Desk study looking at the relationship between Dry Matter Content of apples and fruit quality


Project summary:

Work in New Zealand has shown that a much closer correlation exists between harvest DMC and ex-store TSS than between harvest TSS and ex-store TSS. Furthermore, the New Zealand work also showed that consumers’ preferred high DMC fruit and were more likely to repeat purchase and be willing to pay more for fruit with higher DMC.

The desk study will elaborate on these results, look at earlier work and seek to find references corroborating these results. It will also search for papers relating to the influence of environmental factors, e.g. photosynthetic rate, light levels, water relations etc. and crop factors, e.g. fruit load, vegetative vigour, rootstock etc. on the percentage dry matter in fruit at harvest and how this relates to quality both at harvest and after storage.

The desk study will inform potential areas of investigation into which tree and orchard management practices can be used to manipulate percentage dry matter content.

Benefits to industry:

• Greater understanding of the importance of dry matter content and its relevance to ex-store eating quality.
• The potential to develop additional means of categorising fruit at harvest into the best storage periods and provide improved consistency of eating quality through the whole marketing season.
• Greater understanding of the factors that influence the level of dry matter content.
• Guidelines for future work to develop improved growing techniques in UK orchards that will deliver higher levels of dry matter and improved eating quality.


Project code:
TF 222
01 February 2014 - 30 November 2014
AHDB Horticulture
AHDB sector cost:
Project leader:


TF 222_Desk study_2014_0

About this project

Aims and objectives:

(i) Project aim(s):
1. To carry out a desk study into the relationship of dry matter content of apples and fruit quality and propose future studies into how dry matter content can be affected by orchard management practices.
(ii) Project objective(s):
1. To carry out a desk study and literature survey into dry matter content (DMC) in apples
2. To specifically look at the relationship between dry matter content and eating quality in apples
3. To examine how this relationship may specifically apply to Gala apples
4. To suggest further work that would investigate the affect of orchard management practices on increasing dry matter content in apples
5. To report the findings to the Tree Fruit Panel.