QUALITY OF STRAWBERRY FRUITS CULTIVATED IN A HIGHLAND AREA IN SOUTH TYROL (ITALY): FIRST RESULTS
Quality of strawberry fruits is known to be influenced by cultural and environmental conditions. This research focused on the effects of different site conditions (especially altitude) on strawberry main quality traits (sugars, acidity, dry matter percentage) and on the final accumulation of bioactive molecules such as the phenolic compounds. The trial was conducted in South Tyrol (Italy), in an Alpine valley (Val Martello/Martelltal) characterized by a strawberry cultivation area ranged in altitude from approximately 900 to 1.500 m a.s.l. Four different plantation sites were selected at different altitudes and exposures (1.100-1.300-1.500 m a.s.l. south exposed and 1.200 m a.s.l. north exposed) and strawberry quality was compared. Ripening process of strawberries harvested at higher altitude was delayed by approximately ten days and shortened by around four days. Fruits collected from the field at 1.500 m a.s.l. were characterized by a significantly higher percentage of dry matter as compared to the ones sampled at 1.100 m a.s.l. (10.7 and 9.6%, respectively), whereas the effects of altitude on soluble solids content and acidity was not clearly evidenced. Site altitude significantly affected single classes of phenolic compounds concentrations in strawberry: ellagic acid derivatives and flavanols were found generally higher at the highest altitude. Anthocyanins, known to play an important role for strawberry red coloration and antioxidant potential, were found not specifically affected by the site altitude. Further experiments are ongoing with the aim to enhance our knowledge on the mountain strawberrys quality potential, with possible implication for their commercialization and market.
Andreotti, C., Guerrero Chavez, G. and Zago, M. (2014). QUALITY OF STRAWBERRY FRUITS CULTIVATED IN A HIGHLAND AREA IN SOUTH TYROL (ITALY): FIRST RESULTS. Acta Hortic. 1049, 795-799
phenolic compounds, altitude, mountain environment, Fragaria × ananassa 'Elsanta', HPLC