Targeted forcing improves quality, nutritional and health value of sweet cherry fruit

Overbeck, Verena GND; Schmitz, Michaela; Blanke, Michael

BACKGROUND Trade and consumers alike require premium-quality cherries with high nutritional and health values preferably of local origin. While early fruit imports cannot supply such fruit, a new technology of forcing cherry emerged for an early local supply by covering the crop in spring. In the apparent scarcity of data on the resulting fruit quality, fruit characteristics of forced cherries were compared with those without cover. RESULTS Size and weight of forced cherry fruit were successfully increased by 6–14%. The less negative osmotic potential of the forced fruit (−3 to −2 MPa Ψπ) indicates less water stress under spring cover compared with field-grown fruit (−4 MPa Ψπ), as confirmed by the larger fruit size and weight. Greater antioxidative potentials in the lipophilic and hydrophilic extracts (control min. 185 mE vs max. 365 mE under cover) of forced fruit of two cultivars showed their healthier attribute in terms of bioactive compounds, supported also by an average 14% increase in phenolics, as a response to the modified environmental conditions, which has not been investigated before. CONCLUSION The new technology of covering cherry trees in spring to force flowering and enhance ripening can improve the synthesis of bioactive compounds and provide the consumer with early high-quality fruit. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry

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Overbeck, Verena / Schmitz, Michaela / Blanke, Michael: Targeted forcing improves quality, nutritional and health value of sweet cherry fruit. 2017.

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