Workpackage number 3: Effects on fruit quality Start date or start event: 0
Activity Type: RTD/Innovation
Participant ID

CSIC

UPCT

INRA

UTH

UNIFG

LRA

SAPIAMA

Person-month per participant

18 

12

9

12

24 

12

12


Objectives

  1. Study the effects of different RDI on quality attributes, polyphenols, carotenoids and ascorbates. Study the effects on quality attributes of almonds and olives at harvest and after storage, and of olive oil after processing.
  2. Evaluate the effect of nutrient supply on quality attributes and phytonutrient contents of peaches and citrus cultivars at harvest and after storage. Study the effects on quality attributes of almonds and olives at harvest and after storage, and of olive oil after processing.
  3. Evaluate the effect of different irrigation water quality on quality attributes and phytonutrient content of peaches and citrus cultivars at harvest and after storage. Study the effects on quality attributes of almonds and olives at harvest and after storage, and of olive oil after processing.


Description of work

Study the effects of different RDI strategies (Task 3.1), nutrient supply by fertigation (Task 3.2) and irrigation water quality (Task 3.3) on fruit quality attributes at harvest and after storage (months: 1-36).

This action will cover the selection of better cultural practices and irrigation strategies for improving the appearance and the nutritional value of the fruits. Therefore, the investigations will focus on environmental factors (water availability, plant nutrition and water quality, etc.) highly suspected to interfere with fruit products composition and, consequently, to determine their final appearance and their nutritional and dietetic values.

In each regional site, a research group will study the fruit quality behaviour of each species under different water management, through the characterization of the quality parameters and components listed in Table 1.

Most of the fruit quality determinations will be done by CSIC (olive, citrus, peach) and UPCT (almond) in Spain, UTH (peach, olive) in Greece, SAPIAMA (citrus) in Morocco, and LRA (citrus, peach) in Lebanon.

Table 1. Quality parameters and components of fruits

Main Factors

Components

Visual appearance

Size

dimensions

weight

volume

Sharpe and form

diameter/depth

ratio

uniformity

Colour

uniformity

intensity

Glos

---

Defects

external,internal

Morphological

Physical and Mechanical

Physiological

Pathological

Texture(feel)

Firmness,hardness,softness

Cripness

Juciness

Mealiness

Flavor (taste and smell)

sweetness

Sourness(acidity)

Astrigency

Bitterness

Off-flavours and off-odours

 

Some special parameters (requiring sophisticated apparatus and techniques) will be determined only by the “Food Science and Technology Department” of CEBAS-CSIC (peach, citrus) and UNIFG (almond, olive). For olives, these determinations will be done also on the oil obtained from the fruit at harvest and after storage.

Determination of nutritional values of peach and citrus fruits (Food Science and Technology Department of CEBAS-CSCI): In order to determine the potential impact of RDI on nutritional quality including vitamin C, polyphenol, carotenoid and ascorbate content, as well as the antioxidant capacity for peaches and citrus fruit cultivars will be evaluated after harvest and after different postharvest stages, considering the effects of different storage periods and temperature on the fruit quality parameters.

Determination of nutritional values of almond fruits (UNIFG): Almonds will be obtained at maturity from experimental orchards in Spain. Upon arrival in the lab, after removing the hulls, the following quality attributes will be evaluated (i) Physical: weight, size (3 dimensions), shape, projected area, true and bulk density, rupture force (3 dimensions), colour, moisture content (ii) Chemical: total lipids, fatty acid composition, peroxide index, UV adsorption coefficients, tocopherols, sugar composition; antioxidant activity (iii) Sensorial: firmness to mastication, sweetness, rancidity. Most of the physical determinations will be performed both on the nut and on the kernel. Fruit will be then dehydrated at moisture of 10% and stored at room temperature and at 0 °C in air, with RH not exceeding 65%. After 4, 8 and 10 months, the following quality attributes will be evaluated: Physical: rupture force (3 dimensions), color; Chemical: peroxide index, UV adsorption coefficients, tocopherols, sugar composition; Sensorial: firmness to mastication, sweetness, rancidity; antioxidant activity. In addition, respiration rates will be measured initially and every month of storage.

Determination of nutritional values of olive oil (UNIFG):Olives will be obtained at maturity (the optimal stage would be when peel is completely black and flesh is still green) from experimental orchards in Spain and Greece. Upon arrival in the lab, the following quality attributes will be evaluated: Physical (on the fruits): weight, size (3 dimensions), shape, projected area, true and bulk density, firmness, colour (also on the oil); Chemical (on the oil): total lipids, fatty acid composition, acidity, peroxide index, UV adsorption coefficients, stability (rancimat index), carotenoids, tocopherols, total phenols, antioxidant activity. Sensorial (on the oil): sensory evaluation according to the COI method. Fruits will be then stored at room temperature and at 5 °C in air. After 4, 8, and 16 days, the following quality attributes will be evaluated: Physical (on the fruits): firmness, colour (also on the oil); Chemical (on the oil): acidity, peroxide index, UV adsorption coefficients, stability (rancimat index), carotenoids, tocopherols, total phenols, antioxidant activity; Sensorial (on the oil): sensory evaluation according to the COI method.

The results obtained in WP3 (“Effect of different orchard water management on organoleptic and nutritional quality of fruits at harvest and postharvest”, included in periodic reports at month 12, 24 and 36 respectively) will be essential for determining and selecting the optimal irrigation and production practices for each region. The results will serve to calibrate and validate the fruit quality models, and to evaluate and propose the best irrigation management practices for each region. The results obtained in WP3 will be compiled in the orchards database (See WP1), which will be used to perform a meta-analysis in order to test the fruit quality response under different scenarios.


Deliverables:

D7, D19: Identification of different irrigation practices effects on crop quality (First year). First Report “Effect of irrigation management practices on the organoleptic and nutritional quality of fruits at harvest and post-harvest” (month 12)

D25, D39: Identification of different irrigation practices effects on crop quality (Second year). Second Report “Effect of irrigation management practices on the organoleptic and nutritional quality of fruits” (month 24)

D47, D61: Identification of different irrigation practices effects on crop quality (Third year). Third Report “Effect of irrigation water quality on quality attributes and phytonutrient content of fruits” Synthesis of the results of WP3 (month 36).


Milestonesand expected result:

Milestones: M3.1 Months 12, 24 and 36: The reports obtained in WP3 will be essential for selecting optimal production practices (WP11) using criteria based on fruit quality parameters to obtain the Best Irrigation Management Practices Guidelines. It will also be of paramount utility for the WP6 dedicated to quality modelling.

Results: The results obtained in WP3 will be compiled in the IRRIQUAL database. The latter will be used to perform a meta-analysis in order to test the fruit quality response under different scenarios.