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Special Issue "Sustainable Fruit Growing: From Orchard to Table"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Agriculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 12242

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Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Boris Duralija
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Guest Editor
Department of Pomology, Division of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, Svetošimunska cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: pomology; biodiversity; sustainable growing; berry fruits; fruit quality
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, fruit producers and scientists are facing with more challenges than ever before, but also the demands of society, which aim to achieve sustainable production. Increasing of population, changing and improvement of eating habits with a higher proportion of fruit consumed has led to the expansion of orchards, but also the introduction of new technologies that improve yields and fruit quality while often neglecting the principle of sustainability.This special issue will cover various aspects that can improve sustainable production such as the possibility of introducing new fruit species into production, breeding and genetic improvement of cultivars and rootstocks, reducing environmental stress to which plants and fruits are exposed, deepening knowledge about the relationship between genotype and environment, fruit plant propagation, reduction of chemical harms to the environment, increase of fruit safety and security, more efficient control of pests and diseases, development of new cultivation technologies, post-harvest practices, etc. The results of original researches are welcomed, and the submission of manuscripts of review papers by leading experts in these fields is also strongly encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Boris Duralija
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • new fruit species
  • fruit tree ecophysiology
  • GxE interactions
  • fruit growing techniques
  • yield of fruits
  • sustainability of fruit production
  • fruit pest and diseases
  • fruit quality
  • fruit safety and security

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Sustainable Fruit Growing: From Orchard to Table-Editorial Commentary
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1053; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031053 - 18 Jan 2022
Viewed by 368
Abstract
Fruit production has faced many challenges in recent years as society seeks to increase fruit consumption while increasing safety and reducing the harmful effects of intensive farming practices (e [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fruit Growing: From Orchard to Table)
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Research

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Article
Evaluation of the Characteristics of Native Wild Himalayan Fig (Ficus palmata Forsk.) from Pakistan as a Potential Species for Sustainable Fruit Production
Sustainability 2022, 14(1), 468; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14010468 - 02 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 581
Abstract
Wild Himalayan figs (Ficus palmata Forsk.), native to East Asia and the Himalayan region, are closely related to the well-known cultivated fig (Ficus carica L.), which is grown mainly in the Mediterranean region. The Pakistani state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir [...] Read more.
Wild Himalayan figs (Ficus palmata Forsk.), native to East Asia and the Himalayan region, are closely related to the well-known cultivated fig (Ficus carica L.), which is grown mainly in the Mediterranean region. The Pakistani state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir has a rich variety of figs. However, no comprehensive study has been carried out to utilise the diversity of these wild figs for possible use in sustainable fruit production. Therefore, the present study was designed to assess the variability of 35 wild fig accessions using quantitative and qualitative traits. Descriptive statistics were used to measure quantitative characteristics, while the coefficient of variance (CV %) was analysed using SAS® version 9.1. A principal component analysis (PCA) and multivariate analysis were performed using R Studio (v1.1.4). Pearson correlation coefficients between characteristics were obtained using SPSS software. The studied accessions showed high variability and the coefficient of variation (CV) ranged from 4.46–14.81%. Days to maturity varied from 71 to 86, leaf area from 38.55 to 90.06 cm2. The fruit length, fruit diameter and fruit weight ranged from 11.25 to 29.85 mm, 11.85 to 27.49 mm and 2.65 to 9.66 g, respectively. The photosynthetic activity and total chlorophyll content also varied from 7.94 to 10.22 μmol CO2 m−2s−1 and 37.11 to 46.48 μgml−1. In most of the fig accessions studied, apical dominance was found to be ‘absent’ while fruit shape was observed to be ‘globular’. A strong correlation was observed between all the studied characteristics. In the PCA analysis, all 35 fig accessions were distributed in four quadrants and showed a great diversity. This could be a valuable gene pool for future breeding studies and provide improved quality varieties. Wild Himalayan figs from the wild are well adapted to local pedoclimatic conditions and, combined with easy propagation and production can contribute to the local economy and have a significant impact on the socio-economic and ecological balance. The results of this study show high variability in some of the studied traits of 35 accessions from different parts of Northeast Pakistan, indicating their good potential for further enhancement and utilisation in sustainable agricultural production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fruit Growing: From Orchard to Table)
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Article
Determination of Selected Beneficial Substances in Peach Fruits
Sustainability 2021, 13(24), 14028; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132414028 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 895
Abstract
Peaches (Prunus persica L.) are a popular and sought-after dessert fruit. This is mainly due to their flavour, aroma, attractive appearance, and high content of substances that play an important role in human nutrition. The present study was carried out to determine [...] Read more.
