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Effect of maturity stage and post-harvest drying on carbohydrate composition and storability of onion

Marcin Horbowicz, Maria Grzegorzewska

Research Institute of Vegetable Crops
Konstytucji 3 Maja 1/3, 96-100 Skierniewice, Poland

A 4-year study with two onion cultivars (Sochaczewska and Błońska) was conducted to determine the effect of maturation and post-harvest drying of onion on soluble carbohydrate composition and its association with storability of bulbs. Onion bulbs were collected at three stages of maturity characterized by the percentage of green leaves remaining at the time of harvest: 90% green leaves, 50%, and 0%. After the drying process, which was continued during 8-10 weeks in ambient conditions, the onion bulbs were stored for 6 months in a cold room (0-1°C). Subsequently, storability, as the rate of bulbs without sprouts and roots, was measured. The storability of onions was compared with the results of sugar determination in the bulbs at harvest time, and separately after the drying process. As a result of linear regression analyses, a negative correlation between sugars content and storability was found. This finding can be explained by a possible increase in accumulation of higher fructans in seasons when low levels of measured sugar with low molecular weight were observed.

Horbowicz M., Grzegorzewska M., 2000. Effect of maturity stage and post-harvest drying on carbohydrate composition and storability of onion. Folia Horticulturae 12/1: 65-75.