Physicochemical, carbohydrate and sensory characteristics of highbush and rabbiteye blueberry cultivars

Silva, J.L., Marroquin, E., Matta, F.B., Garner, J.O. Jr., Stojanovic, J.
Journal of the science of food and agriculture, v. 85,.11 pp. 1815-1821.

The chemical composition, colour and texture of fresh berries from three rabbiteye (‘Climax’, ‘Premier’ and ‘Tifblue’) and two highbush (‘Bluecrop’ and ‘Jersey’) blueberry cultivars were measured. Shear (482 vs 290 N), compression (6.50 vs 3.96 N) and puncture forces (1.48 and 0.85 vs 0.81 and 0.43 N) were higher (P less than or equal to 0.05) for rabbiteye than for highbush cultivars. Shear for ‘Bluecrop’ blueberries averaged 254 N, whereas for ‘Climax’ it was 565 N. The puncture force required to penetrate the skin was lower for ‘Bluecrop’ (0.78 N) and ‘Jersey’ (0.83 N) and higher for ‘Climax’ (1.71 N). However, sensory panellists found no differences (P > 0.05) in colour, flavour or skin toughness among the five cultivars. ‘Climax’ was rated lower in seediness. Rabbiteye cultivars contained more fibre and complex polysaccharides than highbush cultivars. These differences in complex carbohydrates that make up the cell wall layers may contribute to the toughness of rabbiteye cultivars and their possible longer fresh shelf-life, though taste panellists did not find this toughness objectionable.

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