This project commenced in 2015 to investigate the post-harvest reddening of blackberry drupelets, which is a major challenge for the industry. The disorder known as Red Drupelet Disorder can affect up to 50 per cent of a crop and reduces marketability of the fruit.
The project considered harvest and post-harvest conditions including temperature, plant water status, storage, handing, and transport, as well as nitrogen fertiliser supply during harvest.
Results show that the disorder can be affected by a range of factors including handling and temperature.
- Impact, compression and vibration bruising is a major factor
- Fruit harvested above 25 degrees Celsius has an increased rate of red drupelet disorder
- Fruit cooled rapidly after bruising is more prone to the disorder
- High nitrogen fertiliser application
- Early season fruit is more prone