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  Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 82 (1) 21-30 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2017/82.1.3
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2017 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article

Effect of harvest date on composition and geometry of grape berries

Š. Nedomová1, V. Kumbár2, P. Pavloušek3, R. Pytel1, L. Lampíř4 and J. Buchar2
1Department of Food Technology, Faculty of AgriSciences, Mendel University in Brno, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
2Department of Technology and Automobile Transport (section Physics), Faculty of AgriSciences, Mendel University in Brno, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
3Department of Viticulture and Oenology, Faculty of Horticulture, Mendel University in Brno, 691 44 Lednice, Czech Republic
4Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, 165 00 Prague, Czech Republic

During wine production, the composition of grapes at the time of picking is an important parameter. To determine the harvest day may be considered the most crucial decision in winemaking. While grapes ripen, some complex physicochemical and biochemical processes occur, such as the continuous rising of sugar concentrations and lowering of acid levels, respectively. Chemical composition of seven grapevine cultivars harvested weekly during six consecutive weeks in the South Moravia region (Czech Republic) was evaluated. In addition parameters like size, shape and mass of grape berries were also studied. The geometry of the berry was described using its digital image. This procedure enables to describe the contour curve and to evaluate volume, surface and radii of the curvature. The mass of the berry, surface and volume increased with the total sugar content in all cultivars except for ‘Pinot Gris’ and ‘blue Frankish’ cultivars. The radii of the curvature were increased in all cultivars tested.

Keywords acids, Czech Republic, geometry, grapevine, mass, shape, sugars

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • The complex physicochemical and biochemical processes occur during grape ripening.
What are the new findings?
  • The mass, volume and surface of grape berries are correlated with total sugar content with most cultivars. The radii of the curvature increased with the day of harvesting but not too strong in order to be used for the prediction of grapevine maturity on the base of the berry’s geometry.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • The knowledge of the grape berries geometry is probably limited for handling operations with impact on product quality (e.g., behaviour under mechanical loading during harvesting).

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Received: 27 September 2016 | Accepted: 11 January 2017 | Published: 23 February 2017 | Available online: 23 February 2017

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