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The main objective of the
Journal of Berry Research is to improve the knowledge about quality and production of berries to benefit health of the consumers and maintain profitable production using sustainable systems.
The objective will be achieved by focusing on four main areas of research and development:
1. From genetics to variety evaluation
2. Nursery production systems and plant quality control
3. Plant physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, as well as cultural management
4. Health for the consumer: components and factors affecting berries' nutritional value
Specifically, the journal will cover berries (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, cranberry currants, etc.), as well as grapes and small soft fruit in general (e.g., kiwi fruit). It will publish research results covering all areas of plant breeding, including plant genetics, genomics, functional genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, plant physiology, plant pathology and plant development, as well as results dealing with the chemistry and biochemistry of bioactive compounds contained in such fruits and their possible role in human health. Contributions detailing possible pharmacological, medical or therapeutic use or dietary significance will be welcomed in addition to studies regarding biosafety issues of genetically modified plants.
Journal of Berry Research will feature reviews, research articles, brief communications, position papers, letters and patent updates.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Understanding the genetics of flowering in the strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) will aid in the development of breeding strategies. OBJECTIVE: To search for quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with remontancy and weeks of flowering in the strawberry. METHODS: Previously collected phenotypic data from two non-remontant ‘Honeoye’×remontant ‘Tribute’ strawberry populations and simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers were used to search for QTL associated with repeat flowering, weeks of flowering and runner production, as well as the ability to produce flowers and runners at 17, 20 and 23°C. RESULTS: As was discovered in other studies,…we found a major QTL that regulated remontancy and weeks of flowering on homeologous linkage group IV of ‘Tribute’. This QTL also had a negative effect on runner production and a positive influence on flower production under high temperatures. A number of additional QTL were discovered that significantly (LOD >3.0) influenced flower and runner production. CONCLUSIONS: Remontancy/non-remontancy is controlled by a major gene/locus and several minor modifying ones.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Blueberry fruit available in the market comes from cultivars that have been selected for specific traits and not necessarily for high concentrations of health-promoting phytochemicals in the fruit. OBJECTIVE: To identify and quantify the total and individual phenolic components and other quality traits from a combination of cultivars from two Vaccinium species (V. corymbosum and V. virgatum ). The cultivar combination provided a continuous and extended fruit harvest. METHODS: Fruit samples were collected from cultivars growing in a randomized complete block design. The phenolic components were assessed on fruit extracts, the fruit weight and firmness…were assessed on fresh fruit and the rest of the traits were assessed on fruit juice. RESULTS: For most traits the differences between Vaccinium species and cultivars were considerable. Strong and positive correlations were found between phenolic components and between fruit traits. For each cultivar the majority of the traits analysed in this work from a single year were highly correlated to the average across the three years of evaluation. Assessing traits from a single year of data should be mostly reliable for individual cultivars. CONCLUSIONS: The combination of cultivars in this study was designed to offer the widest possible harvest window; however, it gives high variation in fruit quality.
Keywords: Vaccinium corymbosum, Vaccinium virgatum, cultivar, highbush blueberry, rabbiteye blueberry, polyphenols, fruit weights, fruit quality traits
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Table grape is a non-climacteric berry, sensitive to water loss and gray mold during postharvest storage. OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of passive and active modified atmosphere packaging on quality parameters of minimally processed table grapes. METHODS: ‘Red Globe’ minimally processed table grapes were dipped in a sodium hypochlorite solution and irradiated with ultraviolet-C, before being packaged in a rigid polypropylene boxes, sealed with a micro perforated polypropylene film (PP) or a continuous polyethylene film, with: a) 5% O2 + 15% CO2 + 80% N (PET1); b) 20% CO2 + air (PET2).…Samples were stored at 5°C for 21 days plus and additional 6-day period at 20°C to simulate shelf-life. RESULTS: No chemical and sensory changes during storage occurred in fruit sealed in PP packages. The high in-package CO2 partial pressure which increased in PET1 and PET2 combined with the reduced concentration of O2 , increased decay incidence, stimulated anaerobic respiration, hastened soluble sugars degradation, produced higher weight loss and altered sensory quality. CONCLUSIONS: Quality of minimally processed ‘Red Globe’ was better maintained in PP packaging where air-composition was not changed than in PET1 and PET2 where toxic levels of CO2 and reduced tension of O2 hastened quality loss and increased decay incidence.
