Chemical Composition and Physical Characteristics of Fruits of Two Cultivars of Blue Honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea L.) in Relation to their Degree of Maturity and Harvest Date
The aim of study was to compare yield, fruit quality, chemical composition and fruits colour of berries of two blue honeysuckle (Lonicera caerulea L.) cultivars of Polish bred ‘Wojtek’ and ‘Brązowa’ collected at the beginning and at the end of harvest season, respectively. On average, ‘Wojtek’ yielded 1565 g per bush, whereas ‘Brązowa’ 1941 g. During the fruit ripening process, considerable changes were found in the fruit colour. Fruits of both cultivars became darker and their colour changed from green and yellow to red and blue. With the changes in fruit colour, considerable changes in firmness also occurred. Fruit ripening reduced fruit firmness and puncture resistance. For both genotypes, the berries of late harvest were bigger and richer in soluble solids and total polyphenol, however, they showed decreased firmness, lower acidity, and L-ascorbic acid content. Nevertheless the time of harvest, ‘Wojtek’ berries surpassed ‘Brązowa’ fruit regarding soluble solids, titratable acidity and L-ascorbic acid content (for late-crop berries of both cultivars 14.1>12.6%, 3.4>2.7 g citric acid 100 g-1, and 76>56 mg 100 mL-1. Further, ‘Wojtek’ berries showed higher total polyphenol content (149.30 and 183.66 mg∙100 g-1, for early and late ripening fruit, respectively) compared to that of ‘Brązowa’ (125.51 and 175.67 mg 100 g-1). Among phenolics, anthocyanins made the substantial group ranging from 94.47 mg 100 g-1 (‘Brązowa’ berries of early harvest) to 141.96 mg 100 g-1 (late ‘Wojtek’ fruit).
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