Antioxidant Properties and Hypoglycemic Potential of Genomically Diverse Bananas Cultivated in Southeastern United States
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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There has been increased interest in growing and selecting cold-hardy short-season cultivars to offer an alternative to the industry standard, the Cavendish (genome AAA). In addition to expansion of production, these specialty cultivars have advantages such as increased nutritional qualities, resistance to disease, and favorable postharvest attributes. The determination of suitable alternatives to the Cavendish subgroup is a relatively new concept; therefore very little research has been done regarding the postharvest and nutritional properties of these specialty cultivars. The goal of the first experiment was to determine the effect of common postharvest practices and length of storage on the quality and nutrition of specialty bananas grown in the southeastern US. The objective of the second experiment was to determine the effects of fruit maturity stage on antioxidant properties of short-season cold-hardy cultivars. Results from both experiments indicate that genotype had role in determining fruit physicochemical and antioxidant properties. Results of this study will assist banana producers and commercial retailers in selecting adaptable cultivars, optimal ripening stage and best management practices to enhance quality and nutritional content of short season banana cultivars adaptable to southeastern United States.