Natural Technology

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Increase in degrees Brix and uniformity in ripening of fruit trees: why biostimulants are the best option

Brix degrees and ripening uniformity in fruit trees

With the explosion of summer and high temperatures, both stone and pome fruits are an excellent addition to our diet due to their healthy, refreshing properties. Increased consumption at this time of the year means that producers need to employ better solutions to increase all of the organoleptic parameters that produce quality fruit. Seipasa offers you its Sweetsei biostimulant designed to promote ripening and encourage the formation of sugars, increasing the degrees Brix of fruit. 

In the case of stone fruit, it is a highly perishable product which is often quickly commercialised and has a long post-harvest life. According to the Office of Agricultural Studies and Polices (ODEPA) India has been the destination of 20% of Chilean apple exports up to May of this year. It is important to remember that Chile is one of the leading producers in the southern hemisphere although this example could also be valid for other producer countries, such as Spain. 

What are the implications of this? Fruit has to travel thousands of kilometres to its destination which means that maximum care must be taken with transport conditions. The time that fruit is harvested, and its degree of ripeness are also vital to maintain a balance between the quality of the fruit and commercial aspects of its post-harvest life. 

From a commercial point of view, early harvesting has certain advantages since fruit reaches the market earlier and the producer gets a better price, but the risks this entails must also be taken into account. Immature fruit may not have the organoleptic qualities of taste and texture that the consumer is looking for, while fruit that is too ripe when harvested is more likely to become soft and lose taste. 

So, what can we do? The answer is to use biostimulant solutions that, when applied in the final stages of development, help to homogenise and unify the ripening of fruit and, at the same time, ensure that when the fruit is harvested its quality is optimal.

Fruit maturity

Sweetsei is Seipasa's biostimulant designed to induce and encourage an increase of sugars, ripening and swelling of fruit. The key to Sweetsei's powerful action lies in its balanced formulation based on an optimal equilibrium in the selection of its components as well as an exclusive combination of metabolic catalysts that encourage and stimulate the ripening process.  Among these are key enzymatic stimulators in the biochemical Yang cycle that boost the synthesis of the ethylene phytohormone.

The composition of Sweetsei also includes co-factors which act as sugar mobilizers: they encourage fruit swelling  in the last phase of development and help increase the degrees Brix ratio. As proved in technical trials, the results of which are shown in table 1, application of the Sweetsei biostimulant produces a significant increase in degrees Brix in apple crops. 

Table 1.- Average degrees Brix in apple crop after Sweetsei application.

Increase in degrees Brix

The degrees Brix indicate the amount of sugar (fructose, glucose, saccharose) present in fruit, which has a decisive effect on its taste. Determining the amount of sugar in fresh fruit is essential in order to know its state of ripeness and to determine the optimal harvest and consumption time. 

An apple (a climacteric fruit that can continue ripening after it is harvested and separated from the tree), which is harvested early has a significant level of starch that has not yet been converted into sugars. It will be firmer and have a higher level of acidity than fruit that is harvested later, which has a significantly lower starch content, milder taste and lower acidity.

The ideal situation is that fruit should be harvested at its optimal peak of ripeness and sold for immediate consumption.  However, the demand for fresh fruit together with commercial needs often lead to scenarios in which early harvesting and  commercialisation at the very start of the season take priority.   

In this situation the  Sweetsei biostimulant provides better sugar formation, more uniformity in the ripening process and earlier crops. Even in fruit varieties harvested very early, optimal quality is obtained, with high levels of sugars at harvesting (see technical trial data in table 2).

Table 2.- Average degrees Brix in cherries after the application of Sweetsei.

As well as encouraging the formation of sugars and increasing the degrees Brix ratio, Sweetsei's formulation also includes biochemical intermediaries such as phenylalanine that generates flavonoids, anthocyanins and tannins, which are the compounds responsible for generating colour. In addition to optimal quality, the appearance of fruit is also  excellent in terms of its gloss and colour.