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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 873: Organic Fruit Conference

FRUIT COMPOSITION AND QUALITY OF ORGANICALLY AND CONVENTIONALLY GROWN APPLE, APRICOT AND PEAR IN THE VENETO REGION (NORTHERN ITALY)

Authors:   G. Bertazza, G. Cristoferi, C. Bignami
Keywords:   organic fruit, carbohydrates, organic acids, ascorbic acid, total polyphenols
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2010.873.35
Abstract:
The chemical composition of organic fruit of apricot ‘Portici’, apple ‘Golden Delicious’ and pear ‘Abate Fétel’ was analyzed in 2002 and 2003 in comparison with conventional fruit in the Veneto region. The organic growing system induced a significantly higher dry matter. Differences in total soluble sugar content and profile were observed. Organic fruit frequently showed higher contents of monosaccharides and ratio of mono/disaccharides than conventional ones. Starch level did not differ in apricots, whereas different trends in the two years were observed in apples and pears. Significantly higher content of total polyphenols was observed in organic apricots and pears. All organic samples showed higher ascorbic acid levels than the conventional ones. Since the sugars differ for sweetening power and interaction capacity with other chemicals, differences of sugar profile can explain taste differences between organic and conventional fruit and the consumer preference for organically produced fruit. Many of the compositional differences observed between organic and conventional fruit reflect differences caused by nitrogen availability. Organic farms often have a lower availability of nitrogen which can affect fruit composition. Better nutraceutical properties of organic fruit are suggested by our analyses, since they were characterized by higher ascorbic acid and phenolic content.

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