|Authors: ||V.N. Fassinou Hotegni, W.J.M. Lommen, E.K. Agbossou, P.C. Struik|
|Keywords: ||slip removal, Ananas comosus, quality attributes, Sugarloaf, fruit weight, fruit height|
Pineapple fruit quality is important especially when fruits are exported to international markets.
Fruits should meet minimum requirements such as a weight of at least 0.7 kg, a ratio between the crown length and infructescence (fruit without the crown) length ranging from 0.5 to 1.5, and a °Brix of at least 12. Most pineapple producers in Benin face difficulties in meeting these requirements and thus a very low fraction of the produce is exported.
Pruning of pineapple slips has been explored as a means to improve fruit quality but no consistent effects were found.
In this study slips were pruned from plants with small and large infructescences and the effects on fruit characteristics were determined.
Two on-farm experiments were conducted in commercial fields in Benin using a cultivar locally known as Sugarloaf.
Split-plot experiments were used with main plots pruned two or three months after inflorescence emergence and split plots having all slips or no slips pruned.
The length of the infructescence on the day of pruning was used to characterise plants as least or most advanced.
Fruit attributes measured at harvest were fruit (infructescence + crown) weight and length, and total soluble solids.
Fruit and infructescence lengths and weights at harvest were positively related to the length of the infructescence at pruning (IL), and the ratio crown: infructescence length at harvest was negatively related to the IL. Pruning of slips, however, did not increase fruit and infructescence weight and length, nor the total soluble solids, in any of the treatments.
Therefore, slip pruning is not an option to increase pineapple fruit and infructescence lengths and weights or the percentage of marketable fruits in Benin.
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