PHYSIOLOGICAL AND GENETIC BASIS OF POSTHARVEST QUALITY AND PHYTONUTRIENT CONTENT OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Project Number: 6222-21430-001-00
Start Date: Jun 16, 2004
End Date: Jun 15, 2009
The overall objective of this project is to develop value-added products from fruits and vegetables, especially those containing phytonutrients. Anthocyanins and carotenoids are plant pigments that contribute to fruit quality and are also phytonutrients, and will be one objective of this project. Other objectives include selection and breeding of watermelon for enhanced lycopene content and modification of fruit quality for new market niches.
Experiments to determine the physiology and develop technology necessary to extend the shelf life, marketability, and phytonutrient content of highly perishable fruits will be conducted. Enhancement of watermelon germplasm for market traits will be done using classical breeding techniques and exploration of the carotenoid path in watermelon will be done using molecular methodology. Food-grade formulations for extraction and stabilization of aqueous-based lycopene for extended shelf will be developed.