Fruit quality changes in postponed picking of new cherry cultivars
Sweet cherry is an aclimacteric fruit that ripens to full flavour traits when it completes maturity on the tree. Yet cherry is often picked too early, either for marketing reasons or because growers are not fully aware of the physiological need to let the fruit ripen on the trees a few days more. Indeed, cultivars marked by tree-ripened life and, hence, a relatively wide picking window can improve their flavour characteristics by having their harvest date postponed with respect to the usual commercially dictated date. A trial was set up at Vignola, in Italy's Modena Province, to test the effects of postponed picking on fruit quality employing the newly released cultivar 'Sweet Aryana', 'Sweet Lorenz' and 'Sweet Gabriel'. Two fruit samples were taken 7-10 days apart and variations in weight, flesh firmness, soluble solids, acids and skin colour were analysed and the results compared against those from fruit sampled at the usual commercial picking date. The data show that the quality properties of the late-picked fruit had improved, especially in terms of weight and soluble solids, and that flesh firmness remained above the minimum market threshold values.
Grandi, Mi., Lugli, S. and Correale, R. (2017). Fruit quality changes in postponed picking of new cherry cultivars. Acta Hortic. 1161, 599-602
Prunus avium, ripening date, picking window, soluble solids, skin colour