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  • Consumer preference for apples: the role of attributes influencing the choice and consumption

    Consumers consider good quality fruits to be those that look good, are firm and offer good flavour and nutritive value. Nowadays, consumers are, however, increasingly  interested  in food qualities which  cannot  be discovered  by  looking, tasting or smelling  the products but their roles are not yet really cleared up. Therefore the objective of this study was to explore the importance of selected kinds of attributes (taste, size, colour, cultivar, origin and price) in fluencing the choice of apples of customers. In accordance with several authors, fruit qualities (taste, size and colour) seemed to be the major attributics influencing the choice of apple independently of people's age and gender. However, the size of fruit had lower importance with increased age. Generally, females gave higher importance rating for most attributes than did male. The price was getting more important for consumer's choice with age which can be connected with their socioeconomic situation. The origin of fruit and the cultivar did not have important influence on consumer's choice. Authors also investigated the preference of consumers for six selected apple varieties ('Jonagold', 'ldared', 'Royal Gala', 'Golden Reinders', 'Braeburn' and 'Granny Smith'). and pointed out the role of the origin in fruit quality and in choice of apple in the case of 'Granny Smith' cultivar. Apple fruit samples from Austria, Argentina, Chile, Hungary and South Africa were involved in this study. Authors evaluated fruit quality parameters of above cultivars and compared them to consumer preference. Consumer preference usually represented the quality attributes of the fruit well. It is also concluded that degree of liking of apple cultivars varies through gender and age. Children and young consumers preferred 'Royal Gala', 'Granny Smith  and 'Braeburn' mostly. In spite of 'Idared' is one of the cultivars grown on the largest area in Hungary, the lowest preference ratings were given for it in both gender categories. Middle-aged consumers (between 25 and 50 years or age) preferred crispy apples with red or blemished skin color ('Royal Gala' and 'Jonagold'). 'Jonagold' and 'Idared' were the most preferred cultivars for the consumers above the age of 50 likely because of their relatively low price, as price plays a significant influencing role in the purchase of these consumers. The relatively expensive and soury 'Granny Smith' appeared not really preferred by this age group. In spite of the significant differences in instrumentally measured fruit quality parameters among 'Granny Smith' fruit samples from different countries, consumers did not give significantly different preference rating scores for those.

  • Economic figures of apple production at national level of Hungary

    Apple is the most important fruit in Hungary, despite of that, it is a paradox that during the last years, apple growing was the most unsuccessful enterprise among the prosperous ones in the country. The real cause of regression was unequivocally the low price, which could be obtained and the inadequate structure of apple varieties. A heavy problem is still the overweight of the quality doomed to supplying the processing industry instead to the fresh consumption. In order to improve the conditions, we aimed the economic analysis of the five year long period, 2005-2009, to trace the changes involving values and costs of production, income and all conditions combined with this activity. The data presented in the paper are means of a heterogeneous population of values, which cannot be utilised for immediate use in management, but they may reveal the challenges and tendencies of that branch in economics.

  • Relationship between several meteorological factors and phenological features of pear cultivars

    The aim of this paper was to investigate the fl owering characteristic of apples and their relationship to meteorological parameters. The trees observed are grown at Újfehértó, Eastern Hungary in the plantation of an assortment (gene bank) with 586 apple varieties. Each of the varieties were observed as for their dates of subsequent phenophases, the beginning of bloom, main bloom and the end of bloom over a period between 1984 and 2001 during this period the meteorological data-base keeps the following variables: daily means of temperature (°C), daily maximum temperature (°C), daily minimum temperature (°C), daily precipitation sums (mm), daily sums of sunny hours, daily means of the differences between the day-time and night-time temperatures (°C), average differences between temperatures of successive daily means (°C). Between the 90th and 147th day of the year over the 18 years of observation. The early blooming varieties start blooming at 10–21April. The varieties of intermediate bloom start at the interval 20 April to 3 May, whereas the late blooming group start at 2–10 May. Among the meteorological variables of the former autumnal and hibernal periods, the hibernal maxima were the most active factor infl uencing the start of bloom in the subsequent spring.

  • A short introduction of new apple varieties obtained

    A short introduction of new apple varieties obtained

  • Anatomical study of the bud union in „Chip" and „T" budded 'Jonagold' apple trees on MM 106 rootstock

    The traditional methods for vegetative propagation of apple and its varieties are the T-budding, and the winter grafting, but this latter way is a difficult and expensive procedure.

    In our experiment carried out in the Fruit Tree Nursery Soroksár, the healing process of chip- and T-budded apple trees 'Jonagold' on MM 106 rootstock was studied.

    The budding (T- and Chip-) was made in the first week of August, samples for microscope examination were taken monthly after this time until leaf fall.

    The investigated part of plants was made soft with 48 % HF (hydrogenfluoride), then cross and longitudinal section were made and examined by microscope.

