Strawberry fruit consists of approximately 90% water and 10% total soluble solids. They are a good source of folate and potassium, as well as dietary fiber, manganese and antioxidants.The fruit is high in vitamin C and consumption of 10 fruit per day virtually meets all of the recommended dietary requirements for this vitamin. The main soluble sugar components are glucose and fructose. The primary acid is citric acid. Strawberry flavor is a key characteristic and is a complex mix of the sweetness, acidity and aroma of the fruit. The most intensely flavored fruit have a high TSS and also acidity.
Good crop nutrition will ensure the production of fruit that handles well and has a longer shelf life with the right balance of sugars and acidity plus a good aroma and taste.
All nutrients are needed by plants but potassium, nitrogen, calcium and boron have particularly important roles in achieving high quality.
Boron plays a key role in fruit quality with poor supply leading to smaller, malformed fruit.
Potassium is particularly important in terms of berry quality providing a high sugar and acid content, and a good taste to the fruit.
Excess nitrogen during fruit growth and development has an adverse effect on fruit quality. It increases disease susceptibility and the softening of fruit. This leads to a shorter shelf life and fruit that is quicker to rot. Maturity can also be delayed and fruit malformed, resulting in reduced yields.
Excess nitrogen also encourages diseases such as anthracnose crown rot. Fertigation can help ensure that applied nitrogen is better utilized by the plant and not available to encourage rots. Although, even under more controlled fertigation systems, high nitrogen rates may still result in greater disease severity.
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