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Effects of reducing irrigation on pomegranate fruit

Effects of reducing irrigation on pomegranate fruit

The trial crop that, depending on the irrigation strategy used and crop stage, fruit quality can be improved and water savings of 14.6% can be achieved


29.03.2021 – ENGLISH
A group of researchers studied the effect of regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) strategies on yield and fruit quality at harvest and during cold storage at 5°C of Wonderful pomegranates.

Three irrigation strategies were tested: control strategy (C) using agricultural irrigation with 100% crop evaporation (ETc), and two RDI strategies where 25% ETc was applied during flowering and fruit set RDI 1 and during the final stage of fruit growth and ripening RDI 2. The RDI 1 approach reduced pomegranate yield. In contrast, RDI 2 allowed a similar pomegranate yield to the C treatment.

Fruit morphological characteristics were not affected by RDI at harvest and during cold storage. Both RDI strategies resulted in fruits with higher aril content. Physicochemical parameters of fruit at harvest and during cold storage were not affected by the irrigation strategies, except total soluble solids content which was higher in RDI 2 fruit than in C and RDI 1. During storage, a reduction in fruit weight and size was observed, particularly in the first 15 days of storage. Total soluble solids content and titratable acidity decreased, while pH increased with storage. At harvest and during cold storage, total phenolic content and antioxidant activity did not differ between irrigation treatments, while using a FRAP assay, RDI fruits tended to have a higher antioxidant activity than those of treatment C.

Total phenolic content values were lower at the end of storage time than on the first day. The present results showed that RDI strategies applied at a final stage of fruit growth and ripening could be a suitable irrigation strategy for Wonderful commercial orchards in southern Portugal, allowing to improve fruit quality with a water saving of 14.6%.

Authors: Letícia Fialho, Sofia Ramôa, Silvia Parenzan, Isabel Guerreiro, Hilário Catronga, David Soldado, Olinda Guerreiro, Valme Gonzalez García, Pedro Oliveira e Silva, Eliana Jerónimo.


Sciencedirect -Effect of regulated deficit irrigation on pomegranate fruit quality at harvest and during cold storage

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