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Hydrocooling shows promise for reducing strawberry weight loss, bruising
Date:4/15/2010

showed different susceptibility to impact bruises depending on the cooling method. Impacted fruit that were forced-air cooled had larger bruise volumes than those that were hydrocooled. The impact bruise volume for strawberries forced-air cooled to 1C was 29% larger than for fruit hydrocooled to 20C, 84% higher than those forced-air cooled to 20C, and 164% higher than those hydrocooled to 1C.

The results proved that strawberries had different responses to compression and impact forces based on pulp temperature. Fruit at low temperature were more resistant to compression, while fruit at higher temperatures were more resistant to impact. This finding translates to practical recommendations for commercial strawberry growers, suggesting that fruit bruising caused by compression may be minimized by harvesting and transporting early in the day when pulp temperatures are lowest.

According to the report, "there is potential for strawberries to be graded and packed on a packing line; however, impact bruising at transfer points must be minimized. In this scenario, the strawberries could be harvested into field lugs (two or three layers deep of fruit) and transported to the packing house. It would be more advantageous to use hydrocooling than forced-air cooling because hydrocooling cools fruit at a much faster rate."

The authors added that because incidence and severity of impact and compression bruises are temperature-dependent, strawberry growers should consider pulp temperature for harvest scheduling and for potential grading on a packing line. "Hydrocooling shows to rapidly cool strawberry fruit while reducing weight loss and bruising sensitivity," they concluded.


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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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