Fan, L., Yu, C., Fang, C., Zhang, M., Ranieri, M., Dubé, C. and Khanizadeh, S. 2011. The effect of three production systems on the postharvest quality and phytochemical composition of Orléans strawberry. Can. J. Plant Sci. 91: 403-409. The effects of two production systems, plastic mulch (PM) and plastic mulch with row covers (PMRC) versus the commonly used matted-row system (MRS) on postharvest fruit quality, including shelf life, fruit weight loss and juice leakage, fruit glossiness, postharvest disease caused by grey mould (Botrytis cinerea Pers.), and chemical composition of Orléans strawberry were evaluated during 2008 and 2009. Plastic mulch with row covers accelerated fruit maturity by 7 to 10 d and produced larger fruits compared with the MRS. Production systems significantly changed the total phenolic content (TPC) and total antioxidant content (TAC), but the effect varied during the harvest season. Total phenolic content was significantly higher for PMRC than MRS and PM at early harvest, but the effect was similar to PM at mid and late harvest. Total antioxidant content was significantly higher for PMRC compared with MRS and PM at all stages of fruit production, especially at late harvest. Fruit weight loss and juice leakage and the presence of grey mould during storage were lower and fruit glossiness was higher for those harvested under PMRC compared with those from MRS. No significant differences were observed for firmness, pH, titratable acidity (TA) and soluble solids content (SSC) between the three production systems. Titratable acidity and SSC of PMRC were slightly higher than those from MRS and PM, but the differences were not significant. It seems that PMRC not only accelerates ripening, but also has a significant effect on pre- and postharvest fruit quality and chemical composition of the harvested fruits.
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Vol. 91 • No. 2