Physicochemical characteristics of half-highbush blueberry fruits dependent on genotype and cultivation conditions

M. Starast, A. Koort, T. Paal, K. Karp, E. Vool
Blueberry cultivation has been developing more in northern parts of Europe where effective management can be assured of primarily suitable cultivars and growing conditions. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of endogenous and exogenous factors on the physical parameters and chemical composition of half-highbush blueberry fruit grown in Estonia. The experimental plantations were established in 2010 with two-year-old micropropagated plants. In trials, six half-highbush blueberry clones (8/04, 8/05, 12/02, 20/00, 20/02, and 29/03) were planted concurrently in mineral and peat soil areas. The blueberry clones were originally the seedlings of half-highbush blueberries (V. corymbosum × V. angustifolium). The peat soil experimental site was located on an abandoned peat production field. In the mineral soil experiment each plant received 10 L of peat into the growing substrate and plastic mulch was applied before planting. Berry mass, pH of pureed berries and dry matte, soluble solids, organic acids, phenolics, anthocyanins content of the fruits were determined at harvest. Across both soil types blueberry clones 20/02, 8/05, 12/02, and 29/03 had larger berries compared to 20/00. In peat soil conditions the average berry mass was 54% larger than in mineral soil conditions. At the same time, the dry matter content was higher in berries grown in mineral soil. The berries of clones 20/00 and 20/02 had a sweet taste due to low organic acid content. Overall, the pH value of pureed fruits was significantly lower (p≥0.05) in the berries from a peat soil plantation. The content of total phenolics was highest in the berries of clone 29/03 in both soil conditions. The blueberries picked from a mineral soil plantation had a significantly higher total phenolic concentration. However, anthocyanin and ascorbic acid content were lower compared to peat soil. The half-highbush blueberry clone 20/02 was distinguished by an abundance of bioactive components such as ascorbic acid, phenolics and anthocyanins.
Starast, M., Koort, A., Paal, T., Karp, K. and Vool, E. (2017). Physicochemical characteristics of half-highbush blueberry fruits dependent on genotype and cultivation conditions. Acta Hortic. 1180, 189-196
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1180.25
Vaccinium corymbosum × V. angustifolium, peat soil, phenolic, anthocyanin, soluble solids, organic acid, pH

Acta Horticulturae