    Based on analysis of microscope pictures in case of Chip-budding, it was established, that development had started quickly after budding on the rootstock and scion too. But the callus originated almost entirely from the rootstock tissue as new parenchyma cells fills the gap between the two components of graft (scion and stock), becoming interlocked and allowing for some passage of water and nutrients between the stock and the scion. This quantity of callus in case of T budding was under the scion buds larger, than the Chip-budded unions, where the thickness of callus mass is uniformly thick round the chip. The large mass of callus pushes the scion bud outwards from the shoot axis, which later results in a larger shoot-curvature above the bud union.

    Following this process on the Chip-budding it can be observed also, that a continuity of the cambium is established between bud and rootstock. Then the newly formed cambium started typical cambial activity, forming new xylem and phloem.

    Later the callus begins to lignify, and it is completed within about 3 months after budding.


  • Effect of intensity of bee visitation and the foraging behaviour of honeybees on the fruit set and yield of apple (Malus domestica Borkh.)

    Based on the results of our experiments, both the relative and the effective intensity of bee visitation were rather different depending on the cultivars as well as the time of the day. While it varied between relatively extreme values (40-80%) in the morning for the varieties examined, there were much smaller differences between the intensity of bee visitation at the afternoon, because the relative bee visitation attained 70-90% at each cultivar. These results showed that the differences arising from intensity of bee visitation of different cultivars should be taken into consideration more carefully in the morning in orchard planning and in estimating the number of honeybee colonies required.

    The results showed that the greatest percentage of fruit set and the highest number of viable seeds per fruit were measured on branches of those cultivars that were most frequently visited by pure pollen gatherer bees as well as by bees collecting both nectar and pollen (mixed behaviour). The effect of pure pollen gatherers and of bees with mixed behaviour was highly significant from the statistical point of view on the fruit set and the number of viable seeds per fruit.

    Those bees that were sucking nectar only from apple flowers did not proved to be effective pollinators at all. Relationship between their number and the fruit set as well as the number of viable seed per fruit were not significant because the coefficient of correlation was close to nil.

    The ratio of side worker nectar gatherers was negatively correlated with the fruit set and the seed content of fruits of apple cultivars examined at both of our experimental sites, at Mosonmagyaróvár and Feketeerdő as well. The presence of side worker nectar gatherers resulted in higher decrease of fruit set and seed content of fruits at Feketeerd6 than at Mosonmagyaróvár, especially in the morning.

    The effect of flower visiting intensity by other pollinating insects was found to be fairly variable according to the time of the day. In the morning they had no effect on the fruit set as well as on the seed content of fruits either at Mosonmagyaróvár or at Feketeerdo. However, at the afternoon, when their intensity was greater, the correlation was a bit stronger.

  • Malus taxa and the progenies of Malus floribunda selected in Hungary, as gene sources of resistance breeding

    One of our objectives in the apple breeding program of the Department of Fruit Science, beside creating new varieties, is to search for new gene sources. After evaluating the disease resistance of Malus taxa available in Hungary, we put the promising selected individuals through further examinations. Their habit and growth vigor was observed, as well as productivity and fruit characteristics were evaluated. Malus fusca seems to be a new, promising gene source in Hungary among the examined taxa. Beside its optimal canopy, growth vigor and fruit characteristics, it has the advantage to be in distant relationship to Malus x domestica, therefore its resistance is based on a different genetic basis. SBG 1 selection of Malus spectabilis can be recommended as a new gene source for resistance breeding. The range of gene sources can further be widened by selected clones of Malus floriblunda (BA I), Malus x zumi (BA) and Malus baccata (SBG 6). An additional value of Malus taxa chosen by us is that they show resistance not only to apple scab, but to powdery mildew as well, and according to our results, they have optimal habit, acceptable productivity and good fruit quality. Nine hybrids were selected from first Malus progenies which proved to be resistant to apple scab and powdery mildew. These are valuable not only as gene sources of breeding, but as pollenizers or ornamental trees, while their decorative fruits can be used in inside decorations and flower arrangements.

  • Historical apple cultivars that display high level of resistance to fire blight

    Following the first outbreak of fire blight caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora (Burrill) Winslow et al. in Hungary, we have started research with the aim to screen domestic gene sources, mostly historical Hungarian apple cultivars, for disease resistance as part of an apple breeding program for multiple resistance. The present study was conducted with the aim to choose the most tolerant historical apple cultivars among 25 selected cultivars by screening their behavior towards fire blight under controlled conditions. Six cultivars were shown to be the most disease tolerant: `Batul', 'London pepin', Nemes Sóvári Alma', `Sikulai', `Szemes alma', Wilmos renet'. We evaluated these cultivars by investigating both morphological- characteristics under original environmental circumstances and fruit quality. The cultivars had a remarkable degree of fire blight resistance compared to the control cultivars. These were not competitive with the commercially grown 'Jonathan M40' during cultivar tests but on the basis of certain characteristics they could serve as genetic sources for breeding new varieties.

