Effect of production systems on phenolic compositions of strawberry fruits.
Fruit consumption is associated with a healthy diet and consumers are interested in ingesting natural health compounds displaying antioxidant properties. It is, therefore important to pay particular attention to improve the chemical composition of fruits through different technological approaches. Genetic is the major factor controlling the chemical composition but the phytochemicals concentration in fruits is affected by many pre- and postharvest factors including production system, environmental factors such as microclimate and location. We examined two production systems, plastic mulch (PM) and plastic mulch with row covers (PMRC) versus the commonly used matted-row system (MRS) and evaluated the phenolic compositions and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of ‘Orléans’ strawberry at three different harvest times during growing season. Production systems significantly affect the antioxidant capacity and phenolic content of strawberry. PMRC generally enhanced the phenolic content and total antioxidant capacity compared to MRS and PM, but the effects varied during the harvest season. Therefore, PMRC could be a recommended production system to improve the nutraceutical value of strawberry fruits especially in cooler climates. It seems that the production and growing system has to be taken into account in a breeding program.
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