Background: The results of many studies describing sour cherry polyphenols and their positive effects on human health have been reported. However, there are no detailed studies concerning the physical quality of fresh fruits of sour and duke cherry.
Results: Several physical, chemical and colour fruit-characteristics of 10 sour and duke cherry cultivars cultivated for industrial use in south-west Europe were investigated during a 3-year (2008-2010) period. Some of the cultivars showed distinctive and interesting agronomical characters, such as low susceptibility to fruit cracking and high soluble solids and total polyphenol levels. This was the case with the duke cherry cultivar Guindo Garrafal Negro. Its fruits were quite sweet (18.49°Brix), resistant to cracking (6.34%) and rich in polyphenols (17.16 g gallic acid kg(-1) dry weight). Other relevant cherry cultivars were Guindo Tomatillo and Seixas, which had large and fleshy fruits (4.71 and 3.69 cm(3), respectively) and Guindo Silvestre, for which the lowest fruit cracking values (3.12%) were recorded.
Conclusions: Sour and duke cherries are rich in healthy compounds such as polyphenols. Studies including the physical, chemical and colour properties of sour and duke cherry fruits are very interesting to engineers in the design of equipment for harvesting and post-harvest technology.
© 2013 Society of Chemical Industry.