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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NOVEL PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR SMALL FRUITS

Location: Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement and Protection

Title: Impact bruise assessment of southern highbush blueberry

Authors
item Takeda, Fumiomi
item Krewer, G -
item Li, C -
item Yu, P -
item Olmstead, J -

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 15, 2011
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Southern highbush blueberries are currently mostly hand harvested for the fresh market. Hand harvesting of blueberry is labor intensive (over 500 hours per acre) and costly. With the uncertainty of labor availability in the near future, efforts are underway to develop “crispy” genotypes that will develop less bruising after impact with hard surfaces and improve mechanical harvest technologies to eliminate or minimize bruising of the fruit that occurs during machine harvesting. In this study, the fruit of cvs. Farthing, Scintilla, and Sweetcrisp, and selection FL 05-528 was assessed for bruise damage after a 0.5- or 1.0-m drop on either plastic or cushioned contact surface. The drop tests showed that a conventional-flesh genotype (‘Scintilla’) was more susceptible to bruising than the crispy-flesh genotypes (‘Farthing’, ‘Sweetcrisp’, and FL 05-528) when the blueberries were dropped onto a plastic contact surface. When the contact surface was cushioned with ‘NoBruze’ foam sheet, bruise incidence was significantly reduced for all four genotypes. The fruit of all four genotypes dropped from 1.0 m height developed more bruise damage than from 0.5 m height. The assessment of impact bruise is a valuable decision to support the blueberry industry that should be used for selecting machine harvestable southern highbush blueberry genotypes and for improving mechanical harvesting technologies.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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