Harvesting quality, Where to start?

L. M.M. Tijskens, R. E. Schouten, K. B. Walsh, P. Zadravec, T. Unuk, S. Jacob, R. C.O. Okello

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)


Size increase (expressed as diameter) of four apple cultivars in five seasons during about 130 days before harvest, was analysed with a simple first order production mechanism. All variation in diameter among individual fruit could be attributed to the same origin (development stage or biological age), with explained parts (R2 adj) of more than 98%. The same general behaviour of diameter development was observed in two tomato cultivars whose fruits where grown at two different temperatures. These data were also analysed using the same model with explained parts (R2 adj) of about 90%. Converting diameter into volume (assuming a perfect sphere), the usually observed asymmetrical sigmoidal behaviour was obtained, frequently described in growth modelling with the Richard's curve. A similar sigmoidal behaviour was also observed in the accumulation of dry matter (DM), as measured with NIR technology in growing mangoes. The cubic root of these data on DM could be analysed using the same model formulation, including the variation between individual fruit, with R2 adj well over 90%. Accumulation of DM ends at harvest, so the mechanism of DM production can very well define the final level of DM obtained in harvested fruit. Since sugars and DM are strongly related (e.g., conversion of starch into sugars, Brix values), a very similar mechanism could govern the accumulation of sugars. Destructively measured data on sugars were collected in nectarines, showing indeed a very similar overall behaviour and variation. This indicates that growth (diameter, mass) and quality increase (DM, sugars) could be described by a very similar mechanism, providing the first tools in the quest to harvest quality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationII International Symposium on Horticulture in Europe
EditorsJ.C. Mauget, S. Godet
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9789462610965
Publication statusPublished - 25-09-2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Horticulture


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