An assessment of the attributes of staccato sweet cherries at harvest and upon storage in relation to orchard growing factors
Ross, K.A., Toivonen, P.M.A., Godfrey, D.V., Fukumoto, L. (2020). An assessment of the attributes of staccato sweet cherries at harvest and upon storage in relation to orchard growing factors. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, [online] 100(6), 609-628. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjps-2019-0303
Plain language summary
Maintaining the quality of sweet cherries undergoing long distance ocean container shipment (up to 4 weeks) is important for securing a successful export market for British Columbia sweet cherries and ensuring that current market demand is met. Firmness, flavour, and appearance (fruit and stem) are important aspects of cherry quality and dictate consumer acceptance. These quality factors can be affected by cherry cultivar and orchard growing factors, such as mineral application, pruning practices and environmental conditions. This research collected new data on the effects of orchard growing factors on the quality of Staccato cultivar sweet cherries grown in the southern Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada. The levels of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium minerals in cherry fruit affected the quality attributes associated with flavour, appearance and firmness. Environmental factors such as orchard temperatures and relative humidity also influenced flavour quality and appearance. Orchard management practices resulting in large leaf sizes were generally associated with good flavour quality and appearance. Ensuring cherry quality is a very complex issue. Some variables can be managed with mineral application and pruning while management of environmental factors may prove more difficult as temperature cannot be controlled yet possibly canopy management practices and irrigation strategies can be altered to influence microclimates within the orchard canopy. Overall, examining orchard growing factors in relation to cherry fruit quality provided useful information that can be used to target key orchard factors that can be managed to ensure provision of cherry fruit with high quality at harvest and excellent quality retention.
This work presents new data on the effects of orchard growing factors on storage quality of Staccato sweet cherries grown in the southern Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada. Quality attributes, respiration rates, and the mineral contents of Staccato sweet cherries were analyzed. Orchard growing factors such as pruning practices, growing temperature, and relative humidity varied by orchard throughout the region, and consequently, the mineral contents, quality attributes, and respiration rates of the Staccato sweet cherries also varied. Principal components analysis revealed relationships among orchard growing factors, cherry fruit mineral content, and fruit quality data. The content of Ca, Mg, N, P, and K in cherry fruit was correlated with quality attributes such as pitting, pebbling, soluble solids, titratable acidity, dry matter, firmness, and stem pull force. Orchard temperatures and relative humidity also influenced flavour quality attributes and appearance. Orchard management practices resulting in large leaf sizes were generally associated with good flavour quality and appearance. This work provides new data to support improved understanding how cherry quality is affected by orchard growing factors in an integrated analysis.