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Steve J. McArtney, John D. Obermiller, James R. Schupp, Michael L. Parker and Todd B. Edgington

replications. One tree within each plot was designated for fruit drop counts and the remaining two trees per plot designated for sequential sampling for fruit maturity and quality assessments after storage. The mixing and application procedures described

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D. Chrz, N. Maness, D. Chen and M. Stone

A mechanical impulse system for determining tomato fruit maturity and size was tested, for development of a rapid, nondestructive fruit testing instrument. Fruit were grouped into various maturity categories, ranging from immature green to red, and impulse spectra were obtained at a site over the locule at marked locations. Resistance to puncture was measured on the locular side of the pericarp wall at the same locations. A sonic resonant frequency band was weakly correlated with fruit maturity category. Stronger correlations existed with pericarp puncture resistance and fruit weight. A description of essential components and utilization of the instrument for fruit firmness determination will be presented. Supported by OCAST (Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology) grant AR2-069, USDA grant 92-34150-7190 and the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station.

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Y. Shi, C. Rom and J.C. Correll

The susceptibility of five apple cultivars to bitter rot was examined by inoculating fruit with multiple isolates of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and C. acutatum. Fruit were inoculated at three maturity dates in 1994. Fruit maturity was analyzed for firmness, soluble solids, and acidity. `Smoothee' and `Red Rome' were wounded-inoculated by placing 0.1 ml of inoculum (106 conidia/ml) into wounds while `Granny Smith', `Golden Delicious', and `Red Delicious' were inoculated by spraying unwounded fruit with inoculum until runoff. Free moisture was maintained on fruit for 15 h by enclosing fruit in a plastic bag. Bitter rot was quantified by counting lesion number and measuring lesion diameter. In general, more-mature fruit had a higher number and larger lesions than younger fruit. Lesion diameter was highly correlated with increased fruit soluble solids (r = 0.76) and decreased firmness (r = –0.77). The results indicate that fruit susceptibility increases as fruit ages. Differences in susceptibility were observed among apple cultivars and differences in virulence were observed among bitter rot pathogens.

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Nadeem A. Abbasi, Mosbah M. Kushad and Anton G. Endress

Superoxide dismutase (SOD: EC and peroxidase (POD: EC activities were evaluated during maturity, ripening, and senescence of `Red Spur Delicious' (Malus domestica Borkh.) apple fruits. SOD and POD activities did not exhibit uniform changes during fruit maturity; however, during fruit ripening, activities of both enzymes increased significantly. During fruit senescence, SOD activity continued to increase, while POD activity declined by 24% to 50%. Fruit maturity at harvest significantly affected SOD and POD activities during the progression of ripening and senescence. SOD activity was significantly higher during ripening and senescence of fruits that were harvested at full and over-mature stages than in fruits harvested at early mature stage. In contrast, POD activity was lower in fruits that were harvested at full and over-mature stages than in fruits harvested at early mature stage. Increase in SOD and POD activities during fruit ripening suggest that these enzymes are actively involved in scavenging free-radicals generated during this developmental stage. However, the decline in POD activity during fruit senescence suggest a possible disruption of the breakdown of H2O2 free-radicals. This disruption may have contributed to tissue senescence and the induction of a physiological disorder called senescence scald.

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A.G. Reynolds, D.A. Wardle, A.C. Cottrell and A.P. Gaunce

Paclobutrazol (PB) was sprayed on hedged `Riesling' (Vitis vinifera L.) vines at one of five concentrations (0, 1000, 2000, 3000, or 4000 mg·liter-1) as single annual applications over 3 years (1987-89). Observations were made on growth, yield, and fruit composition during the years of application and 1 year thereafter (1990) to test carryover effects. PB had no effect on vine vigor, expressed as weight of cane prunings, during the three application years, but reduced vine vigor linearly with concentration in 1990. Yield was reduced by PB in the first 2 years of the trial, while in one season cluster weight and berries per cluster were also reduced. °Brix was increased by PB during all 3 years of application; titratable acidity was reduced and pH increased in the first year of application. PB sprays significantly reduced lateral shoot length, mean leaf size on both main and lateral shoots, and total leaf area on main and lateral shoots. Winter injury to buds, cordons, and trunks was also reduced with increasing PB level. Residues of PB in fruit in the first year of application ranged from 9 μg·kg-1 at the 0-m·gliter-1 level to 638 μg·kg-1 at the 4000-mg·liter-1 level. PB shows promise as a viticultural tool for advancement of fruit maturity, with possible additional benefits such as improved vine winter hardiness. Chemical name used β -[(4-chlorophenyl) methyl]-α -dimethylethyl)-1-H-1,2,4-triazole-l-ethanol (paclobutrazol, PB).

