Some factors that may affect the physical-chemical properties of blueberries
Keywords:blueberry, cultivar, conservation, production mode, statistical analysis
The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of different production and conservation factors on some properties of blueberries. Among the production factors considered were cultivar (Duke, Bluecrop and Ozarkblue) and production mode (organic or conventional). Regarding the conservation factors were evaluated temperature (ambient or refrigeration) and storage time (0, 7 and 14 days). The properties under study belong to three categories: physical properties (color and texture); chemical properties (moisture content, sugars and acidity) and phenolic and antioxidant properties (total phenols, anthocyanins, tannins, ABTS antioxidant activity, DPPH antioxidant activity).
The results revealed that moisture content was only influenced by cultivar and that both acidity and sugar contents varied according to the production mode used. Also it was evidenced that the antioxidant activity was not statistically different between cultivars, production modes or conservation conditions. Regarding the phenolic compounds, the tannins were significantly higher for the blueberries produced in organic agriculture. Regarding color significant differences were also encountered and the most intense blue was found in blueberries from cv. Duke, produced in organic farming and stored under refrigeration. Textural attributes were also very significantly influenced by all factors at study: cultivar, production mode and conservation, and the berries from cv. Duke stored under refrigeration showed the highest firmness.