Postharvest berry split and abscission in 'Thompson Seedless' and 'Waltham Cross' table grapes

Burger, D. A. (Dirk Albert) (2000-12)

Thesis (MScAgric) -- University of Stellenbosch, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Postharvest berry split and abscission are prevailing physiological disorders that negatively impact on the quality of table grapes exported from South Africa. Inferior grape quality due to these disorders results in a considerable decline in consumer confidence in the branded product, which leads to a drop in demand, and consequently, lower prices. Since information concerning postharvest factors influencing postharvest berry split and abscission is limited, the search for reliable methods to adequately control these problems remains elusive. In an attempt to obtain the required information, the influence of harvest temperature, harvest maturity, perforated liners, field heat removal prior to packing, delay periods before and after packing, storage duration and the elevation of storage temperature on the development of berry split and abscission in 'Thompson Seedless' (Vitis vinifera Linnaeus) table grapes was investigated. Changes in abscission related factors during berry development, and the influence of pre-and postharvest ethylene inhibitors on the development of berry abscission in 'Waltham Cross' table grapes, was also studied. Berry split was aggravated by packing 'Thompson Seedless' grapes at high pulp temperatures of approximately 30°C, especially if the grapes were packed in non-perforated bags. The incidence of berry split could be reduced by between 80 and 90% by packing grapes in perforated instead of non-perforated liners. Perforated bags also reduced levels of S02 damage. However, due to significantly more moisture loss from grapes in perforated bags, compared to non-perforated bags, the risk of higher fruit and stem desiccation and softer berries existed. Optimum size and density of perforations needs to be determined to reduce berry split without excessive loss of moisture from the grapes, and S02gas from the air space surrounding the product. The influence of harvest temperature and liner type on berry abscission was not conclusive. Advanced maturity increased grape resistance to berry split. However, grapes harvested too mature were prone to stem desiccation and the development of Botrytis decay. The occurrence of berry abscission also appeared to increase with advanced harvest maturity. Consequently, to ensure optimal post-storage quality, 'Thompson Seedless' grapes should be harvested as soon as horticultural maturity has been reached, which appears to be at approximately 18°Brix. Field heat removal for 1.5 hours at 19°C prior to packing had no beneficial or adverse effect on berry split and abscission. Delay periods prior to packing aggravated berry abscission, but did not influence berry split significantly. Grapes delayed for 12 hours showed a significant increase in berry abscission and Botrytis decay, compared to grapes delayed for only 3 or 8 hours. Considering that the absence of fungal decay is the most important quality prerequisite in table grapes, it is of vital importance to pack grapes with as short a delay period as possible. Grapes packed in non-perforated liners and delayed for different durations after packing, before the onset of forced-air cooling (FAC), showed significant differences regarding the incidence of berry split. Grapes delayed for 18 hours had significantly higher levels of berry split directly after the delay period, compared to grapes delayed for 6 or 12 hours. No significant difference in berry abscission occurred between grapes delayed for different periods. To minimise the amount of berry split, FAC should be applied as rapidly as possible after the packing of grapes in non-perforated liners. Two storage related factors significantly influenced the incidence of berry split in 'Thompson Seedless' grapes during cold storage significantly, viz. the duration of storage at -O.soC,and the increase in temperature after low temperature storage. Berry split increased almost linearly with prolonged storage at -O.soC. An elevation of storage temperature from -O.soC to 10°C any time during the cold storage period, further aggravated the split problem. Consequently, the reduction