Effect of fruit maturation and ripening potential for optimum eating quality of 'Forelle' pears

Carmichael, Patricia Cassie (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2011-03)

Thesis (MScAgric (Horticulture))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Includes bibliography.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Climatic differences between production areas or seasons directly affect the rate of fruit maturation and the eating quality following storage and ripening. South African ‘Forelle’ pears are harvested at an optimum firmness of 6.4 kg and have mandatory cold storage duration of 12 weeks at -0.5°C to ensure even ripening. The firmness variable alone, however, is not a good indicator of ripening potential. Hence, various maturity variables (ethylene production, ground colour, firmness, total soluble solids (TSS) titratable acidity (TA), and starch breakdown) and their rates of change were evaluated to identify consistent maturity indices that can be reliably used in a prediction model to determine optimum harvest maturity (Chapter 2). This was then related to the ripening potential (Chapter 3) and eating quality (Chapter 4), defined by optimum ‘edible firmness’ (3.5 kg), presence or absence of astringency or mealiness. Fruit were harvested from three main producing areas: Warm Bokkeveld (WBV), Elgin and Koue Bokkeveld (KBV). Harvesting was done biweekly on five harvest dates over three successive seasons (2007-2009). At harvest, 20 of 240 fruit per block were used to determine maturity using all the mentioned parameters in order to understand their changes and behaviour pre-harvest. The remaining 220 fruit were stored at -0.5°C for three storage durations followed by ripening at 15°C. At harvest, the 2007 season’s fruit were more advanced in ground colour and were significantly softer (6.7 kg) than the 2008 (7.0 kg) and 2009 (7.1 kg) seasons. Firmness, ground colour, TSS and TA, all displayed a linear relationship with days after full bloom. For the firmness and ground colour, more than 90% and 73%, respectively, was explained by the variation in the linear model, while for the TSS and TA less than 70% could be accounted for by the model. Fruit harvested before commercial harvest (pre-optimum) in 2007 and 2009 failed to ripen to an ‘edible firmness’ when stored for eight weeks at -0.5oC plus 11 days at 15oC. In 2008, eight weeks storage was sufficient to induce ripening changes in pre-optimum harvested fruit. The development of ripening potential in the 2008 earlier harvested fruit, corresponded with a higher rate of change (3.15 µL.kg-1.h-1.day-1) in ethylene production at 15oC compared to the 2007 (1.98 µL.kg-1.h-1.day-1) and 2009 (1.87 µL.kg-1.h-1.day-1) seasons. The 2007 season fruit experienced maximum incidence of astringency (36.7%) on the first harvested fruit. In all three seasons, fruit harvested at commercial harvest time and later (optimum and post-optimum), required an eight week storage period to induce ripening. However, the eight weeks storage period developed highest mealiness. More than 40% of the last harvested fruit were mealy after eight weeks at -0.5°C plus seven days at 15°C. Mealiness significantly reduced with prolonged storage at -0.5°C. Fruit from the WBV and Elgin, warmer areas than the KBV, were more prone to mealiness. In conclusion, firmness was the most consistent variable at harvest and could be used in conjunction with ground colour to determine ‘Forelle’ harvest maturity. Furthermore, the study does not support shortening the current mandatory 12 weeks period at -0.5°C due to the higher incidence of astringency and mealiness.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Klimaats verskille tussen produksie areas of seisoene affekteer die tempo van vrugrypwording en eetkwaliteit na opberging en rypwording direk. Suid-Afrikaanse ‘Forelle’ word ge-oes by ‘n optimum fermheid van 6.4 kg en het ‘n verpligte opbergingstydperk van 12 weke by -0.5°C om egalige rypwording te verseker. Die veranderlike ‘fermheid’ is egter nie ‘n goeie aanduiding van die rypheidspotensiaal op sy eie nie. Dus is verskeie rypheidsparameters (etileen produksie, agtergrond kleur, fermheid, total oplosbare vaste stowwe (TOVS), titreerbare suur (TS) en stysel afbraak) en die tempo van verandering ge-evalueer om konstante rypheidsverwysings te identifiseer wat met vertroue in ‘n voorspellingsmodel gebruik kan word om optimum oes rypheid te kan bepaal (Hoofstuk 2). Dit is dan in verband gebring met die rypwordingspotensiaal (Hoofstuk 3) en eetgehalte (Hoofstuk 4), wat gedefiniëer is deur “eetbare fermheid” (3.5 kg), frankheid en melerigheid. Vrugte is ge-oes uit drie, hoof verbouingsareas: Warm Bokkeveld (WBV), Elgin en Koue Bokkeveld (KBV). By oes is 20 van die 240 vrugte per blok gebruik om die vrug rypheid te bepaal, deur al die bogenoemde parameters te gebruik, om die verandering en reaksie voor oes te begryp. Die oorblywende 220 vrugte is opgeberg by -0.5°C vir drie opbergingstye, gevolg deur rypmaking by 15°C. By oes was die vrugte van die 2007 seisoen verder gevorderd in agtergrond kleur en betekenisvol sagter (6.7 kg) as die van 2008 (7 kg) en 2009 (7.1 kg). Fermheid, agtergrond kleur, TOVS en TS het almal ‘n lineêre verband getoon met dae na volblom. In geval van fermheid en agtergrond kleur, is meer as onderskeidelik 90% en 73% verklaar deur die variasie in die lineêre model, terwyl in geval van die TOVS en TS, minder as 70% deur die model verklaar kon word. Vrugte wat voor die kommersiële oes (pre-optimum) ge-oes is in 2007 en 2009, het nie daarin geslaag om ryp te word tot by ‘eetbare fermheid’ na ag weke by -0.5°C en 11 dae by 15°C nie. Daarteenoor kon vrugte wat pre-optimum ge-oes is in 2008, wel geïnduseer word om ryp te word met ag weke opbeging. Die ontwikkeling van die rypwordingspotensiaal van vrugte wat vroeër ge-oes is, stem ooreen met die hoër tempo van verandering (3.15 µL.kg-1.h-1.dag-1) in etileen produksie by 15°C in vergelyking met seisoene 2007 (1.98 µL.kg-1.h-1.dag-1) en 2009(1.87 µL.kg-1.h-1.dag-1). Die 2007 seisoen vrugte het die maksimum voorkoms van frankheid (36.7%) getoon vir vrugte van die eerste oes datum. In al drie seisoene waar vrugte wat by kommersiële oes of later (optimum en post optimum) ge-oes is, was ‘n ag weke periode van opgeberging voldoende om rypwording te inisiëer, alhoewel die ag weke opberging ook gelei tot die hoogste voorkoms van melerigheid. Meer as 40% van die laat ge-oeste vrugte was melering na ag weke opberging by -0.5°C en sewe dae by 15°C. Melerigheid is betekenisvol verlaag met ‘n verlengde opbergingsperiode by -0.5°C. Vrugte vanaf die WBV en Elgin, warmer areas as die KBV, was meer onderhewig aan melerigheid. Opsommend was fermheid die reëlmatigste veranderlike by oes en kan tesame met agtergrondkleur, gebruik word om vrugrypheid van ‘Forelle’ te bepaal. Verder het die studie nie ‘n verkorting van die huidige, verpligte 12 week opberingsperiode by -0.5°C gesteun nie, weens die hoë voorkoms van frankheid en melerigheid.

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