IMPROVEMENT OF VITAMIN C, PHENOLICS AND COLOURATION IN APPLE FRUIT WITH ORGANIC MULCH USED AS A REFLECTIVE MATERIAL
The objective of this study was to examine organic mulch (pine sawdust) as an alternative for conventional herbicides in fruit orchards in order to improve fruit quality. Light (PAR) reflection from the sawdust mulch was up to 2.5-fold increased. The peel of fruits from apple trees with mulched row stripes contained more phosphorus, magnesium and calcium (of importance for storability and shelf-life), as well as 16-250% higher phenolic content, including catechin and flavonols, compared to the herbicide treatment. Fruit from cultivars Krasivoye and Gigulevskoye with medium vitamin C content (usually around ca. 30 mg/100 g FM peel), was increased by organic mulches by 22 and 63%, respectively, but not in the cultivar Bogatir with a large inherent vitamin C content, usually around 50 mg/ 100 g FM fruit peel. Thus, organic mulching enhanced the anti-oxidant content correlated with red colouration of the fruit skin in all cultivars examined, as a consequence of increased light (PAR) reflection from the mulch.
Solomakhin , A.A., Trunov, Y.V., Blanke , M. and Noga, G. (2012). IMPROVEMENT OF VITAMIN C, PHENOLICS AND COLOURATION IN APPLE FRUIT WITH ORGANIC MULCH USED AS A REFLECTIVE MATERIAL. Acta Hortic. 933, 613-619
apple, ascorbic acid, calcium, catechin, flavonol, vitamin C, phosphorus