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Falagan N.,Technical University of Cartagena | Falagan N.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology IBV UPCT | Aguayo E.,Technical University of Cartagena | Aguayo E.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology IBV UPCT | And 7 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Agriculture in semi-arid areas faces the scarcity of water resources. The effect of deficit irrigation (DI) on quality of 'Flordastar' peach slices stored in modified atmosphere packaging was studied. The DI was programmed according to signal intensity (SI) of the maximum daily trunk shrinkage (MDS); DI plants were irrigated to maintain MDS SI values close to 1.4 or 1.3 in the case of DI1 or DI2 plants, respectively (see details in material and methods). Results were compared to a non-DI (NDI) watered at 150% crop evapotranspiration. Once harvested, peaches were cut in 6-8 pieces and two groups were made: 'Control', packaged in polypropylene trays, and 'Antibrowning' in which pieces were treated with 9% ascorbic acid (AA) before packaging. In both cases, a passive modified atmosphere (16.5 kPa O2 and 3.5 kPa O2) was generated throughout storage at 5°C. On days 0, 4 and 8, firmness, vitamin C, microbial counts and sensory quality were evaluated. As results, DI1 and DI2 peaches showed higher firmness on the initial day than NDI fruits but no differences between irrigation treatments during storage were found. Initially, samples treated with AB solution showed higher AA content than control. During shelf life, no differences in AA content were registered between both kinds of treatments, following a decreasing trend with time. In general, the dehydroascorbic acid content tended to increase during storage, without differences among treatments. AA treated peaches reached the best rating by the sensory panel. In all treatments, microbial counts (mesophilic, yeast, moulds, Salmonella spp., Listeria spp. and E. coli) were below the legal European limits. The main conclusions obtained were that the use of DI strategies saved an important water amount, providing similar quality fresh-cut fruits. The use of AA kept the appearance of the slices allowing a shelf life of 8 days. Source

Navarro-Rico J.,Technical University of Cartagena | Artes-Hernandez F.,Technical University of Cartagena | Artes-Hernandez F.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology IBV UPCT | Gomez P.A.,Institute of Plant Biotechnology IBV UPCT | And 6 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

The severe drought in the southeast Spanish Mediterranean agricultural ecosystems, has led to the implementation of deficit irrigation strategies (DI). In this work the effect of combined DI and controlled atmosphere (CA) storage on the quality parameters and shelf-life of Chinese jujube (Ziziphus jujuba) was studied. Three different irrigation treatments were applied during the fruit production: control (T0), trees watered at 112.34% of crop evapotranspiration (ET0), half irrigation (T1), trees irrigated at 64.19 % of ET0, and no irrigation (T2), were no irrigation was applied. Harvested fruit were stored for 37 days at 5°C and 90% RH under 5 kPa O2 + 10 kPa O2 followed by a simulated retail sale period of 5 days at 15°C in air. At the end of CA storage and shelf-life period, the soluble solids content (SSC), pH, titratable acidity (TA), color parameters, size, weight loss and decay development were determined. As expected, the T2 fruits at harvest showed the smallest size. After CA storage T2 fruits showed the highest SSC and TA levels. After retail sale no noticeable differences in color among treatments were found. As main conclusion, T2 fruits showed the best overall quality and the lowest weight loss and decay (about 5%) after both CA storage and shelf-life while saving 2128.4 m3 ha-1 compared to the ones that received regular irrigation. However, the size of these fruits was lower than in control. As far as we know, the combined effects of DI and CA on quality parameters of jujube fruits are first reported here. However, more research should be conducted in order to optimize the overall Chinese jujube quality, while saving great irrigation water amounts at the same time. Source

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