of berry split in 'Thompson Seedless' table grapes during cold storage requires (a) the shortest possible cold storage period, and (b) good temperature management throughout distribution, from initiation of cooling until the final point of sale. The grape berry abscission potential, as quantitatively indexed by the measurement of the fruit removal force (FRF), showed significant changes during berry development of 'Waltham Cross' table grapes, from 27 to 111 days after full bloom (OAFB). This showed that at certain stages of fruit growth, 'Waltham Cross' grapes are more prone to berry abscission. At 27 OAFB, when the berries had an average diameter of 6.6mm, the grape bunches showed a significantly higher potential for berry abscission, compared to grapes sampled at a later stage. 'Waltham Cross' has inherently straggly bunches with bare shoulders. Therefore, any abscission during berry development will aggravate the problem. Consequently, it is of vital importance that any adverse factors such as moisture stress be avoided, especially during the period when 'Waltham Cross' grapes appear to be very susceptible to berry abscission. Of all parameters measured, moisture loss showed the best correlation with abscission. Grapes harvested with total soluble solids (TSS) of 12.3°Brix, 83 OAFB, had a significantly higher abscission potential than grapes harvested more mature. Therefore, by harvesting 'Waltham Cross' grapes at optimum maturity, at a TSS of approximately 16.4°Brix, berry abscission can be reduced to a great extent. It was evident that at veraison, the metabolism of grape berries changes drastically, and additional to the rapid increase in sugars and the rapid decrease in acidity, a decrease in FRF occurs. Preharvest sprays of ReTain™ (a derivative of aminoethoxyvinylglycine), which inhibits ethylene synthesis, showed no promise as a means to reduce postharvest berry abscission. A postharvest treatment with EthylBloc® (1-methylcyclopropene), which inhibits ethylene action, only reduced berry abscission during one season.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die fisiologiese defekte korrelbars en los korrels wat algemeen voorkom tydens opberging van sekere tafeldruif-kultivars, het 'n negatiewe invloed op tafeldruiwe wat uitgevoer word vanaf Suid-Afrika. Minderwaardige kwaliteit as gevolg van hierdie defekte het 'n aansienlike afname in verbruikers-vertroue tot gevolg wat aanleiding gee tot 'n ooreenkomstige afname in aanvraag en prys van die produk. Inligting rakende na-oes faktore wat die voorkoms van korrelbars en los korrels beïnvloed is beperk, en geen gewaarborgde metode bestaan om hierdie twee defekte volkome te beheer nie. In 'n poging om dié gewenste inligting te bekom, is ondersoek ingestel na die effek van oes-temperatuur, oes-rypheid, geperforeerde sakke, veldhitte verwydering voor verpakking, vertragingsperiodes voor en na verpakking, tydsduur van opberging, en die verhoging van die opbergingstemperatuur, op die voorkoms van korrelbars en los korrels by 'Thompson Seedless' (Vitis vinifera Linnaeus) druiwe. Daar is ook ondersoek ingestel na veranderings in afsnoering verwante faktore tydens korrel-ontwikkeling, en die invloed van vooren na-oes toedienings van etileen inhibeerders op die ontwikkeling van los korrels by 'Waltham Cross'tafeldruiwe. Korrelbars is vererger deur 'Thompson Seedless' met hoë pulptemperature van ongeveer 29.5°C te verpak, veral indien dit in 'n riie-geperforeerde sak verpak is. Die voorkoms van korrelbars kon tussen 80 en 90% verminder word deur 'Thompson Seedless' druiwe in geperforeerde sakke te verpak, in plaas van nie-geperforeerde sakke. Geperforeerde sakke het ook S02 skade op die druiwe verminder. Tog, as gevolg van betekenisvol meer vogverlies vanaf druiwe in geperforeerde sakke as vanaf druiwe in nie-geperforeerde sakke, bestaan die risiko van meer stingel-uitdroging en minder ferm korrels indien druiwe in geperforeerde sakke verpak word. Optimale grootte en digtheid van perforasies moet bepaal word om korrelbars te verminder, maar sonder oormatige vogverlies vanaf die druiwe en oormatige verlies aan S02. Die invloed van oes-temperatuur en sak-tipe op los korrels was nie oortuigend nie. Gevorderde oes-rypheid het die druif se weerstand teen korrelbars verhoog. Daarteenoor was druiwe wat té ryp geoes is, meer gevoelig vir stingel-uitdroging en Botrytis bederf. Dit wilook voorkom of die voorkoms van los korrels toeneem met gevorderde rypheid. Dus, om optimum kwaliteit na opberging te verseker, moet 'Thompson Seedless' geoes word sodra hortologiese rypheid bereik word, wat blyk om by 'n totale opgeloste vaste stof-inhoud (TOVS) van ongeveer 18°Brix te wees. Veldhitte verwydering voor verpakking, vir 1.5 uur by 19°C, het geen effek gehad op die voorkoms van korrelbars en los korrels nie. 