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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1144: III International Symposium on Postharvest Pathology: Using Science to Increase Food Availability

Ripening degree affects development of postharvest fungal decay on European plum more than preharvest applications of calcium and fungicides

Authors:   J. Børve, E. Vangdal
Keywords:   DA-meter, storability, fruit quality, Mucor rot, brown rot, Monilinia spp
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1144.44
Shelf life of plum is limited by several factors, including development of fungal decay. In either one or two seasons, European plum cultivars were exposed to different applications of calcium or fungicide before harvest or left unsprayed. On the experimental trees, the yield was harvested as commercial practice, giving a sample of fruit with a range in maturity acceptable for sale. The yield was divided into two groups, less and more ripened fruit. Fruit samples from each group were stored for 10-14 days at 4°C followed by a simulated shelf life period of 2-3 days at 20°C. Fruit quality was assessed at harvest and after storage. Number of fruit with fungal decay was counted at the end of storage and after simulated shelf life. At harvest, the more ripened fruit had higher weight, soluble solids content, background and cover colour, and lower firmness in most of the experiments. Fruit from trees sprayed six times with calcium had higher weight in first year, but not in second, was less ripen as measured by colour and firmness on some cultivars, but not on others. Time of fungicide application had no effect on fruit quality at harvest. Differences in fruit quality at harvest were most often similar after storage. Fruit grouped as more mature at harvest developed more fungal decay after simulated shelf life than less mature fruit in five of eight experiments. In one out of six experiments calcium applications reduced development of postharvest fungal decay. Fungicide applications had no effect on postharvest fungal decay in either of four experiments. The present results indicate that the ripening degree of plum fruit is more important for development of fungal decay than preharvest applications of calcium or fungicides.

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