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Adonai Gimenez Calbo, Marcos David Ferreira, and José Dalton Cruz Pessoa

, in which an encased pressure transducer reads a signal that is always a fraction of the applied leaf compression. According to the authors, this instrument enables continuous data acquisition from leaves with different thicknesses. The leaf cell

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Marcos D. Ferreira, Steven A. Sargent, Jeffrey K. Brecht, and Craig K. Chandler

during harvest, whereas for others, packing and transportation require the most attention ( Prussia and Shewfelt, 1993 ). Bruising can be caused by any one or a combination of impact, compression, and vibration forces ( Brusewitz et al., 1991 ; Vergano

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Douglas D. Archbold, Ann M. Clements, T.R. Hamilton-Kemp, and R.W. Collins

Prior work indicated that volatile compounds produced by macerated strawberry fruit occurred at levels capable of affecting pathogen development. To determine if a less-severe injury, such as bruising, would alter the volatile profile of strawberry fruit, the headspace volatiles from ripe `Tribute' strawberry fruit were sampled with SPME fiber during the 15 min immediately following and from 75 to 90 min following application of a compression bruise. The compression bruise was applied with a force gauge, and fruit were kept in a closed bottle at room temperature during the study. Of the 14 major volatile products consistently produced by all fruit, acetate esters derived from hexanal, (E)-2-hexenal, and (Z)-3-hexenal increased most, over 50%, in response to bruising during the first interval. During the later interval, bruised fruit produced over 50% more (E)-2-hexenyl acetate and hexyl acetate than control fruit. Most notably, the ratio of levels of (E)-2-hexenyl acetate produced by bruised compared to control fruit were the highest among all 14 major volatiles, over 150% more after 15 min and 270% more at 90 min. Headspace levels of the 6-carbon acetate esters declined for both control and bruised fruit between 15 and 90 min, while levels of the other major volatiles increased. The other 11 volatile compounds were commonly identified aroma volatiles. Headspace levels of some of these were also higher from bruised than control fruit. In particular, headspace levels of ethyl butyrate were increased by bruising 13% after 15 min but over 100% after 90 min, the most of any volatile product other than (E)-2-hexenyl acetate.

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Catherine Belisle, Uyen T.X. Phan, Koushik Adhikari, and Dario J. Chavez

have been reported as softer and juicier in texture, compared with non-melting types that have been reported as harder and less juicy ( Brovelli et al., 1999 ). The use of different textural tests, such as compression, puncture, and Kramer shear, have

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Judith A. Abbott

A rapid nondestructive method for measuring apple texture using sonic vibrational characteristics of intact apples was tested on freshly harvested `Delicious' apples from major U.S. production areas. Sonic transmission spectra and Magness-Taylor (MT) firmness were measured on whole apples and compression measurements were made on excised tissue. Two experienced Agricultural Marketing Service apple inspectors assessed each apple and assigned a ripeness score according to U.S. Dept. of Agriculture grades and standards inspection procedures (based primarily on texture). Sonic functions correlated significantly with ripeness scores, MT firmness, and forces to rupture or crush the tissue in compression. Ripeness scores were more closely correlated with the destructive firmness measurements than with sonic functions. However, sonic measurement has the advantage of being nondestructive, whereas MT and tissue compression are inherently destructive. Further research is needed to modify the Instrumentation and Sensing Laboratory`s sonic technique to improve the prediction of apple firmness before it can be adapted for on-line sorting.

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Silvana Nicola and Daniel J. Cantliffe

`South Bay' lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) seedlings were grown in a greenhouse during winter, spring, and fall to investigate the effect of cell size and medium compression on transplant quality and yield. Four Speedling planter flats (1.9-, 10.9-, 19.3-, 39.7-cm3 cells) and two medium compression levels [noncompressed and compressed (1.5 times in weight)] were tested. The two larger cell sizes and compression of the medium led to increased plant shoot growth. Conversely, root weight ratio [RWR = (final root dry weight ÷ final total dry weight + initial root dry weight ÷ initial total dry weight) ÷ 2] was highest with the smaller cells without medium compression. Lettuce transplants were field-grown on sand and muck soils. The larger cells delayed harvest by >2 weeks for plants grown on muck soil, but yield was unaffected. When grown on sandy soil, earliness was enhanced from plants grown in 19- and 40-cm3 cells, but head weights were not affected in the spring planting. In fall, heads were heavier for plants grown in 11-, 19-, or 40-cm3 cells compared with those from 2-cm3 cells. On sandy soil, harvest was delayed 13 days in spring and 16 days in fall for plants grown in the smallest cell size. Using the two smaller cell sizes saved medium and space in the greenhouse and increased the root growth ratio, but it led to reduced plant growth compared to using the bigger cells. Yield and earliness were more related to season and soil type than to transplant quality. On sandy soil, plants grown in 2- and 11-cm3 cells matured later, and yield was significantly decreased (8.6%) in fall by using plants from the 2-cm3 cells compared to the other sizes. From our results, compressing the medium in the cells was not justified because it is more costly and did not benefit yield in the field.

