Three varieties of rabbit eye (Vaccinium ashei) blueberries (`Climax',, `Premier', and `Tifblue') were harvested in Mississippi and two varieties of highbush (v. corymbosum blueberries (`BlueCrop' and `Jersey') were harvested in Michigan. Each variety was harvested at three different locations as replications. The berries were rapidly cooled to 5°C after harvest, placed in 1-pint containers, and analyzed at 7-day intervals for 28 days with day 0 being 48 h after harvest.
Shear, compression and puncture forces were higher for rabbiteye spp. than for highbush spp. `Bluecrop' blueberries showed the lowest shear force whereas, Climax, had the most shear force. Puncture force (skin toughness) was lower for `Bluecrop' and `Jersey' and higher for, Climax, There was an increase in shear force by all varieties with storage time. `Premier, and `Climax' had lower soluble solids, but they increased with storage time. `Jersey' had the highest pH and `Tifblue' the lowest. Although all varieties lost moisture with time, `Bluecrop' always had higher moisture. Mold growth varied with time; however, `Bluecrop' had a higher percentage of moldy berries throughout refrigeration. The percent decay was higher for highbush blueberries after 16 d of refrigeration. Rabbiteye's toughness and firmness give them a longer refrigerated shelf-life over highbush blueberries.