Submitted to: Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/5/2010
Publication Date: 12/29/2010
Citation: Plotto, A., Whitaker, V., Chandler, C. 2010. Eating quality of old and new University of Florida strawberry cultivars. Proceedings of Florida State Horticultural Society. 123:290-295. Interpretive Summary: The University of Florida has had an active strawberry breeding program since the 1960s. Varieties that resulted from this program are adapted to Florida growing conditions, with fruit ripening and harvested from December to April. This study investigated the eating quality of the major varieties released from the UF breeding program, as well as new promising selections. The optimum eating qualities of ‘Florida Elyana’, ‘Strawberry Festival’, ‘Florida Radiance’, ‘Florida Belle’, ‘Sweet Charlie’, Earlibrite’ and ‘Earlygem’ also had good eating quality most of the time. Among the new selections, 05-107 and 06-38 were of good eating quality, with high sweetness and strawberry flavor, and 05-107 was always rated with high firmness, along with 05-85.
Technical Abstract: The University of Florida strawberry breeding program has developed cultivars highly adapted to west-central Florida since the 1970s. In this trial, four advanced selections and 11 released cultivars, from ‘Florida Belle’ (1975) to ‘Florida Radiance’ (2008), were grown in a randomized complete block design with 10-plant plots as the unit of replication. Fruit were harvested bi-weekly and evaluated once a month by a trained sensory panel, from January to March 2010. In January, FL-05-107 had the highest ratings for positive attributes (firmness, sweetness and strawberry flavor), as well as ‘Florida Belle’; ‘Earlibrite’, ‘Strawberry Festival’ and FL-06-38 had high scores for sweetness and strawberry flavor, but were not as firm as FL-05-107. In February, the highest ratings for positive attributes were given to ‘Florida Elyana’ and ‘Strawberry Festival’; FL-06-38 and ‘Florida Radiance’ had high strawberry flavor. In March, ‘Florida Elyana’, ‘Florida Belle’, ‘Florida Radiance’ and FL-06-38 were also rated high in sweetness and strawberry flavor. FL-05-107 and FL-05-85 were consistently rated high in firmness. On the contrary, ‘Sweet Charlie’ had high sweetness but low firmness in March. The lowest rating for strawberry flavor were given to ‘Dover’ both in January and February, and a high rating for “overripe/fermented” in January and March, and “sour” in February. ‘Winter Dawn’ also had high ratings for “overripe/fermented” and “woody/musty” in January and March.