KEEPING QUALITY OF CUCUMBER BATCHES: IS IT PREDICTABLE?
The prediction of the keeping quality for a cucumber, the time the colour remains acceptable, is until now not possible because of the unknown stage of maturity of the fruit. This is a fundamental problem common to all products that have a decrease of the limiting quality attribute according to the autocatalytic mechanism. For individual cucumbers this problem remains unsolved, but on a batch level an approach to obtain the stage of maturity of a batch is described. The stage of maturity of a batch of cucumbers can be obtained by observing the skewness of the colour distribution. This is demonstrated for four batches differing in growing conditions. The colour distributions obtained from high nutrient density treatments indicate an early stage of maturity because of the typical skewness. The approach to predict the stage of maturity from colour distributions was extended to predict the batch keeping quality, the number of days for which 95% of a batch has an acceptable colour. For four growing conditions the batch keeping quality for cucumbers was calculated by fitting colour data to a model that allows for biological variation between cucumbers. The hypothesis is that characterisation of the colour distribution provides sufficient information to specify the batch keeping quality. This is under further investigation.
Schouten, R.E. and van Kooten, O. (1998). KEEPING QUALITY OF CUCUMBER BATCHES: IS IT PREDICTABLE?. Acta Hortic. 476, 349-356
Keeping quality, cucumber, prediction, distribution