Peaches (Prunus persica L.) are a popular and sought-after dessert fruit. This is mainly due to their flavour, aroma, attractive appearance, and high content of substances that play an important role in human nutrition. The present study was carried out to determine some important analytical properties (sugars/sucrose, glucose, fructose and sorbitol), total acid, total phenolics, flavonoids, antioxidant capacity, carotenoids and anthocyanins of 34 selected peach varieties. The analyses are also complemented by colorimetric measurements of peach skin colour using CIELAB and other chromatic parameters. The results show, for example, that all peach varieties are good sources of phenolic compounds (9.43–577 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE).100 g−1), flavonoids (1.12–95.1 mg catechin equivalent (CAE).100 g−1), and antioxidant capacity (136–462 mg Trolox equivalent (TE).100 g−1). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fruit Growing: From Orchard to Table)
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Article
Assessment of Morphological Traits, Nutritional and Nutraceutical Composition in Fruits of 18 Apricot cv. Sekerpare Clones
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11385; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011385 - 15 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 413
Abstract
Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) is one of the most important members of Prunus and its trees bears delicious and nutritious fruits during summer months in the temperate zones in the world. Apricot cultivars are propagated asexually which consists of clones. Information on [...] Read more.
Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) is one of the most important members of Prunus and its trees bears delicious and nutritious fruits during summer months in the temperate zones in the world. Apricot cultivars are propagated asexually which consists of clones. Information on inter-clonal variations in apricot cultivars can assist us in the selection of better clones from commercial cultivars. We aimed to determine morphological traits (fruit weight, seed weight, kernel weight, flesh/seed ratio, shape index, fruit firmness, color index), nutritional (sugars and organic acids) and nutraceutical (total phenolic, total flavonoids, total carotenoid and antioxidant activity) composition of 18 clones of Sekerpare apricot cultivar grown together in Kagizman district in eastern Turkey. Results showed significant differences among clones concerning most of the morphological traits, nutritional and nutraceutical compositions. Fruit weight, flesh/seed ratio and fruit firmness of clones were in range of 23.14–27.11 g, 11.21–13.14 and 3.88–5.11 kg/cm2, respectively. Fruit shape index was slightly similar among all clones which was between 0.95 and 1.03. Citric acid and sucrose were found to be the predominant organic acid and sugar among clones which varied from 728 to 915 mg/100 g and 7.11 to 9.94 g/100 g, respectively. The clone ‘KS2’ exhibited the highest level of total phenol (67.1 mg gallic acid equivalent per 100 g) and antioxidant activity (2.16 μmol trolox equivalent per g). The study confirmed the diversity among Sekerpare clones and effectiveness of combining morphological, nutritional and nutraceutical analyses in assessment of Şekerpare clones and its use for future pre-breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fruit Growing: From Orchard to Table)
Article
Detecting Apples in the Wild: Potential for Harvest Quantity Estimation
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8054; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13148054 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 931
Abstract
Knowing the exact number of fruits and trees helps farmers to make better decisions in their orchard production management. The current practice of crop estimation practice often involves manual counting of fruits (before harvesting), which is an extremely time-consuming and costly process. Additionally, [...] Read more.
