The effect of foliar sprays containing calcium on quality and storability of ‘Stanley’ plums
Aleksandra Korićanac is a PhD student at the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Agriculture (module Fruit Science and Viticulture), Serbia. She is a Research Trainee at the Fruit Research Institute, Čačak, Serbia, where she has been employed since March 2019. Her research is focused on fruit quality changes during ripening, harvest, storage, and postharvest management of temperate zone fruit species, particularly plums. She is interested in studying the effect of pre- and postharvest treatments, which preserve fruit quality in an effective, economic, and environmentally friendly way. Consumers demand high quality plum fruits in the marketplace. Because high softening rate is one of the major limiting factors for storability and transportability of plums, application of various pre- and postharvest treatments, which could improve or preserve fruit firmness, is of great importance. Calcium ions and pectic substances are the most essential determinants of fruit firmness. As the uptake of foliar applied calcium is the greatest in the early stage of fruit development, Aleksandra’s study, conducted in the Fruit Research Institute, Čačak, evaluated the effect of application of three commercial foliar sprays containing calcium on quality and storage potential of ‘Stanley’ plum. The preharvest treatments, regardless of commercial type, induced significantly higher fruit firmness, both at harvest and after 28 days of cold storage. Nevertheless, fruits from the treated trees had higher content of calcium after storage and lower potassium/calcium ratio, which could be an indicator of good storage potential. The results indicated that four applications of calcium containing sprays after petal fall can promote fruit quality, and particularly fruit firmness, by primarily affecting the calcium content. In this way, plum producers could enhance fruit quality and respond to market requirements in a relatively simple and economical way.
Aleksandra Korićanac won the ISHS Young Minds Award for the best oral presentation at the XII International Symposium on Plum and Prune Genetics, Breeding and Pomology in Serbia in September 2021.
Aleksandra Korićanac, Fruit Research Institute, Kralja Petra I br. 9, 32000 Čačak, Serbia, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The article is available in Chronica Horticulturae