|Mcgrath, J Mitchell - Mitch|
Submitted to: Annual Beet Sugar Development Foundation Research Report
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2004
Publication Date: 6/30/2004
Citation: McGrath, J.M., Duckert, T.M., Koppin, T.K. 2004. Evaluation of stored sugarbeet roots. 2003 Annual Beet Sugar Development Foundation Research Report. p. D12.
Technical Abstract: Post-harvest physiology is a concern for fresh processed foods such as sugar beet. Increasing attention is being focused on the question of genetic differences in post-harvest storage. Roots harvested in East Lansing and at the Bean and Beet Farm in 2002, but not used for breeding purposes, were available for testing long-term controlled storage on sucrose and water contents. Comparison with freshly harvested beets in 2003 from five germplasm lines was possible. Shortly after harvest in 2002, beets were packed in 10-mil clear polyethylene bags that were randomly slit to allow escape of ethylene gas, and packed with dry wood shavings to absorb free moisture. Bags were stored in a lit refrigerator. One year later beets were removed from storage and tested for sucrose content by means of NIR testing equipment. Ten beets were randomly selected as a sample for each stored germplasm line, and values were averaged. Preliminary results indicate sucrose content declined under these conditions from 1.3 to 3.2 percentage points depending of germplasm, and water content increased by '0.8 to 1.9 percentage points over the storage period. It appears that NIR analyses may be able to quantitatively ascertain loss of sugar under various applied post-harvest storage conditions, and allow this trait to be better evaluated for breeding and selection of germplasm with improved storage characteristics.