Knowing the exact number of fruits and trees helps farmers to make better decisions in their orchard production management. The current practice of crop estimation practice often involves manual counting of fruits (before harvesting), which is an extremely time-consuming and costly process. Additionally, this is not practicable for large orchards. Thanks to the changes that have taken place in recent years in the field of image analysis methods and computational performance, it is possible to create solutions for automatic fruit counting based on registered digital images. The pilot study aims to confirm the state of knowledge in the use of three methods (You Only Look Once—YOLO, Viola–Jones—a method based on the synergy of morphological operations of digital imagesand Hough transformation) of image recognition for apple detecting and counting. The study compared the results of three image analysis methods that can be used for counting apple fruits. They were validated, and their results allowed the recommendation of a method based on the YOLO algorithm for the proposed solution. It was based on the use of mass accessible devices (smartphones equipped with a camera with the required accuracy of image acquisition and accurate Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning) for orchard owners to count growing apples. In our pilot study, three methods of counting apples were tested to create an automatic system for estimating apple yields in orchards. The test orchard is located at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn. The tests were carried out on four trees located in different parts of the orchard. For the tests used, the dataset contained 1102 apple images and 3800 background images without fruits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fruit Growing: From Orchard to Table)
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Article
Chilling and Heat Accumulation of Fruit and Nut Trees and Flower Bud Vulnerability to Early Spring Low Temperatures in New Mexico: Meteorological Approach
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2524; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052524 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1205
Abstract
Fruit and nut trees production is an important activity across the southwest United States and this production is greatly impacted by the local climate. Temperature is the main environmental factor influencing the growth and the productivity of the fruit and nut trees as [...] Read more.
Fruit and nut trees production is an important activity across the southwest United States and this production is greatly impacted by the local climate. Temperature is the main environmental factor influencing the growth and the productivity of the fruit and nut trees as it affects the trees’ physiology and the vulnerability of flower bud, flowers, and young fruit and nut to the low temperatures or spring frost. The objective of the present study is to estimate the chilling and heat accumulation of fruit and nut trees across New Mexico. Three study sites as Fabian Garcia, Los Lunas, and Farmington were considered and climate variables were collected at hourly time step. The Utah model and the Dynamic model were used to estimate the accumulated chilling while the Forcing model was used for the heat accumulation. The possible fruit and nut trees endodormancy and ecodormancy periods were also determined at the study sites. The results obtained chilling hours of 715 ± 86.60 h at Fabian Garcia, 729.53 ± 41.71 h at Los Lunas, and 828.95 ± 83.73 h at Farmington using the Utah model. The accumulated chill portions during trees’ endodormancy was 3.12 ± 3.05 CP at Fabian Garcia, 42.23 ± 5.08 CP at Los Lunas, and 56.14 ± 1.84 CP at Farmington. The accumulated heat was 8735.52 ± 1650.91 GDH at Fabian Garcia, 7695.43 ± 212.90 GDH at Los Lunas, and 5984.69 ± 2353.20 GDH at Farmington. The fruit and nut trees are at no risk of bud flowers vulnerability at Fabian Garcia while they are under high risk of bud flowers and or young fruit and nut vulnerability to low temperatures early spring as hourly temperature can still drop below 0 °C in April at the end of ecodormancy and flower blooming and young fruits and nuts development stage at Los Lunas and Farmington. Severe weather, especially frost conditions during winter and early spring, can be a significant threat to sustainable nut and fruit production in the northern New Mexico while high chilling requirement fruit and nut trees might not meet chill requirements in the southern New Mexico. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fruit Growing: From Orchard to Table)
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Article
Main Agro-Morphological and Biochemical Berry Characteristics of Wild-Grown Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L. ssp. caucasica Rousi) Genotypes in Turkey
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1198; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031198 - 24 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1111
Abstract
Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L. ssp. caucasica Rousi) is one of the most important wild edible fruits, grown in Turkey for centuries without any chemical treatments. The plant is extremely resistant to adverse environmental conditions. In this study, the main agro-morphological and [...] Read more.
Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L. ssp. caucasica Rousi) is one of the most important wild edible fruits, grown in Turkey for centuries without any chemical treatments. The plant is extremely resistant to adverse environmental conditions. In this study, the main agro-morphological and biochemical berry traits and, to a lesser extent, other plant morphological traits of 10 sea buckthorn genotypes sampled from the eastern Anatolia (Sivas province) region were assessed. Among the 10 genotypes, five of them presented a shrub growth habit, whereas five of them presented tree growth habit, with leaf area ranging from 2.56 to 4.22 cm2. The majority of genotypes had an oblong berry shape with variable berry skin color ranging from dark orange to orange, light orange, and yellow. The weight of 100 berries varied from 13.85 to 23.87 g, while juice yield and vitamin C content was found to be 44.87–57.15% and 37.45–62.85 mg/100 g fresh berry base, respectively. Soluble solid content (SSC) was in the range of 12.56–14.67%. The genotypes exhibited a great variability in total anthocyanin content (from 9.1 to 38.7 mg/L), with relatively dark-orange sea buckthorn berries containing more anthocyanin than orange, light-orange, and yellow berries. Linoleic acid was the main fatty acid detected in the pulp of sea buckthorn berries, ranging from 24.11% to 36.37%, depending on the genotype. Investigated genotypes proved also to be rich in total phenolic content, showing at the same time great variability in this trait. The results obtained from the relatively limited number of genotypes show promising traits for further valorization of both horticultural and nutritional traits, suggesting potentially even higher variability, if more genotypes are going to be considered in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fruit Growing: From Orchard to Table)
Article
Innovative Strategies for the Use of Reflective Foils for Fruit Colouration to Reduce Plastic Use in Orchards
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010073 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 915
Abstract
(1) Background: Plastic in fruit orchards represents an environmental issue due to large CO2eq emissions associated with its production from fossil fuel and disposal (often incineration). (2) Materials and methods: Apple cv. “Braeburn Hillwell” trees on M9 rootstocks under a [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Plastic in fruit orchards represents an environmental issue due to large CO2eq emissions associated with its production from fossil fuel and disposal (often incineration). (2) Materials and methods: Apple cv. “Braeburn Hillwell” trees on M9 rootstocks under a hail net were used at Campus Klein-Altendorf (CKA), Germany (50 °N) in 2018. In order to reduce the use of plastics to improve the red colouration of fruit particularly under hail nets, three alternatives to the current use of reflective mulch in each alleyway between the tree rows were explored, with uncovered grass alleyways as control. About 2800 colour measurements were done in the four weeks prior to harvest on 720 attached fruit below and above 1 m height in the field, and ca. 6900 additional colour measurements were conducted at harvest. (3) Results: The underlying regulatory mechanisms contrasted between the diffusive reflection of the white woven ground cover (such as LumilysTM or ExtendayTM) in the alleyways and aluminium foil under the trees with regular (straight) light reflection. Good fruit colouring and a plastic reduction were achieved (a) through spreading the white woven ground cover in every other row, and (b) through substituting the white ground cover with aluminium foil (80% recycled). Both methods can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (75–110 kg CO2eq/ha for the first option a). (4) Conclusion: Plastic use in fruit orchards can be reduced by multiple use of the material in the same or several years, spreading it in every other row or substituting it by another reflective material, a relevant step towards an environment-friendly sustainable horticulture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fruit Growing: From Orchard to Table)
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Article
Polyphenol-Based Microencapsulated Extracts as Novel Green Insecticides for Sustainable Management of Polyphagous Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys Stål, 1855)
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10079; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310079 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1661
Abstract
The brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys Stål, 1855) is an invasive polyphagous species that threatens fruit growing both in the United States and Europe. Many pesticide active ingredients have been studied in H. halys management, but for sustainable fruit growing, [...] Read more.
The brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys Stål, 1855) is an invasive polyphagous species that threatens fruit growing both in the United States and Europe. Many pesticide active ingredients have been studied in H. halys management, but for sustainable fruit growing, which implies the reduction of chemical harm to the environment, new safe insecticides should be implemented into the practice. For this purpose, novel green insecticide based on natural polyphenols of species Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) Bertoni and Aronia melanocarpa (Michx.) Elliott 1821 was developed. Stevia leaves (SLE) and Aronia pomace (APE) aqueous extracts were prepared using the ultrasound-assisted extraction method. Optimal extraction conditions for bioactive compounds (total polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and flavan-3-ols, respectively) and antioxidant activity were determined using response surface methodology. Bioactive compounds rich SLE and APE were encapsulated in calcium alginate microparticles by the ionic gelation method. Physicochemical characteristics (morphology, size, encapsulation efficiency, loading capacity, and swelling) of microparticles showed very good properties with especially high encapsulation efficiency. Fitting to simple Korsmeyer–Peppa’s empirical model revealed that the underlying release mechanism of polyphenols is Fickian diffusion. SLE loaded microparticles showed very good pesticidal efficiency against Halyomorpha halys, especially on younger larval stages after both contact and digestive treatment. Microparticles loaded with APE did not achieve satisfactory digestive efficiency, but a certain toxic impact has been observed at contact application on all H. halys growth stages. Microparticles loaded with SLS exhibited prolonged insecticidal action against H. halys and could be a potential candidate as a green insecticide whose application could increase fruit growing safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fruit Growing: From Orchard to Table)
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Article
Interpreting Environmental Impacts Resulting from Fruit Cultivation in a Business Innovation Perspective
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 9793; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12239793 - 24 Nov 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1453
Abstract
Sustainability of food production is a major concern today. This study assessed the environmental impact of fruit production and discussed business implications for sustainability. Data were collected from three agricultural enterprises growing six species of fruit, extending over a total of 34 hectares, [...] Read more.
