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Steven A. Sargent and Jeffrey K. Brecht

Carambolas (Averrhoa carambola L., cv. Arkin) ware harvested at colorbreak (CB) and light green (LG) ripeness stages, commercially packed and cooled. The next day the fruit were treated as: Control (ungassed): CB, LG; Ethylene pretreatment (ETH) @100ppm: LC for 1, 2 or 3 days at 20°C or 25°. After pretreatment the fruit were stored at 5°. After 1, 2, 3, 4 weeks, 10 fruit from each treatment ware removed from storage and placed at 20°. Fruit color and decay were rated daily until 80% of the fruit in each treatment reached the yellow ripeness stage, at which time external color, total soluble solids (TSS), pH and total titratable acidity (TTA) were determined. Carambolas harvested at the LG stage can be ripened to good quality with ETH pretreatment. For two weeks storage at 5°, 2 days ETH are necessary at 20° or 25° to initiate ripening. For three weeks storage, 3 days ETH are required at 20°, and 2 or 3 days ETH are required at 25°. Fruit stored four weeks were of fair quality. LG with slower ripening initiation developed chilling injury during storage; the fastest initiation had the best color but the shortest marketing life. Fruit harvested CB had slightly higher TSS than ETH-treated LG but pH and TTA were similar.

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Jeffrey K. Brecht and Kimberly M. Cordasco

Abscission of cluster tomatoes commonly limits product marketability in the retail environment. Ripening and exogenous ethylene exposure are assumed to play important roles in cluster tomato fruit abscission. `Clarance' and `DRW7229' fruit harvested at either mature green or partially ripened stages did not abscise during storage for 2 weeks at 20 °C and 95% to 100% relative humidity (RH), although respiration and ethylene production indicated that all fruit reached the postclimacteric stage. Exogenous ethylene (1 or 10 ppm) exposure for 8 days at 20 °C and 95% to 100% RH also did not induce fruit abscission for either cultivar, although pedicel and sepal yellowing were observed. Fruit from clusters stored at 20 °C and 20% or 50% RH abscised if sepal shrivel became noticeable before the fruit reached the full red ripeness stage, while no abscission occurred in fruit that reached the full red stage prior to the appearance of sepal shrivel; no fruit stored in 95% to 100% RH abscised. Fruit that ripened prior to the appearance of sepal shrivel were “plugged” (i.e., tissue underlying the stem scar was pulled out) if manual fruit detachment from the pedicel was attempted. These results indicate that there is an interaction of water loss and fruit ripening in promoting abscission zone development in cluster tomatoes.

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Pavlos Tsouvaltzis, Angelos Deltsidis and Jeffrey K. Brecht

Enzymatic browning is a serious quality limitation for fresh-cut potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) that has been successfully controlled by heat treatment in other commodities. The use of brief heat treatments with 55 °C water (HW) applied to ‘Russet Burbank’ tubers for 10, 20, 30, or 40 min before cutting was evaluated for potential implementation to control tissue browning. After heat treatment, tubers were held at 20 °C for 0 or 1 day before peeling and slicing. Control tubers were not previously immersed in hot water. All slices were placed in perforated plastic bags and stored at 5 °C for 6 days. Exposure to HW for 30 or 40 min caused severe heat injury. Browning developed in all treatments as indicated by color measurements and discoloration scores (index of extent of discolored area on the slice surface) during storage. Hot water treatment for 10 min best reduced browning, but only when treated tubers were stored intact for 1 day at 20 °C before cutting, as indicated by discoloration scores and changes in L*, a*, and Ho values, which were significantly different from either the control or the other HW treatments. Generally, the severe browning that developed in control slices during storage was associated with significant increases of 25% and 71% in phenolic content and antioxidant capacity, respectively. On the other hand, phenolic synthesis increased by only 6.25% to 13.2% in HW-treated slices during storage and polyphenoloxidase (PPO) activity was 24% to 31% lower compared with the activity before storage. Immersing potato tubers in 55 °C water for 10 to 20 min followed by storage at 20 °C for 1 day before processing reduced but did not prevent browning of peeled slices in terms of color changes and discoloration score. There was no significant correlation between browning and phenolic content or PPO activity.

