Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Food Science (MS)

Degree Level



Food Science


Renee Threlfall

Committee Member

John Clark

Second Committee Member

Margaret Worthington

Third Committee Member

Luke Howard


Blackberry, Muscadine Grapes, Nectarine, Peach, Post Harvest, Table Grapes


Fresh-market produce is a major component of commercial market sales. However, shelf-life of fresh-market produce is limited, so evaluating postharvest potential (time from harvest to consumption) is critical. Fresh-market fruit can be impacted by many factors that deteriorate the quality of the fruit. Understanding the postharvest physiology of fruit can lead to better handling and storage conditions for extended shelf life and enhanced quality for the consumer. This research project was a collaborative effort within the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture between the Food Science and Horticulture Departments to evaluate the fresh-market potential of Arkansas-grown fruit. Physiochemical and marketability attributes of fresh-market blackberries, peaches/nectarines, table grapes, and muscadine grapes were evaluated at harvest and during postharvest storage. Additionally, the peaches/nectarines and muscadine grapes were evaluated by a descriptive sensory panel at harvest. Genotype played a critical role in the fresh-market fruit evaluated in this study. Storage day and storage temperature also had an impact on postharvest quality of the nine fresh-market blackberry genotypes evaluated, but harvest time had minimal impact. Blackberries stored at a lower temperature (2 °C) retained marketable attributes longer than fruit stored at 10 °C. Descriptive sensory analysis of harvest attributes of nine peach/nectarine genotypes were correlated to many physiochemical attributes. The peaches/nectarines had strong fresh-market potential after 21 d storage at 2 °C. The table grape production method (four high tunnel grown cultivars and six traditionally-grown genotypes) did not impact physiochemical attributes, but had a greater impact on marketability attributes. Grapes grown in the high tunnel had more marketable berries and longer shelf life. Descriptive sensory analysis of six muscadine grape genotypes described appearance and basic taste attributes and correlated to many physiochemical attributes. The six muscadine grape genotypes had good retention of composition and marketability attributes indicating potential for fresh-market after 21 d storage at 2 °C. The fresh-market attributes evaluated for these fruits will assist in fruit breeding efforts at the University of Arkansas, as well as provide insight into the commercial potential for growers for these advanced selections and cultivars.