Effect of nitrogen fertilization on quality markers of strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch. cv. Aromas)

  • Ojeda-Real L
  • Lobit P
  • Cárdenas-Navarro R
 et al. 
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BACKGROUND: Nitrogen is an indispensable element for fruit metabolism and low or excessive N levels can affect the accumulation of the most important components that contribute to the flavour and aroma of the fruit. Among them, sugars, acids and volatile compounds can be considered quality markers. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of N fertilization on these quality markers of the fruit at two harvest dates. RESULTS: Strawberry plants were grown in a hydroponic system and N was applied as Ca(NO3)2 at concentrations of 0.3, 3 and 6 mmol L−1 in the nutrient solution. Total soluble solids, soluble carbohydrates, amino acids and organic acids and volatile compounds of the fruit were analyzed. The fruits produced at 3 and 6 mmol L−1 N had higher contents of esters, soluble carbohydrates and amino acids. The hexanal content increased with the 6 mmol L−1 dose. The effect of fertilization was more marked at the second harvest date. CONCLUSION: The availability of N in strawberry plants affected the accumulation of quality markers. The fruits expected to have the best flavour and aroma, with both high levels of soluble carbohydrate and esters and low levels of hexanal, were obtained with 3 mmol L−1 nitrate in the solution. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry

Author-supplied keywords

  • Amino acids
  • Fragaria × ananassa
  • Nitrogen fertilization
  • Soluble carbohydrates
  • Strawberry
  • Volatile compounds

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  • Laura A. Ojeda-Real

  • Philippe Lobit

  • Raúl Cárdenas-Navarro

  • Oscar Grageda-Cabrera

  • Rodolfo Farías-Rodríguez

  • Eduardo Valencia-Cantero

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