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Genetic diversity provides opportunities for improvement of fresh-cut pepper quality

  • John R. Stommel (a1), Mary J. Camp (a2), Yaguang Luo (a3) and Anne Marie Welten-Schoevaars (a4)

Abstract

Genetic diversity identified in the Capsicum genepool has been utilized extensively to improve pepper disease resistance, fruit quality and varied yield attributes. Little attention has been dedicated to evaluating the breadth of potential diversity within Capsicum for fresh-cut attributes and genetic enhancement of fresh-cut fruit quality. We evaluated fresh-cut attributes in pepper accessions with diverse fruit phenotype selected from available cultivars and the USDA, ARS Capsicum genebank. Subjective assessment of product quality and objective measurement of package atmospheric composition, tissue juice leakage and membrane electrolyte leakage after 7, 10 and 14 d of storage identified significant differences for fresh-cut attributes among as well as within sweet bell, large elongate, jalapeno and serrano germplasm. Sweet bell and large elongate fruited accessions generally exhibited increasing electrolyte leakage over days of storage, whereas jalapeno and serrano accessions maintained stable electrolyte leakage levels. Jalapeno and serrano fruit classes were typified by faster decline in package headspace O2 and accumulation in CO2 partial pressures in comparison to sweet bell and large elongated fruit classes. Regression analysis demonstrated a relationship between overall visual quality and electrolyte leakage after 14 d of storage for sweet bell and large elongated fruit classes. The results demonstrate extensive variation in Capsicum germplasm to improve pepper for fresh-cut applications and facilitate research to better understand physiological and heritable determinants of fresh-cut product quality.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. E-mail: john.stommel@ars.usda.gov

References

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Genetic diversity provides opportunities for improvement of fresh-cut pepper quality

  • John R. Stommel (a1), Mary J. Camp (a2), Yaguang Luo (a3) and Anne Marie Welten-Schoevaars (a4)

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