Comparison of rice hull biochar and cedar bark as growing media on the yield and postharvest quality of 'Sachinoka' strawberry

R.P.S.S. Rajapakse, M. Tanaka
Strawberry is regarded as a highly perishable fruit due to its extreme tenderness and high respiration rate. Amongst all, Japanese 'Sachinoka' strawberry is highly favored in Japan for its sweetness and deep red skin color, but it has comparatively low firmness leading to sensitive postharvest quality. Preharvest factors can minimize postharvest quality deterioration, but growing medium has not gained much attention as an important factor. Therefore, this study was conducted to compare the effect of two growing media on the postharvest quality preservation of the strawberry. Plants were grown in cedar bark (BM) and rice hull biochar media (HM) and arranged in completely randomized block design inside greenhouse. Marketable yield was measured and stored in cold storage (3°C, 95% RH). Strawberry fresh weight loss, surface colour measured in CIELAB colour space, total soluble solids content (TSS) using °Brix index, acidity and firmness were recorded in 3-4 day intervals, up to 14 days. Marketable yield was higher in BM with 20% higher total yield than HM. Fresh weight loss percentage increased similarly in both media up to 3-4% of the initial fresh weight. All L*a*b* colour aspects prior to storage were similar in the fruits grown in both media but HM fruits turned darker than BM, during storage. Even though with significantly low TSS in the beginning, HM fruits maintained around 10% higher TSS content than the BM throughout the storage. Acidity was higher in BM fruits. All firmness parameters were higher in HM, just after harvesting and throughout the storage. Strawberries grown in BM had higher yield, but HM had higher quality preservation and less potential postharvest loss due to possible physiological differences caused by the media.
Rajapakse, R.P.S.S. and Tanaka, M. (2018). Comparison of rice hull biochar and cedar bark as growing media on the yield and postharvest quality of 'Sachinoka' strawberry. Acta Hortic. 1210, 273-280
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1210.38
postharvest quality, marketable yield, total soluble solids, acids, firmness, colour

Acta Horticulturae