Ripening evolution of ‘Hayward’ kiwifruit orchards

Afonso, A.M., Guerra, R., Freitas, L., Veloso, F., Cavaco, A.M., Antunes, M.D. (2022)


The kiwifruit, unlike other fruits, shows minor external changes as it approaches ripening and, as a climacteric fruit, an appropriated harvest date gains increased importance to ensure that, after months in cold storage, the quality of these fruits would be approved by the consumers. This work followed the ripening on the tree of the kiwifruit Actinidia deliciosa [A Chev.] CF Liang et AR Ferguson var. deliciosa ‘Hayward’ at two different orchards, Figueiredo and Carrazedo, in the north of Portugal, in order to determine their optimal harvest date. To achieve this goal, in each orchard, 25 trees were tagged and followed two months before their normal harvest season till two weeks after it. Ripening parameters were evaluated every two weeks, from September 2018 until the end of November 2018. The major quality/ripening attributes for kiwifruit, which are the soluble solids content (°Brix), firmness and dry matter, as well as flesh color (CIEL*, °hue) were measured according to standard procedures. The results showed a decrease of the firmness and an increase of °Brix, as expected during the ripening of kiwifruit. Flesh color almost did not change through time. The optimal °Brix for harvest was attained on October 29, 2018 for both orchards, Figueiredo 6.2% and Carrazedo 6.5%. At this time, the dry matter was 14.6% (W/W) and firmness was 52 N for the Figueiredo orchard; while for the Carrazedo orchard dry matter was 13.0% (W/W) and firmness 45 N. This work shows the importance of assess the major ripening attributes of ‘Hayward’ kiwifruit along time and in each orchard, to establish more precisely the optimal harvest date at each site, and therefore provide the best quality fruits to consumers.

Keywords: firmness; °Brix; dry matter; flesh color; fruit quality

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