DeLong, J., Prange, R., Harrison, P., Nichols, D. and Wright, H. 2014. Determination of optimal harvest boundaries for Honeycrisp™ fruit using a new chlorophyll meter. Can. J. Plant Sci. 94: 361-369. In this study, a new chlorophyll measurement tool [the delta absorbance (DA) meter] was used to develop an optimal harvest maturity model for Honeycrisp™ fruit. Apples from nine commercial orchards in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Canada, were sampled over 11 consecutive weekly harvests during the 2010, 2011 and 2012 growing seasons. At each harvest, a sample of fruit was measured for its DA (IAD) values, firmness, titratable acidity (TA),% soluble solids content (SSC), red skin coloration and internal core ethylene. Following approximately 3 mo of storage at 3.5°C, samples were removed and assessed for disorder incidence. The optimal harvest period was identified by aligning all “at harvest” IAD values, fruit quality measurements and “post-storage” disorder data with the corresponding harvest week. Then, the IAD values associated with the harvests having high commercial fruit quality and the least collective expression of disorders, delineated the optimal harvest boundaries. As IAD units declined during fruit maturity, the upper boundary value of 0.59 was deemed “when to begin” harvest, while the lower boundary value of 0.36 was deemed “when to end” harvest for long-term storage. The use of the DA model approach for optimal harvest delineation is potentially applicable to all commercial apple cultivars, but should be developed for each within a distinct growing region.
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Vol. 94 • No. 2