DETERMINING KEEPING QUALITY OF POT PLANTS
The quality inspector bases his assessment mainly on the outward appearance of the plants.
Until now the sensitivity to transport damage and the keeping quality (non-visual quality) is being tested in a traditional way: plants are placed in a conditioned room, in which home and office conditions are simulated. (400 lux, daytemperature 20°C; night-temperature 15°C; relative humidity 60 %). Transport is simulated by placing the plants in darkness at 15°C, during 7 days.
From our experiments we learned the 'non-visual' quality is mainly determined by:
- The grower
- The variety
Experiments with Dieffenbachia 'Camilla' and Euphorbia pulcherrima 'Angelika' showed great differences in plant quality due to the grower. An experiment with 14 varieties of Euphorbia pulcherrima showed great differences in keeping quality of the varieties after transport simulation.
In the future the sensitivity to transport damage and the keeping quality will play a more important role in the quality-assessment at the auctions. Therefore a quick and easy method of determining these quality aspects should be found.