'n Vertragingsperiode voor verpakking het die los korrel-probleem vererger, alhoewel dit geen betekenisvolle invloed op die voorkoms van korrelbars gehad het nie. Druiwe wat vir 12 uur voor verpakking vertraag is, het betekenisvol meer los korrels en Botrytis bederf getoon, in vergelyking met druiwe wat slegs 'n vertragingsperiode van 3 of 8 uur ondergaan het. Aangesien die afwesigheid van bederf die belangrikste kwaliteits-vereiste vir tafeldruiwe is, is dit van kardinale belang om druiwe so gou as moontlik na oes te verpak. Druiwe, verpak in nie-geperforeerde sakke, wat vir verskillende periodes vertraag is voor geforseerde-lug verkoeling, het betekenisvolle verskille getoon betreffende die voorkoms van korrelbars. Druiwe vertraag vir 18 ure voor verkoeling, het betekenisvol meer korrelbars getoon, soos gemeet onmiddellik na die vertragingsperiode, in vergelyking met druiwe wat slegs vir 6 of 12 ure vertraag was. Geen betekenisvolle verskille in los korrels het voorgekom tussen druiwe wat verskillende vertragingsperiodes ondergaan het nie. Om korrelbars te verminder, moet geforseerde-lug verkoeling so gou as moontlik na verpakking van druiwe in nie-geperforeerde sakke toegepas word. Twee opbergings-verwante faktore beïnvloed die voorkoms van korrelbars by 'Thompson Seedless' druiwe tydens koelopberging, naamlik die tydsduur van opberging by -O.soC,asook 'n styging in temperatuur vanaf -O.soC tot 1DoC. Korrelbars het feitlik liniêr toegeneem met verlengde opberging by -O.soC. 'n Styging in temperatuur vanaf -O.SoCtot 1DoCop enige tydstip gedurende die koelopbergingsperiode, het korrelbars verder vererger. Dus, om korrelbars by 'Thompson Seedless' tydens opberging tot die minimum te beperk, moet die tydsduur van opberging so kort as moontlik wees, en moet die koue ketting regdeur die distribusie-proses gehandhaaf word, vanaf inisiëring van verkoeling tot en met die uiteindelike verkoop van die produk. Die afsnoerings-potensiaal van druiwe, soos kwantitatief geïndekseer is deur meting van die vrug-verwyderings-vermoë (VVV), het betekenisvol verander gedurende korrel-ontwikkeling van 'Waltham Cross' tafeldruiwe, vanaf 27 tot 111 dae na volblom (DNVB). Dit het getoon dat 'Waltham Cross' druiwe by sekere stadiums van vrug-groei meer gevoelig is vir korrel afsnoering. By 27 DNVB, wanneer die korrels 'n gemiddelde deursnee van 6.6mm gehad het, het die druiwe 'n betekenisvolle hoër potensiaal vir afsnoering getoon, in vergelyking met druiwe wat op 'n latere stadium getoets is. 'Waltham Cross' is inherent geneig tot yl trosse met kaal skouers, gevolglik sal enige afsnoering tydens korrel-ontwikkeling die probleem vererger. Dus is dit van kardinale belang dat enige nadelige faktor, soos byvoorbeeld vogstres, vermy moet word, veral gedurende periodes wanneer dit wil voorkom of 'Waltham Cross' baie vatbaar is vir korrel afsnoering. Van al die parameters wat gemeet is, het vogverlies die beste korrelasie met korrel afsnoering getoon. Druiwe wat 83 DNVB, by 'n TOVS van 12.3°Brix geoes is, het 'n betekenisvol hoër potensiaal vir korrel afsnoering getoon, in vergelyking met druiwe wat ryper geoes is. Dus, deur 'Waltham Cross' druiwe by optimum rypheid te oes, by 'n TOVS van ongeveer 16.4°Brix, kan korrelbars in 'n groot mate verminder word. Tydens verelson, wanneer die metabolisme van die druiwe drasties verander, was daar gepaardgaande met die drastiese toename in TOVS en die drastiese afname in totale titreerbare sure (TSS), ook 'n afname in Voor-oes bespuitings met ReTain™, wat etileen sintese inhibeer, het geen potensiaal getoon om los korrels by 'Waltham Cross' te verminder nie. 'n Na-oes behandeling met EthyIBloc®, wat etileen werking inhibeer, het slegs korrel afsnoering in een van die seisoene effens verminder.

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