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R.E. McDonald, W.R. Miller and T.G. McCollum

Irradiation is being evaluated as a quarantine treatment of grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf. `Marsh'), but it can cause damage to the fruit. Research was conducted to determine if preirradiation heat treatments would improve fruit tolerance to irradiation as they improve tolerance to low temperature injury and to determine if canopy position influenced fruit tolerance to irradiation. Initially, grapefruit were irradiated at 0 or 2.0 kGy at a dose rate of 0.14 kGy·min-1 and selected biochemical changes were monitored over time. There was a marked increase in phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity following irradiation. Maximum activity (≈18-fold increase) was attained 24 hours after irradiation. Subsequently, grapefruit were harvested from interior and exterior canopy positions and irradiated at 0 or 1.0 kGy at a dose rate of 0.15 kGy·min-1 before storage for 4 weeks at 10 °C. Following storage, pitting of flavedo was the most evident condition defect noted as a result of irradiation. Pitting was observed on 27% and 15% of irradiated exterior and interior canopy fruit, respectively, whereas there was no pitting on nonirradiated fruit. Heat treatment before irradiation decreased susceptibility of fruit to damage. Pitting was 26%, 19%, and 17% when fruit were held 2 hours at 20 (ambient), 38 or 42 °C, respectively. Irradiation-induced PAL activity was reduced by temperature conditioning at 38 or 42 °C. Exterior canopy fruit flavedo contained higher levels of total phenols, including flavanols and coumarins compared with interior canopy fruit. Deposition of lignin was not related to canopy position. Neither irradiation nor heat treatment had an effect on total phenols or lignin deposition. Generally, cholesterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, β-sitosterol, and isofucosterol were found to be higher in four steryl lipid fractions in exterior canopy fruit compared with interior canopy fruit. Irradiation increased campesterol in the free sterol and steryl glycoside fractions and decreased isofucosterol in the free sterol fraction. Heat treatments had no effect on individual sterol levels. It seems that irradiation causes a stress condition in the fruit, which leads to pitting of peel tissue. Heat treatment before irradiation reduced damaging effects of irradiation.

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R.E. McDonald, W.R. Miller and T.G. McCollum

Irradiation is being evaluated as a quarantine treatment of grapefruit (Citrus paradisi, Macf.), but it can cause damage to the fruit. We wanted to determine if pre-irradiation heat treatments would improve fruit tolerance to irradiation as they improve tolerance to low-temperature injury. `Marsh' grapefruit were harvested from interior and exterior canopy positions and irradiated at 0 or 1.0 kGy at a dose rate of 0.148 kGy·min-1 before storage for 4 weeks at 10 °C. Following storage, pitting of flavedo tissue was the most evident condition defect noted as a result of irradiation. Pitting was noted on 15% and 27% of irradiated interior and exterior canopy fruit, respectively, whereas there was no pitting on non-irradiated fruit. Temperature conditioning before irradiation decreased the susceptibility of fruit to damage. Pitting was 26%, 19%, and 17% when fruit were held 2 h at 20 (ambient), 38 or 42 °C, respectively. There was a marked increase in phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity following irradiation. Maximum activity (≈18-fold increase) was attained 24 h after irradiation. Irradiation-induced PAL activity was reduced significantly by temperature conditioning at 38 or 42 °C. Exterior canopy fruit flavedo contained higher levels of total phenols, including flavanols and coumarins, compared with interior canopy fruit. The deposition of lignin was not related to canopy position. Neither irradiation nor heat treatment had an effect on total phenols or lignin deposition. It seems that irradiation causes a stress condition in the fruit, which leads to pitting of peel tissue. Heat treatment before irradiation reduced the damaging effects of irradiation.

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W.R. Miller, R.E. McDonald and T.E. Cracker

Blueberry cultivars Sharpblue (mainly Vaccinium corymbosum L.) and Climax (V. ashei L.) were band-harvested on three occasions and manually packaged into 0.275 liter fiber-pulp cups or automatically packaged in vented polystyrene cups. Berries were evaluated after 1,2, or 3 weeks of storage at 1C and after 2 additional days of storage at 16C, a time frame that simulated a merchandising period. Weight loss of fruit packaged in polystyrene cups was <1% during 3 weeks of storage at 1C, whereas weight loss of berries packaged in fiber-pulp cups was ≈5.0% after similar storage. `Sharpblue' berries were softer at harvest and after each storage duration than `Climax' berries. Decay increased to ≈7% for `Climax' and 28% for `Sharpblue' after 3 weeks of storage at 1C. Package type did not affect decay incidence after 3 weeks of storage; but after 2 additional days at 16C, decay incidence was slightly higher for berries packaged in polystyrene compared with those packaged in fiber-pulp cups. `Sharpblue' should be packaged only in fiber-pulp cups and marketed quickly after harvest to avoid excessive decay.

