Authors: Eisenstecken Daniela1, Barbara Stürz1, Oswald Rossi1,
Alessia Panarese1, Stefan Stürz1, Christian W. Huck2,
Angelo Zanella1, Peter Robatscher1, Michael
1 Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry Laimburg,
2 Leopold-Franzens Universität Innsbruck, Austria
Fruit quality describes the attractiveness of a fruit from
both external and internal aspects and is determined by a
complex interplay of physical and chemical properties. The
quality of apples depends on many genetic and environmental
factors. In order to meet the consumers' expectations
regarding fruit quality, detailed knowledge of the
impact of orchard elevation, harvest date, and storage conditions
on fruit quality parameters is required. In this study
we have compared the fruit quality of apples (cv. ‘Golden
Delicious’, ‘Braeburn’, ‘Cripps Pink’) harvested in eight
orchards at four levels of altitude located throughout South
Tyrol. Fruits were harvested at six maturity stages. At each
sampling date apples were measured first non-destructively
by near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and then destructively.
‘Golden Delicious’ apples from medium and high
altitudes exhibited significantly better qualitative properties
at harvest and after storage compared to fruits from low
altitudes. During storage of ‘Braeburn’ and ‘Cripps Pink’
apples, fourteen quality parameters were monitored.
Significant differences for almost all parameters throughout
the different storage periods were observed. Our NIR spectroscopic
data resulted in good to excellent prediction
models (r = 0.85) for starch, TSS, TA, sucrose, and firmness.
Finally, the study suggests a potential utility of NIRS
for determining the orchard elevation. In summary, our
study provides a comprehensive insight in the interplay and
influence of harvest date, storage duration, and orchard elevation
on fruit quality, as well as a non-destructive method
for monitoring the most important maturity and quality
parameters both at harvest and during the storage period.
Acknowledgements: Laimburg Research Centre for
Agriculture and Forestry is funded by the Autonomous
Province of Bolzano and financial support by the Interreg
IV Italy-Austria program (project “OriginAlp”) is gratefully
Keywords: apple fruit quality, pre- and post-harvest factors,
near-infrared spectroscopy, non-invasive Technology.
XI Giornate Scientifiche SOI
Website of the conference, displaying among others the program with some of the presentations that have been held during the conference.