Trade-Offs of Flowering and Maturity Synchronisation for Pineapple Quality

V.N. Fassinou Hotegni, W.J.M. Lommen*, E.K. Agbossou, P.C. Struik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the pineapple sector of Benin, poor fruit quality prevents pineapple producers to enter the European market. We investigated effects of common cultural practices, flowering and maturity synchronisation, (1) to quantify the trade-offs of flowering and maturity synchronisation for pineapple quality and the proportion of fruits exportable to European markets, and (2) to determine the effect of harvesting practice on quality attributes. Four on-farm experiments were conducted during three years using cultivars Sugarloaf and Smooth Cayenne. A split-split plot design was used in each experiment, with flowering induction practice as main factor (artificial or natural flowering induction), maturity induction practice as split factor (artificial or natural maturity induction) and harvesting practice as the split-split factor (farmers’ harvest practice or individual fruit harvesting at optimum maturity). Artificial flowering induction gave fruits with lower infructescence weight, higher ratio crown: infructescence length, and a lower proportion of fruits exportable to European markets than natural flowering induction. The costs of the improvements by natural flowering induction were huge: the longer durations from planting to flowering induction and harvesting, the higher number of harvestings of the fruits increasing the labour cost and the lower proportion of plants producing fruits compared with crops from artificially flowering-induced plants. Artificial maturity induction decreased the total soluble solids concentration in the fruits compared with natural maturity induction thus decreasing the proportion of fruits exportable to European markets, at a benefit of only a slightly shorter time from flowering induction to harvesting. Harvesting individual fruits at optimum maturity gave fruits with higher total soluble solids in naturally maturity induced fruits compared with the farmers’ harvest practice. Given the huge costs of natural flowering induction, options to use artificial flowering induction effectively for obtaining high fruit quality are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0143290
Number of pages28
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2015

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