Open access

Lan-Yen Chang and Jeffrey K. Brecht

Bruising of strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) fruit is a common mechanical injury that reduces product value. Wound-induced ethylene may accelerate deterioration or decay, affecting strawberry quality and shelf life. However, bruising susceptibility varies among strawberry cultivars. In this study, cultivars Monterey, Sweet Sensation, Radiance, and two proprietary cultivars (Cultivar A and Cultivar B) from a private breeding program were investigated to evaluate their bruising susceptibility and wound response. Bruising consisted of dropping a 28-g steel ball from 27 cm onto individual fruit; unbruised fruit were the primary control, while fruit exposed to 1 μL·L−1 ethylene were used as a check for ethylene response. All fruit were stored at 20 °C, 90% relative humidity (RH), with respiration and ethylene production measured at 2-hour intervals for 24 hours. Appearance observations were recorded daily until decay onset. Peak respiration rates of 30–40 mL CO2·kg−1·h−1 mostly occurred within 4 hours (‘Cultivar B’) to 6 hours (‘Cultivar A’ and ‘Sweet Sensation’) after bruising, except ‘Monterey’, which peaked at 60 mL CO2·kg−1·h−1 in 2 hours, and ‘Radiance’, which reached 70 mL CO2·kg−1·h−1 in 6 hours. Maximum ethylene production rates after bruising were 0.05 to 0.06 μL·kg−1·h−1 for ‘Monterey’, ‘Cultivar A’, and ‘Cultivar B’, 0.10 μL·kg−1·h−1 for ‘Sweet Sensation’, and 0.20 to 0.37 μL·kg−1·h−1 for ‘Radiance’. ‘Cultivar B’, with the lowest ethylene production, exhibited the lowest overall bruising severity, whereas ‘Radiance’, with the highest ethylene production, exhibited the most severe bruising-induced water soaking, and the other cultivars were intermediate, although ‘Monterey’ bruises were more discolored than those of the other cultivars. ‘Monterey’, ‘Radiance’, and ‘Sweet Sensation’ showed more yellowing and browning of the calyx in response to both bruising and ethylene exposure than ‘Cultivar A’ and ‘Cultivar B’. Except for ‘Cultivar B’, bruising and ethylene exposure increased decay severity.

Open access

Ming-Wei S. Kao, Jeffrey K. Brecht and Jeffrey G. Williamson

The physical and chemical characteristics of two melting flesh (MF) cultivars, TropicBeauty and Flordaprince, and two non-melting flesh (NMF) cultivars, UFSun and Gulfking, with advancing maturities, were determined at harvest, after ripening at 20 °C for 7 days (i.e., direct ripening) and after storage at 0 °C for 14 days then ripening at 20 °C for 7 days (i.e., ripening following low temperature storage). The NMF cultivars were able to retain flesh firmness better than the MF cultivars as fruit matured and ripened on the tree and after the two storage treatments. The NMF fruit of the least mature to the most advanced maturity groups (MGs) were ≈2 to 7 times firmer than the MF fruit in the same MGs after ripening in both storage conditions. For both MF and NMF fruit, a significant reduction of titratable acidity (TA) occurred with no significant changes in soluble solids content (SSC) and total soluble sugar (TSS) as maturity and ripening progressed on the tree and after ripening in both storage conditions. Minimum quality standards of “ready for consumption” peaches were used as general guidelines to determine the optimum harvest maturity of all four cultivars. The NMF fruit ripened directly had wider optimum harvest maturity ranges and could be harvested at more advanced stages than the MF fruit. The MF fruit that ripened following low temperature storage needed to be picked at earlier maturity stages than those that were directly ripened. The optimum harvest maturity of NMF UFSun for the low temperature storage treatment was more advanced than that of the other three cultivars due to abnormal softening found in the lower MGs after ripening. Linear correlation analyses showed that the skin ground color (GC) a* values of both MF cultivars and NMF ‘UFSun’ were highly correlated with the flesh color (FC) a* values, suggesting that GC a* values can be an informative harvest indicator for this NMF cultivar instead of the traditionally used FC. The GC a* values also had high linear correlation with TA for all four cultivars, suggesting that TA can be a potential maturity index for both MF and NMF peaches. Significant correlations of GC a* values and flesh firmness (GC-FF) were found in all four cultivars in one year but only in MF peaches in both years, showing that flesh firmness was the most consistent maturity indicator for the MF cultivars in this study.

