Fruit characteristics and cuticle triterpenes as related to postharvest quality of highbush blueberries
Lobos, Gustavo A.
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Chilean fresh blueberries take 20-50 days to arrive by boat to the Northern hemisphere, softening and dehydration being the main defects upon arrival. The effect of maturity at harvest (75% blue, 100% blue, and overripe) on cuticular triterpene content, and the possible associated impacts on firmness and weight loss after cold storage were explored for 'Duke' and 'Brigitta' fruit, both non-bagged or bagged in macroperforated low-density polyethylene bags. Softening and weight loss varied with cultivar and maturity stage: 'Duke' fruit softened faster and were more prone to dehydration than 'Brigitta' samples, whereas overripe fruit were less firm after storage. This is the first report characterizing the triterpenoid fraction in cuticles of fresh blueberries, which may play a role in their postharvest behavior. Weight loss and softening rates were highly correlated to ursolic acid contents at harvest; further research will be required for a better understanding of these relationships.
Is part ofScientia Horticulturae, 2016, vol. 211, p. 449-457
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