Is there a relationship between firmness and dry matter content in blueberry fruits?

Keywords: blueberry, firmness, dry matter content


Harvest and postharvest quality of blueberry fruits (Vaccinium spp.) is a relevant factor for commercial success. The main indicators of harvest quality are fruit caliber, weight, firmness, and sanitary condition, and postharvest quality indicators are fruit firmness and sanitary condition. However, some blueberry wholesale and exporting companies use dry matter (DM) content of fruit as a postharvest quality indicator, due to its easy determination in fruit. Nevertheless, there are no scientific reports indicating that DM is a strong quality indicator. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relation between firmness and DM content as fruit quality indicator for blueberry. Relation between fruit firmness and DM content was evaluated at the beginning of harvest period of four blueberry cultivars, belonging to Rabbiteye (‘Brightwell’ and ‘Ochlockonee’) and Highbush (‘Aurora’ and ‘Liberty’). The cultivars evaluated showed differences in fruit firmness (p < 0.05), regardless of type (Rabbiteye or Highbush). These cultivars presented differences in fruit DM content (p < 0.05), with higher values in Rabbiteye. No relation was determined between firmness and DM content in blueberry fruit. Consequently, fruit DM content is not a strong attribute to be used as indicator of blueberry postharvest quality.


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