Sustainability of food production is a major concern today. This study assessed the environmental impact of fruit production and discussed business implications for sustainability. Data were collected from three agricultural enterprises growing six species of fruit, extending over a total of 34 hectares, and producing roughly one thousand tons of fruit per year. The results of the life-cycle assessment (LCA) showed that several production activities heavily impact the environment: in descending order of absolute terms, fruit refrigeration, agronomic operations, irrigation, and fertilizer use were recognized as the most impacting. Other activities, including agrochemical applications, planting, and plastic use for harvesting and packaging, showed overall lower impacts. The high environmental impact associated with most of the production activities emphasizes the need to make the primary food production cleaner, more resource-efficient, and less energy-intensive. Affordable incremental innovations able to reshape the way business is conducted in the context of primary food production are proposed, mainly relying on process rationalization and digital switchover. The analysis of the business path toward increased sustainability involves strategic issues, ranging from the reshaping of production processes to relationships with consumers, affecting value proposition, creation, and capture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fruit Growing: From Orchard to Table)
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Article
Sustainable Cornelian Cherry Production in Montenegro: Importance of Local Genetic Resources
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8651; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208651 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1050
Abstract
Cornelian cherries has been grown Balkan peninsula no apparent disease and pest problems for centuries. The most important pomological and technological properties of cornelian cherry genetic resources (eleven local and introduced varieties and selections) in Gornje Polimlje, Montenegro were studied in four-year periods. [...] Read more.
Cornelian cherries has been grown Balkan peninsula no apparent disease and pest problems for centuries. The most important pomological and technological properties of cornelian cherry genetic resources (eleven local and introduced varieties and selections) in Gornje Polimlje, Montenegro were studied in four-year periods. Fruit weight, stone weight, and mesocarp/stone ratio shows great variation and varied between 1.89 to 6.16 g, 0.32 to 0.64 g and between 76.66 and 90.59%, respectively. Genotypes significantly differed each other in terms of yield determined as per trunk cross section area (TCSA). For better visualization of the agronomical traits important to the yield, i.e., yield per TCSA and fruit weight data is presented in combination as measured in the years of study. The best promising genotypes are Vladimirskiy, Chisinau yellow, and Krupnoplodni NS, which had consistently higher yield and large fruits for sustainable fruit production. Dry matter, total sugars, reducing sugars, sucrose, total acidity, Ca–pectate, vitamin C, total anthocyanins, total polyphenols, and ash content of cornelian cherry cultivars and selections were found between 19.81–24.46%, 10.94–14.47%, 10.44–13.09%, 0.24–1.23%, 1.92–2.51%, 2.76–4.43%, 41.09–101.27 mg/100 g, 0–157.06 mg/100 g, 183.91–307.9 mg/100 g, and 0.89–1.16%, respectively. The amount of potassium, which predominates in percentage of minerals in the ash, ranged from 2888 to 3574 mg/kg. The extensiveness of the study leads, therefore, to several clear conclusions and recommendations. Consistently, the best balance of biochemical elements in combination with good yield and fruit size measurements is found in selection Krupnoplodi NS. If consider fruit size and yield efficiency are priority, Vladimirskiy, Chisinau yellow, Kosten 3, and Krupnoplodni NS have clear advantage over the other genotypes. The study highlights the importance of local cornelian cherry selections for sustainable cornelian cherry production in Montenegro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Fruit Growing: From Orchard to Table)
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