Quality Changes of Different Sweet Cherry Cultivars at Various Stages of the Supply Chain
Transportation of sweet cherry fruits to distant markets and further marketing processes often takes approximately 2-3 weeks. The present study investigates the quality changes during this time period at three stages for three sweet cherry cultivars: â€˜Early Burlatâ€™, â€˜Napoleonâ€™, and â€˜0900 Ziraatâ€™. Following pre-cooling, the sweet cherries were placed in modified atmosphere packages and exposed to the following stages for the indicated durations: transportation (T) [8 days at 2 Â°C and 85% relative humidity (RH)]; distribution center (DC) (4 days at 6.5 Â°C and 80% RH), and shelf-life (SL) (2 days at 19 Â°C and 70% RH). Weight losses at the end of the SL stage were 3.11, 3.18, and 2.74%, respectively in â€˜Early Burlatâ€™, â€˜Napoleonâ€™ and â€˜0900 Ziraatâ€™.Fruit firmness decreased after SL as compared to that at other stages and was more remarkable in â€˜0900 Ziraatâ€™. Decreased Chroma values which indicates, the intensity or color saturation were observed in all cultivars, whereas decreased hue angle values colours expressed in degrees were observed in the â€˜Early Burlatâ€™ and â€˜0900 Ziraatâ€™. In addition, a decrease was noted in the titratable acidity of all cultivars at the end of SL. The total soluble solids, total phenolic content, and antioxidant activities were similar for all cultivars at all stages. The visual appearance scores of â€˜Early Burlatâ€™ cherries decreased at the end of SL, because of development of pitting on the fruit surface. The fruit quality changes were limited at T and DC stages; however, these changes became more distinctive during the SL period. It was thus concluded that the SL duration and conditions were of the highest significance with regard to maintenance of the sweet cherry fruit quality.
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