Postharvest biology and technology vol:25 issue:3 pages:273-291
Mealiness in apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) is an internal quality defect which is characterised by a dry and crumbly texture. It is related to the relative strength of the cell wall and the middle lamella. A mathematical model has been built to relate changes in the texture attributes juiciness, tensile strength and hardness, which are associated with mealiness, to the development of the turgor pressure of the tissue and the degree of hydrolysis of the middle lamella. The latter, in turn, are described in terms of properties which are meaningful from the physiological point of view, such as starch content, soluble solids content, non-hydrolysed and hydrolysed middle lamella, water in the symplast, and water in the apoplast. Biochemical reactions as well as water transfer processes are incorporated in the model. The parameter values of the model are estimated using experimental data from a storage experiment. The model fits the three texture characteristics adequately. The correlation coefficients between the parameters were below 0.96, which indicates that the model does not overfit the data. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.