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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research » Research » Research Project #438640

Research Project: Haskap Fresh Market Potential (Shelf-life) and Fruit Resilience to At-harvest Damage

Location: Horticultural Crops Research

Project Number: 2072-22000-043-048-G
Project Type: Grant

Start Date: Aug 1, 2020
End Date: Oct 31, 2021

1. Determine duration of fresh-market longevity (shelf-life) for North American haskap cultivars from both Oregon and Saskatchewan breeding programs. 2. Report at-harvest haskap cultivar-specific fruit characteristics influencing fruit fresh market longevity including skin elasticity, flesh firmness, scar dryness, and resilience to harvest damage.

Experimental design for haskap fresh fruit storage longevity: Four cultivars will be used, representing Oregon, Saskatchewan, and independent breeding programs. Five clamshells will be harvested per plant with one clamshell from each plant designated for each of five storage duration assessments. Lab methods for fruit quality for haskap fresh fruit storage longevity: Fruit appearance (color, bloom, and shrivel) and incidence of postharvest rots are the most important measures of postharvest quality as they influence initial perception of the product. Bloom, which is the waxy coating of the fruit, will be estimated as % area using photography and ImageJ software for analysis, while shrivel will be rated on a scale of 0-3. Skin elasticity will be measured with a 2 mm probe on the penetrometer, while firmness will be measured by nicking off part of the skin and measuring firmness of the fruit flesh. Brix will be measured on individual fruit, and acidity on bulked fruit, due to a minimum sample volume, using an automated titrator. Haskap fresh fruit resilience to harvest damage experimental design: The experimental design is a completely randomized design. Ten fruit will be randomly harvested from each plant (18 haskap varieties in the trial, 9 plants per variety, for a total of 54 plants) the day of harvest for a total of 90 fruit; from the 90 fruit, fruit will be randomly assigned to untreated control (skin elasticity), untreated control (flesh firmness), and resilience to rough handling assessment. Measuring fruit epidermis elasticity is destructive, preventing measures of flesh firmness on the same fruit. Haskap fresh fruit resilience to harvest damage laboratory methods: This experiment will record cultivar specific characteristics of fruit including “scar wetness”, dimensional characters of weight, length, depth (Bors et al. 2015). Further characteristics that will be measured include skin toughness, flesh firmness, flower release, leaf retention, and Brix. Dimensional characteristics summarize variability in size, while Brix and firmness are an indication fruit ripening evenness at harvest. To assess varietal resilience to rough handling during harvest, a fruit drop-and-roll system will be implemented to impose the same physical stresses to all fruit. Individual fruit will be weighed and evaluated for damage and then dropped from a height of 1.5 ft into a glass pan, followed by being rolled down a chute set up on a 45-degree angle with a glass pan run-out. After the drop-and-roll, fruit will be held overnight before evaluation for damage.