Submitted to: Annual Meeting Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 2, 2009
Publication Date: June 2, 2009
Citation: Marshall, D.A., Spiers, J.M. 2009. Blueberry Fruit Quality and Antioxidants Capacity as Effected by Fruit Ripeness. Annual Meeting Horticultural Society. 44(3):564. Technical Abstract: Rabbiteye blueberry fruit are sometimes commercially harvested at onset of ripening as determined visually in order to concentrate harvest, minimize picking times, and increase storage life. These fruit may not be fully ripe at picking, thus fruit quality and antioxidants levels may not have completely developed. This study was initiated to determine how fruit quality and antioxidant factors in rabbiteye blueberries develop at various stages of ripeness (as determined visually and by firmness measurements). Three rabbiteye blueberry varieties were harvested at barely ripe, ripe and overripe stages. All varieties exhibited significantly lower soluble solids content and higher titratable acidity at the barely ripe stage compared to fruit at the other stages of ripeness. The ratio of soluble solids to titratable acidity increased linearly in all varieties as stages of ripeness increased. No differences were evident between ripe and overripe fruit maturity levels. Fruit phenolic levels did not differ between stages of fruit ripeness. The anthocyanin content was significantly less in barely ripe fruit compared to the other ripeness stages. Relationships between fruit maturity and antioxidant levels in rabbiteye blueberries are discussed.