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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 995: VII International Congress on Cactus Pear and Cochineal

THE INFLUENCE OF CULTIVAR AND SEASON ON CACTUS PEAR FRUIT QUALITY

Authors:   M. Rothman, M. de Wit, A. Hugo, H.J. Fouché
Keywords:   acidity, agricultural season, cultivar, fruit quality, sugar content
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2013.995.23
Abstract:
The cultivation of cactus pears requires low input and it has been grown widely in drier areas of South-Africa as fodder crop, particularly for times of serious drought. Cactus pears also serve as a source of inexpensive nutritious food for lower income groups. The aim of this study was to determine the fruit quality of cactus pear fruit. Physical/chemical quality attributes were evaluated for two agricultural seasons (2007 and 2008). The influence of factors such as rainfall and temperature on quality was determined. Highly significant differences were observed in terms of physical/chemical composition (p<0.001) among 33 different cactus pear cultivars over two seasons. This finding indicated that genetic differences among cultivars, as well as seasonal changes, have a significant influence on fruit quality. It was evident from this study that not only the cultivar and agricultural season, but also the interaction between the cultivar and season had significant influences on fruit quality.

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