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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 555: II International Symposium on Edible Alliaceae

DOES SULPHUR SUPPLY TO THE BULB AFFECT STORAGE OF ONIONS

Authors:   J. Lancaster, J. Farrant, J. Shaw, B. Bycroft, D. Brash
Keywords:   pungency, firmness, shape
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2001.555.13
Abstract:
The changes in firmness, shape and pungency during storage were determined for a pungent, long day length onion cultivar (Allium cepa L) (Pukekohe Longkeeper (PLK)) and for a mild, intermediate day length cultivar (Candy) grown in the field. PLK was grown with high sulphur nutrition and Candy was grown with high and low sulphur nutrition. At the start of storage, PLK onions were more pungent than Candy onions grown at high sulphur levels which in turn, were more pungent than low sulphur-grown Candy onions. These differences were maintained during storage. Pungency increased and firmness decreased during storage. Bulb shape of PLK onions did not change significantly during storage, but the Candy onions became more elongated. The effect of sulphur nutrition on bulb quality was investigated using onion bulbs grown in hydroponic culture. At lower sulphur supply the %S in cell walls was reduced. Bulbs grown at low sulphur supply had reduced firmness and pungency. Therefore storage may be adversely affected at low sulphur supply.
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