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W.R. Miller, D. Chun, L.A. Risse, T.T. Hatton and R.T. Hinsch

`Thompson' pink grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.), waxed or film-wrapped, treated with thiabendazole (TBZ) or untreated, were used to determine the effect of high-temperature conditioning at 31C for 3 days on fruit during subsequent storage for 4 weeks at 1 or 10C. Chilling injury (CI) developed in all conditioned fruit stored at 1C, but was drastically reduced in film-wrapped compared to waxed fruit. Thiabendazole slightly reduced CI, and fruit held at 10C had fewer CI symptoms than those held at 1C for 4 weeks. Conditioning Florida grapefruit at 31C for 3 days did not allow subsequent storage at 1C without rind discoloration. Chemical name used: 2-(4'-thiazolyl)-benzimidazole (thiabendazol, TBZ).

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T.W. Miller, D.S. Mattinson, B.C. Bostick, E. Fallahi and J.K. Fellman

Light has long been known to stimulate anthocyanin accumulation in apple peel, but changes in apple flavor as a result of fruit shading is poorly understood. Some growers maintain that the redder the strain, the less flavorful the fruit. An experiment was conducted to help characterize the role of light in biosynthesis of color versus flavor molecules in apple peel. Bags fashioned from 3 meshes of shade cloth were fastened around fruitlets of red delicious strains `Starkrimson' and `Topred' on M26, MM106, and MM111 by 21 DAFB to produce average light ranges of 100%. 41-68%, 12-30%, and < 1% of full sun incident upon the fruit. Observations from the 1993 harvest indicate that anthocyanin content of peel increased with fruit maturity and level of sunlight. Concentrations of flavor molecules were higher with low and moderate shade than with full sun, and also increased with fruit maturity. From this harvest data, it appears that apple flavor can be enhanced by lightly shading fruit without substantially reducing fruit color.

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B.D. Bruton, T.W. Popham, J. García-Jiménez, J. Armengol and M.E. Miller

Thirty-seven species within Cucurbitaceae representing the genera Citrullus, Cucumis, Cucurbita, Lagenaria, and Luffa were evaluated for disease reaction to an Acremonium cucurbitacearum A. Alfaro-Garcia, W. Gams, and Garcia-Jimenez, isolate (TX 941022) from the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. After 28 days in the greenhouse, seedling disease ratings were made on the hypocotyl, stem-root junction, primary root, and secondary roots. An additional disease measure was derived by averaging the four root disease ratings to establish a disease severity index (DSI). Vine and root dry weight were poor measures of plant damage caused by A. cucurbitacearum. According to the DSI, all species within Cucurbita, Lagenaria, Luffa, and three Cucumis sativus L. cultigens were rated as highly resistant to A. cucurbitacearum. Cucumis melo L. and Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai cultigens were the only cucurbits receiving DSI ratings of moderately resistant to susceptible.

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J.K. Fellman, T.W. Miller, D.S. Mattinson and J.P. Mattheis

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S.S. Miller, R.W. McNew, B.H. Barritt, L. Berkett, S.K. Brown, J.A. Cline, J.M. Clements, W.P. Cowgill, R.M. Crassweller, M.E. Garcia, D.W. Greene, G.M. Greene, C.R. Hampson, I. Merwin, D.D. Miller, R.E. Moran, C.R. Rom, T.R. Roper, J.R. Schupp and E. Stover

Cultivar and planting site are two factors that often receive minimal attention, but can have a significant impact on the quality of apple (Malus ×domestica) produced. A regional project, NE-183 The Multidisciplinary Evaluation of New Apple Cultivars, was initiated in 1995 to systematically evaluate 20 newer apple cultivars on Malling.9 (M.9) rootstock across 19 sites in North America. This paper describes the effect of cultivar and site on fruit quality and sensory attributes at a number of the planting sites for the 1998 through 2000 growing seasons. Fruit quality attributes measured included fruit weight, length: diameter ratio, soluble solids concentration (SSC), titratable acidity (TA), flesh firmness, red overcolor, and russet. Fruit sensory characteristics rated included crispness, sweetness, and juiciness, based on a unipolar intensity scale (where 1 = least and 5 = most), and acidity, flavor, attractiveness, and desirability based on a bipolar hedonic scale (where 1 = dislike and 5 = like extremely). All fruit quality and sensory variables measured were affected by cultivar. The two-way interaction of cultivar and planting site was significant for all response variables except SSC, TA, russet, crispness, and sweetness ratings. The SSC: TA ratio was strongly correlated with sweetness and acidity sensory rating, but was weakly correlated with flavor rating. The results demonstrate that no one cultivar is ideally suited for all planting sites and no planting site is ideal for maximizing the quality of all apple cultivars.

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B.I. Reisch, R.M. Pool, W.B. Robinson, T. Henick-Kling, J.P. Watson, K.H. Kimball, M.H. Martens, G.S. Howell, D.P. Miller, C.E. Edson and J.R. Morris