Abstract: Site effects on the main active and putative health-promoting compounds of strawberry were investigated using 5 strawberry genotypes. The plants were grown at three locations in Italy (Verona and Cesena in the North and Scanzano Jonico in the South) of differing latitude, environmental conditions (temperature) and crop management practices (planting date, plant type, harvest duration, yield per plant and per day) influencing fruits quality traits. At each site, fruits for analysis were picked at mid harvest (50% of total estimated yield) during the peak April-May marketing season, a mid-harvest window when consumers can choose fruits from both northern and southern…districts. Yield per plant and fruits total soluble solids, titratable acidity, flesh firmness, skin colour, antioxidant activity, ascorbic acid, total phenols, total anthocyanins and phenolic compounds were determined. Genotype × site × climatic factors and cultivation technique interaction significantly affected yield per plant and almost all fruits quality traits. Given the longer harvest period and, hence, lower yield per day in the South, the fruits of this site were sweeter and of higher ascorbic acid and anthocyanin contents than that grown at the two North sites; the Verona fruits registered the highest acidity and antioxidant capacity. Fruits size and colour were unaffected by site. Soluble solids and ascorbic acid were negatively correlated to plant yield per day. A significant negative correlation between total antioxidant capacity, total polyphenols and fruits size was found. The main anthocyanin (pelargonidin-3-glucoside) was correlated to both total anthocyanin and total antioxidant capacity. Our overall data show that site-specific environmental conditions, especially in regard to the length of the climate-induced harvest window, and crop management practices affected fruits quality traits.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Strawberries are widely consumed in the world and an important source of health-promoting compounds, such as polyphenols. The nutritional quality as well as the phytochemical composition of strawberry fruits are known to be strongly influenced by genetic, environmental factors, ripeness at harvest, and storage conditions. OBJECTIVE: The nutritional quality and the phytochemical content of two new strawberry cultivars, namely ‘Fuentepina’ and ‘Amiga’, were evaluated. These novel cultivars were compared with ‘Camarosa’ and ‘Candonga’, the two most extended cultivars in Spain, and with ‘Primoris’, an emerging one. METHODS: The influence of genotype, stage of ripening and…season on different properties as colour, firmness, acidity, soluble solids content, antioxidant capacity, and polyphenols profile were evaluated. RESULTS: Results showed significant effects of genotype, stage of ripening and season on the majority of the measured parameters. Thirty nine phenolic compounds were tentatively identified. Anthocyanins were the most abundant class of polyphenols in ‘Amiga’, ‘Candonga’, ‘Camarosa’ and ‘Primoris’ cultivars while more flavan-3-ols were recorded in ‘Fuentepina’. CONCLUSIONS: ‘Fuentepina’ strawberries stand out for their pleasant flavour as a result of a high sugar/acid ratio and ‘Amiga’ strawberries may offer potential as a new promising cultivar due to its high firmness, good sugar/acid ratio and high content of phytochemicals.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: A considerable body of evidence has associated the consumption of blueberries to health-related benefits, mainly because of their anthocyanin content. The extraction of these compounds could contribute to their application in functional foods and value-added products. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we investigated the ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE) of anthocyanins from lowbush blueberries in a bench-scale system. METHODS: Two statistical design methods, namely full factorial and Box-Behnken, were used for the screening and optimization of the variables that significantly affect the UAE of anthocyanins. Extraction temperature, time, solvent concentration (acidified ethanol), and solvent to solid ratio were…selected to determine higher anthocyanin extraction (assessed by the pH-differential method). RESULTS: When evaluated by response surface methodology, solvent to solid ratio and solvent concentration had a significant effect on UAE followed by ultrasound bath temperature. The mathematical model indicated that the highest anthocyanin extraction would be obtained with 60% acidified ethanol, solvent to solid ratio of 50 mL/g, at 65°C for 11.5 min. CONCLUSION: Ultrasound-assisted extraction was shown to be an effective method of extracting total anthocyanins from Nova Scotia lowbush blueberries. A statistical model to predict optimum conditions for extraction was developed using a Box Behnken design.
Keywords: Lowbush blueberry, anthocyanin, full factorial design, response surface methodology