|Authors: ||F. Piazzolla, M.L. Amodio, R. Rinaldi, F. Raimo, G. Colelli|
|Keywords: ||organic fertilization, appearance, phenolics, vitamin C|
The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of the type of fertilization (mineral and combined fertilization with compost in pre-transplant plus mineral addition during cultivation) and stage of maturity at harvest (mature-green and full-colored) on post-cutting quality of red and yellow 'Cazzone' peppers.
Fruits from each treatment were washed and cut into stripes, then stored for 8 days in air at 5°C and 95% RH. On the day of processing and after 4 and 8 days of storage, color, appearance score, firmness, respiration rate, soluble solids, acidity, pH, vitamin C, total phenols concentrations, and antioxidant activity were measured.
The maturity stage influenced color parameters and maturity attributes as soluble solids, acidity and pH for both yellow and red types.
Full-colored peppers showed lower pH and respiration rate, and higher SSC than mature-green peppers.
Yellow peppers had lower firmness values in full-colored fruits than in mature-green ones.
Most differences observed at harvest were maintained during storage.
Furthermore, lower antioxidant activity was observed in the yellow type fertilized with the combined treatment, while the phenolic concentration in full-colored peppers was higher than that in mature-green ones.
Fresh-cut yellow peppers were more susceptible to decay than fresh-cut red peppers: storage appearance scores in mineral fertilized full-colored yellow peppers decreased below the limit of marketability (score 3) on day 8, mainly due to the occurrence of decay and to loss of tissue integrity.
No differences were observed among the other treatments.
Red peppers showed a score higher than 3 at the end of the storage, with no differences among treatments.
In conclusion, the results of this study showed that the type of fertilization and the maturity stage produce different effects on the quality of yellow and red peppers.
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