Free access

Thanaa M. Ezz, Mark A. Ritenour and Jeffrey K. Brecht

Heat treatments and exposure to elevated CO2 are known to reduce the incidence of chilling injury on grapefruit. In the current study, `Marsh' grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.) were harvested on 17 Jan. or 22 Mar. 1996 and exposed to hot water (HW) dips (48 °C for 120 minutes) or exposed to controlled atmosphere (CA) of 10% or 16% CO2 during the first 3 weeks of an 8-week cold storage period (4.5 °C) to test their effects on the development of peel pitting (i.e., chilling injury) and proline and other compositional changes of the peel and juice. All HW and CA treatments from both harvests greatly reduced the development of peel pitting compared to the control. These treatments were also associated with lower average proline levels in the flavedo during storage. This suggests that HW and elevated CO2 may reduce chilling-induced peel pitting by facilitating proline metabolism in grapefruit flavedo tissue. HW and CA treatments resulted in higher peel total soluble and nonreducing sugar levels, but effects on peel reducing sugar and free amino acid concentrations were not consistent. In the juice, HW reduced titratable acidity (TA) concentrations while CA tended to increase both TA and ascorbic acid concentrations. Compared to the control, CA resulted in a slight decrease in total soluble solids during storage, while the effect of HW was inconsistent.

Free access

Jeffrey K. Brecht, Steven A. Sargent and L. A. Risse

Snap beans were room cooled (RC) or forced-air cooled (FA) in a 4.5°C commercial cold storage room, or hydrocooled (HC) in a commercial flume-type unit with 4°C water containing 175 ppm NaOCl. The beans were packed in wirebound wooden crates (WC) or waxed corrugated fiberboard cartons (FC) before (RC, FA) or after (HC) precooking and stored one week at 10°C before evaluation. Ascorbic acid, chlorophyll and fiber contents did not differ among treatments, while moisture content and per cent unshrivelled beans were lowest in FA and highest in HC, and lower in WC than in FC containers. HC reduced development of mechanical damage symptoms (browning) and decay compared to RC and FA. The former effect was attributable to the presence of NaOCl rather than leaching or increased cooling rate in HC. HC beans packed in FC had the highest per cent sound beans and lowest per cent beans showing mechanical damage symptoms of all the treatment combinations tested.

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George J. Hochmuth, Jeffrey K. Brecht and Mark J. Bassett

Potassium (K) is required for successful carrot (Daucus carota) production on sandy soils of the southeastern United States, yet there is little published research documenting most current university Cooperative Extension Service recommendations. Soil test methods for K in carrot production have not been rigorously validated. Excessive fertilization sometimes is practiced by carrot growers to compensate for potential losses of K from leaching and because some growers believe that high rates of fertilization may improve vegetable quality. Carrots were grown in three plantings during the winter of 1994-95 in Gainesville, Fla., to test the effects of K fertilization on carrot yield and quality on a sandy soil testing medium (38 ppm) in Mehlich-1 soil-test K. Large-size carrot yield was increased linearly with K fertilization. Yields of U.S. No. 1 grade carrots and total marketable carrots were not affected by K fertilization. K fertilizer was not required on this soil even though the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service recommendation was for 84 lb/acre K. Neither soluble sugar nor carotenoid concentrations in carrot roots were affected by K fertilization. The current K recommendation for carrots grown on sandy soils testing 38 ppm Mehlich-1 K could be reduced and still maintain maximum carrot yield and root quality.

Free access

Michael T. Masarirambi, Jeffrey K. Brecht and Steven A. Sargent

Mature green fruit of `Agriset 761', `Colonial', `Sunny' and `Sunbeam' tomatoes were exposed to 100 ppm ethylene at 20, 25, 30, 35, or 40°C around 95% relative humidity (RH) for 24, 48, or 72 hours, then transferred to air at 20°C and 95% RH for ripening. There were few differences in ripening behavior in tomatoes exposed to ethylene at high temperatures (>30°C) for 24 hours compared to those treated at lower temperatures. However, increasing the duration of ethylene treatment at 35 or 40°C to 48 or 72 hours inhibited subsequent red color development, but prior exposure to ethylene at 30°C stimulated red color development. Ethylene production was inhibited after 48 or 72 hours at 40°C, but was stimulated by exposure to lower temperatures in the order shown: 35 > 30 > 25. During ripening, conversion of ACC to ethylene increased in fruit exposed to ethylene at 20 or 25°C but did not change in fruit from 30 or 35°C. ACC oxidase activity was lowest after exposure to 40°C. Untreated fruit ripened slowly and nonuniformly compared to those previously treated with 100 ppm ethylene. Increasing the ethylene treatment concentration to 1000 ppm did not alter the responses to high temperatures described above.