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M.C.N. Nunes, A.M.M.B. Morais, J.K. Brecht and S.A. Sargent

`Chandler' strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) harvested three-quarter colored or fully red were stored in air or a controlled atmosphere (CA) of 5% O2 + 15% CO2 at 4 or 10 °C to evaluate the influence of fruit maturity and storage temperature on the response to CA. Quality evaluations were made after 1 and 2 weeks in air or CA, and also after 1 and 2 weeks in air or CA plus 1 day in air at 20 °C. By 2 weeks, strawberries of both maturities stored in air at 10 °C were decayed, however, strawberries stored in CA at 4 or 10 °C or air at 4 °C had no decay even after 2 weeks plus 1 day at 20 °C. Three-quarter colored fruit stored in either air or CA remained firmer, lighter (higher L* value) and purer red (higher hue and chroma values) than fully red fruit, with the most pronounced effect being on CA-stored fruit at 4 °C. CA was more effective than air storage in maintaining initial anthocyanin and soluble solids contents (SSC) of three-quarter colored fruit and fruit stored at 10 °C. Strawberries harvested three-quarter colored maintained initial hue and chroma values for 2 weeks in CA at 4 °C, becoming fully red only when transferred to air at 20 °C. Although three-quarter colored fruit darkened and softened in 10 °C storage, the CA-stored fruit remained lighter colored and as firm as the at-harvest values of fully red fruit. After 1 or 2 weeks in CA at either 4 or 10 °C plus 1 day at 20 °C, three-quarter colored fruit also had similar SSC levels but lower total anthocyanin contents than the initial levels in fully red fruit. CA maintained better strawberry quality than air storage even at an above optimum storage temperature of 10 °C, but CA was more effective at the lower temperature of 4 °C. Three-quarter colored fruit responded better to CA than fully red fruit, maintaining better appearance, firmness, and color over 2 weeks storage, while achieving similar acidity and SSC with minimal decay development.

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Samuel Salazar-García, Luis E. Cossio-Vargas, Isidro J.L. González-Durán and Carol J. Lovatt

normally and attain a satisfactory taste for the consumer, avocado legal fruit maturity standards have been established. Determination of mesocarp (pulp) dry matter is a technique used in avocado because it is a simple, fast, and accurate way to assess

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K.G. Weis, S.M. Southwick, J.T. Yeager, W.W. Coates and Michael E. Rupert

The years 1995 and 1996 were low chill years in California with respect to stone fruit dormancy. Advancing reproductive budbreak and flowering was accomplished in `Bing' cherry (Prunus avium) by single-spray treatments of a surfactant {a polymeric alkoxylated fatty amine [N,N-bis 2-(omega-hydroxypolyoxyethylene/polyoxypropylene) ethyl alkylamine]} and potassium nitrate in combination when applied at “tightbud,” ≈ 42 days (1 Feb. 1995) before full bloom and with surfactant and potassium nitrate in combination when 10% green calyx was apparent, 33 days before full bloom. Applying 2% surfactant (v/v) + 6% potassium nitrate (w/v) was most effective in advancing bloom, speeding progression through bloom, and advancing fruit maturity when applied at tightbud stage. Surfactant (2% or 4%) applied with 25% or 35% calcium nitrate (w/v) on 2 Feb. 1996 significantly advanced full bloom compared to nontreated controls. Fruit maturity (1995) was somewhat advanced by surfactant–nitrate treatments, but fruit set and final fruit weight were equivalent among treatments. No phytotoxicity was noted in foliage or fruit. In California, marginal and insufficient winter chilling often causes irregular, extended, or delayed bloom periods, resulting in poor bloom-overlap with pollenizers. As a result, flower and fruit development may be so variable as to have small, green and ripe fruit on the same tree, making harvest more time consuming and costly. Data indicate that this surfactant, in combination with a nitrogenous compound, has potential to advance reproductive budbreak and advance maturity in sweet cherry without reducing fruit set or fruit size. Advancing the ripening time of sweet cherry even 2 to 3 days can increase the price received per 8.2-kg box by $10 to $20.