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M.D. Ferreira, S.A. Sargent, J.K. Brecht, and C.K. Chandler

Individual strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) fruits at cooled or ambient pulp temperatures were subjected to compression or impact forces to determine sensitivity to bruising. Fruits were more resistant to compression bruising at lower temperatures, but were more resistant to impact bruising at ambient temperatures. `Chandler' fruits at 1C or 30C were compressed (9.8 N for 2 s); after 24 h @ 24C, bruise volumes were 0.27 cm3 and 0.65 cm3, respectively. Following a single impact from 13 cm, fruits at 1C or 24C had bruise volumes of 0.21 cm3, and 0.10 cm3, respectively. Increasing impact height to 38 cm caused bruise volumes of 0.31 cm3 and 0.16 cm3 for fruits at 1C and 24C, respectively. The potential exists to improve packout quality and efficiency for value-added strawberry packs. Due to greater resistance to impacts at ambient temperatures, strawberries could be bulk-transported to a central facility, and graded and packed on an appropriately designed packing line. Care must be taken to avoid compression bruising at harvest.

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P. Perkins-Veazie, P. Armstrong, and J.R Clark

Firmness of blackberries greatly determines shelf life for fresh market. Firmness in blackberries appears to be due to a combination of skin toughness and internal receptacle to permit large sample size measurements. Subjective rating of fruit require consistent evaluation by raters over harvest dates and years, and is subject to fatigue error. The FirmTech2 firmness tester was developed to provide rapid compression measurements and has been successfully used in determining the firmness of cherries and blueberries. Blackberries from a large number of clones ranging in firmness from rock-hard to squishy were measured with the FirmTech2 using a deformation range of 25 to 100 g. Additionally, blackberries were placed in storage at 2, 5, and 2/20 °C to monitor effects of storage temperature on blackberry firmness. Berries were subjectively rated and then placed on the Firmtech for measurements. A comparison of firmness readings for fruit only in the “1” (firm) category was made. Differences found among fruit readings agreed with observed differences in field subjective ratings. Stored fruit that had become soft and mushy could not be statistically differentiated from firmer fruit in quantitative readings. In conclusion, the Firmtech2 allowed rapid evaluation of breeding lines before storage.

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JoAnn Robbins and Patrick P. Moore

Weight and morphological characteristics of red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) fruit, including drupelets (height, diameter, number), receptacle cavities (depth, diameter), and pits (individual weight), were measured on 78 seedlings from the cross `Chief' × `Chilliwack'. Fruit strength, as measured by compression, correlated with fruit weight, drupelet number, receptacle cavity depth, and individual pit weight. Fruit weight was positively correlated with all morphological characteristics. Individual pit weight, drupelet height, and drupelet number provided the largest component contributions to fruit strength as measured by path analysis.

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JoAnn Robbins and Patrick P. Moore

Fruit weight and morphological characteristics of `Meeker' red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) fruit, including drupelets (height, diameter, number), receptacle cavities (depth, diameter), and pits (individual weight) were measured five times in 1988. Fruit strength, as measured by compression, was recorded. The relationship of fro-it weight to fruit strength had linear and quadratic components. Fruit weight was correlated with fruit strength, drupelet height and number, receptacle cavity depth and diameter, and individual pit weight. Besides fruit weight, fruit strength was correlated with drupelet diameter and number, receptacle cavity depth, and individual pit weight. Drupelet number, receptacle cavity depth, and individual pit weight provided the largest component contribution to fruit strength, as determined by path analysis.