cultivars were evaluated for yield, physical and chemical characteristics, and either microwaved, microwaved and ground into poi, or fried. Poi color ranged from purple to orange or yellow and the dry matter content from 18.3 to 48%. The taste panel preferred poi made from a number of other cultivars than that made from the most common cultivar `Lehua Maoli' used in Hawaii, and a darker bluish-red poi was preferred. Corm total soluble solids were positively correlated to corm specific gravity and dry matter, and to the taste preference of microwaved corm and poi. The fried cultivars varied widely in yield and corm color varied from cream to white. Additionally, some cultivars did not have purple vascular bundles, and others were acrid after frying. Chip oil content was negatively correlated to corm weight, dry weight, and chip yield. The `Bin Liang' cultivar was judged the best overall in fried chip taste. Considerable variation in corm yield and quality characteristics existed in this widely cultivated vegetatively propagated tropical crop.

Full access

The sugar-to-acid ratio of pineapple (Ananas comosus L.) contributes toward giving the fruit its unique flavor. This ratio is an important indicator of both commercial and organoleptic ripeness, and it is useful in determining a harvest date. Citric acid is the major acid in pineapple and usually is determined by titration to a specific pH endpoint, while sugars are determined as total soluble solids by refractometry. Both acid and sugar levels vary with the season in the year-round production cycle. Acid titration is slow and difficult to perform in the field. A digital acidity meter based upon diluted juice conductivity was evaluated for potential field use. The readings obtained from the meter varied with clone and fruit potassium concentration. The meter had utility for field use to evaluate fruit quality and harvest date. Because fruit potassium levels can vary between harvests, the meter should be recalibrated on a regular schedule to adjust for potential crop management and seasonal effects.

Open Access