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John C. Beaulieu and Mikal E. Saltveit

`Castlemart' tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) pericarp discs were used to study the physiological effects of acetaldehyde and ethanol on fruit ripening. Short-term exposure of discs from mature-green fruit to acetaldehyde vapors on a fresh mass basis (≤500 μg·g-1) or ethanol vapors (≤3 mg·g-1) promoted ripening, while higher concentrations inhibited ripening. Discs from mature-green fruit absorbed greater amounts of ethanol and produced significantly higher concentrations of acetaldehyde than discs from breaker fruit. Ripening was promoted by ethanol when the discs were unable to retain or produce a certain level of acetaldehyde. Inhibition of ripening by 4 hours of exposure to ethanol (6 mg·g-1) was almost completely abolished by hypobaric treatments (18 kPa for 24 hours). However, acetaldehyde-induced ripening inhibition (2 days exposure to 180 μg·g-1) was only slightly reduced by vacuum. Concentrations of acetaldehyde and ethanol that inhibited ripening reduced C2H4 production, whereas lower concentrations of acetaldehyde and ethanol that promoted ripening increased C2H4 production. Application of 4-methylpyrazole, an alcohol dehydrogenase inhibitor, enhanced acetaldehyde-induced ripening inhibition and reduced ethanol-induced ripening inhibition or promotion at all concentrations of acetaldehyde and ethanol tested. The inhibition or promotion of ripening of excised tomato pericarp discs by ethanol and acetaldehyde depended on initial fruit maturity, applied volatile concentration, and duration of exposure.

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Sasivimon Chomchalow, N.M. El Assi, S.A. Sargent and J.K. Brecht

Green tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum `Sunny') fruit were stored at 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, or 12.5 °C (36.5, 41, 45.5, 50, or 54.5 °F) for 1, 3, 5, or 7 days to determine their sensitivity to chilling injury. In subsequent experiments, fruit were treated with ethylene at 20 °C (68 °F) until the breaker stage was reached, either before or after storage at 12.5 °C for 0, 1, 3, 5, or 7 days, or 2.5 °C for 3, 5, 7, or 9 days. Number of days to reach the breaker stage was used as an indicator of initial maturity. The chilling threshold temperature for green `Sunny' tomatoes was near 7.5 °C, with delayed ripening occurring in fruit stored for ≥5 days. Longer exposure times at chilling temperatures resulted in reduced marketable life, dull color, flaccidity, and delayed, uneven (blotchy) and nonuniform ripening. Chemical composition was generally unaffected by chilling, while loss of firmness as a result of chilling exposure time rather than chilling temperatures per se was observed. Increased storage time at either 2.5 or 12.5 °C accentuated the initial differences in fruit maturity and thus resulted in less uniform ripening, especially for tomatoes stored before ethylene treatment, but the effect was much greater following 2.5 °C storage. Exposure to 2.5 °C for as little as 3 days before ethylene treatment caused blotchy ripening and decay, and reduced the marketable life of tomatoes by half compared to storage at nonchilling temperature. Treatment with ethylene before storage prevented chilling injury for up to 5 days at 2.5 °C and prolonged the marketable life of tomatoes stored at either chilling or nonchilling temperature. Tomatoes became less responsive to poststorage ethylene treatment with increased storage time at either 2.5 or 12.5 °C. More mature tomatoes and those treated with ethylene before 12.5 °C storage lost less weight. Vitamin C content was lower in more mature tomatoes, but ethylene treatment resulted in better maintenance of vitamin C by shortening the time to reach the red stage. No other significant differences in color, firmness or chemical composition at the red stage were found between fruit with different initial maturities or fruit treated with ethylene before or after 2.5 or 12.5 °C storage. Treating green tomatoes with ethylene before storage or transport is preferable to poststorage treatment because of faster and more uniform ripening, and also increased marketable life and reduced risk of injury in the event of exposure to chilling temperatures.