Evaluation of ‘Sun Protect’ in protecting apples (Malus × domestica Borkh.) against sunburn

https://doi.org/10.17221/200/2015-HORTSCICitation:Sotiropoulos T., Petridis A., Koukourikou-Petridou M., Koundouras S. (2016): Evaluation of ‘Sun Protect’ in protecting apples (Malus × domestica Borkh.) against sunburn. Hort. Sci. (Prague), 43: 175-180.
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Sunburn is a major type of solar radiation injury that leads to significant economic losses in several fruits, including apples. Here, the efficiency of a new product, called ‘Sun Protect’, in protecting apples (cv. Granny Smith) against sunburn was tested. The effect of ‘Sun Protect’ application was further examined on fruit quality characteristics, including soluble solids, acidity, flesh firmness, total phenol content and antioxidant activity, at harvest and after a 4-month period of storage. Spraying apple trees with ‘Sun Protect’ resulted in better fruit coloration and no visual symptoms of sunburn. On the other hand, fruit quality characteristics were not affected by the treatment. After storage for four months, apples sprayed with ‘Sun Protect’ retained their intense green colour in relation to the green-yellowish appearance of the untreated ones. Results on photosynthetic parameters revealed that there was no negative effect of the treatments on gas exchange of the leaves; moreover, sprayed trees showed a higher water use efficiency in comparison to the control. Our results provide evidence that ‘Sun Protect’ protects apples from sunburn injury and increases their marketability.
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