Abstract

Annurca is the most cultivated apple variety in the Campania region (Italy). It is an Italian protected geographical indication product and its management must follow a strict product specification which requires a typical postharvest treatment: the fruit must be subjected to a reddening process in air (‘melaio’) that improves the red colour and the flavour of the fruit but is very expensive and time consuming. For this reason there is sometimes a tendency to skip the ‘melaio’ process, but in this case the fruit cannot be labelled as ‘Melannurca Campana PGI’. The purpose of this work was to discriminate ‘melaio’ treated fruit from untreated fruit using near infrared spectroscopy. A further objective of the work was the non-destructive evaluation of the apple storage conditions which can affect the product quality. Fruit of Annurca ‘Rossa del Sud’ subjected or not subjected to the reddening treatment in ‘melaio’ were stored at 0.5°C in air (Air) or in controlled atmosphere (1%O2, 0.7% CO2) for eight-month duration. Following storage, fruit were analysed for standard maturity indices (flesh firmness, soluble solids, acidity) and the near infrared spectrum of each fruit was collected. The spectral data, subjected to various pre-treatments, were used to calculate a calibration model by applying partial least squares-discriminant analysis. The best model allowed discrimination of fruit immediately after storage under different conditions, but with 0 days of shelf life, to be classified with a 93.3% correct classification rate for the prediction set. However, after seven days of shelf life at 20°C, post-storage, correct classification rate dropped to 70%, but it was always possible to discriminate the two treatments (96.6% correct classification rate). The results of this preliminary work suggest a possible use of the portable near infrared instrument in the monitoring of the Annurca (protected geographical indication) supply chain.

© 2019 The Author(s)

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