POSTHARVEST QUALITY OF INTEGRATED AND ORGANICALLY PRODUCED APPLE FRUIT
As the importance of conservation and food safety is growing all around the world, environmentally safer production methods are becoming more common. Besides the presumed health properties, environmentally safer production systems claim to yield products which have a better internal quality (flavour, texture, vitamins). The objective of our research was to examine whether there is a difference in the quality (texture, taste, flavour) and postharvest behaviour of apple coming from integrated versus organic orchards. Apples were picked in three different regions of Belgium. In each region organic and integrated orchards had the same climate and soil characteristics. Apples were harvested at the end of September in 2004 and stored in air and also under CA-conditions (1% O2, 2.5% CO2) for 6 months. Acoustic stiffness, firmness, soluble solid content, acid-, sugar content and the aroma profile were studied. Quality parameters were analyzed right after harvest and storage. At each time an additional shelf-life experiment was carried out simulating the conditions in the commercial chain. There was considerable softening during storage in air and shelf-life, but not under CA-conditions. Apples from different regions and different production systems did not differ in the studied parameters. Freshly harvested apples had a high malic, quinic acid and sucrose content and were clearly separated from stored ones that had high glucose and citric acid content. Fresh apples had a different aroma profile than the ones after shelf-life except for air-stored apples immediately after storage. The volatile responsible for the typical apple aroma (2-methyl-butyl-acetate) had the highest relative abundance at harvest, after shelf-life and after storage in air. In summary, the effect of storage condition was much larger than that of the production system on the quality of apple. Aroma profiles of air-stored and CA-apple converge during shelf-life conditions.
Róth, E., Berna, A., Beullens, K., Lammertyn, J., Schenk, A. and Nicolaï, B. (2007). POSTHARVEST QUALITY OF INTEGRATED AND ORGANICALLY PRODUCED APPLE FRUIT. Acta Hortic. 737, 39-45
apple, aroma, integrated, organic, quality, taste