Grocery shoppers may have recently noticed that strawberries seem to be closer in size to small apples. According to a Virginia Tech expert there are reasons for this change and it doesn’t include injecting them with chemicals to get the larger than life fruit.
Jayesh Samtani, a small fruit expert at Virginia Tech, is researching how to optimize berry production and determine the varieties that grow best in certain regions. He explained that weather, breeding and farming techniques all play a role in berry size.
“In some years, the weather may play a role. For example, the east and west coasts have relatively cold springs, resulting in a high yield,” said Samtani. “Moisture also plays a role. Improvements in fertigation and irrigation techniques and insect pollination also lead to larger fruit.”
As for the benefits, Samtani says that growing large fruits helps reduce labor during harvesting. “With larger strawberries, less fruit is needed to fill the clamshell container. The whole idea is that the fewer berries that fill the box, the more efficient the harvesting process is,” said Samtani.
“Before removing the berries from the plant, they should be checked for readiness and it is easier and easier to harvest if the berries are of the same weight. produce section of the grocery store.”
Samtani says that for the average person, bigger berries are more attractive, but that is not the case for everyone. “Children usually have small mouths so they prefer small to medium sizes, which allow them to eat in small bites.”
So whether you love them or hate them, it looks like big berries are here to stay.
Provided by Virginia Tech
Citation: Fruit consumers may notice larger strawberries this year (2023, July 17) retrieved 17 July 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07-fruit-consumers-larger-strawberries-year .html
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