  • Assessment of apple varieties based on consumer judgement in integrated production for fresh consumption

    In a former paper we treated the same relation comparing varieties frown in the biological or organic system of growing, now the tests have been performed with samples grown by the integrated system. The scores registered properties as taste, skin, colour, consistency and size. In addition, we also explored the relation between general impression and the individual properties.As first purpose, we started with collecting primary data on 15 samples taken from fruits grown by the integrated method and kept over 60–90 days in a store, then offered to the consumers. The test is based on an organoleptic assessment (records are registered in a questionary). The individual judgements are processed and coefficients of correlation between the traits (taste, skin, size, colour) calculated. The validity of the mathematically proved relations is considered to be decisive in judging the preferencial consumption of fruits.

  • Inheritance of the characters related to flower formation, blooming and fertilisation in apple

    On the base of observations performed during a period of 20 years the blooming characters-of apple varieties and their progenies the following statements are actual.

    In blooming dynamics there was no difference between paternal and maternal effects. In the assignment to blooming time groups, the paternal effect prevailed whereas in the tendency of flower initiation on long shoots maternal parent was more decisive. Varieties as 'Golden Delicious'. 'Jonathan', 'Red Delicious', 'Rome Beauty' and 'Staymared' and their respective, naturally raised mutants did not differ in blooming characters.

    The possibility of predicting the relation to blooming time groups of early (July, August) ripening individuals is low, whereas late (September. October) ripening ones have a good chance to be medium late in blooming time.


  • Comparison of frost damages in apple plantations cultivated with environmental friendly growing technology

    The global changes in climate and meteorological conditions have many negative consequences, which may diminished with adequate measures. In our continental climate, the winter frosts but also the late spring frosts are always threatening. There are technologies to avoid late frost damages (with spray irrigation or with smoking), but against winter minima, we are nearly helpless. The different damages experienced recently called our attention on the question of optimal condition, which is a delicate balance between the vegetative activity and the provision of nutrients. The excesses on both ends are increasing the danger of damages (Zatykó, 1980). Our examination was performed in the plantation, which was cultivated according to ecological and integrated technologies. The variable condition of the trees gave opportunity to evaluate the effects of cold temperatures as frost damages. Our results will represent not only the differences between varieties but also the effects of the growing technologies – which influence the condition of the plants – consequently, the measure of frost damages.

  • Comparative analysis of the production risk of major fruit species

    Hungary possesses excellent agri-ecological potentials even in an international comparison. Despite their decreasing economic weight, agriculture and food production are of great significance, since the supply of the population with high quality and inexpensive food is a fundamental social demand and one of the essentials of the quality of life. The development of vegetable and food production is of great importance both from the aspect of healthy nutrition and comparative advantages (cheap workforce, professional expertise, traditions of production, climate favourable for quality). Within the Hungarian fruit production apple and sour cherry are essential branches in virtue of their significance. It is widely known, that – though to a different extent in the case of certain fruit varieties – satisfaction of the need for appropriate habitat is one of the important conditions of a decent quality and secure production. In my research, I analyse the territorial distribution, production standard and production risk of the Hungarian apple and sour cherry branches. I did not have the opportunity – because of the imperfections of the database – to compare long time series, therefore I examine the random effects affecting production by using the data of 3 years (they have the same content). I ranked and assessed each habitat and the production risks of certain fruit species compared to each other on the basis of indexes of relative deviation.

  • Fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) resistance in apple varieties associated with molecular markers

    The invasive bacterial disease fire blight, caused by Erwinia amylovora has the potential to destroy fruit tree orchards all over Europe. Effective plant protection methods are lacking in many countries, highlighting the increasing importance placed on identification of germplasm with heritable disease resistance. Recent l y. a promising QTL (quantitative trait locus) was identified on linkage group 7 in the apple cultivar 'Fiesta· which is derived from ·cox's Orange Pippin' . I n the present study, 144 Swedish and foreign apple cultivars were analysed with the SCAR markers AE I 0-375 and GE-8019. which flank-. this QTL. Twenty-nine of the analysed cultivars had both markers. 78 had either AE I 0-375 or GE-8019, and 37 cultivars did not carry an) of the two markers. Seventeen cultivars. 7 with both markers and I 0 not having either of the two markers, were then inocoluted with the bacterium in a 4uaran1i ne greenhouse test. Cultivars carrying both DNA markers were significantly less susceptible than cultivars lacking the markers, P<0.001. Cultivars that were most resistant had both markers and had 'Cox· in their pedigree. Unrelated cultivars with the markers may still lack the QTL.

  • Effect of hail protecting nets on the quality of apples

    Today, successful fruit growing depends largely on the security of production. Among the technological elements of a secure growing system, the use of hail protection nets serves special attention. Components of security are the regularity, conspicuous large yields with excellent quality, which determine the prices and profitability as well (Szabó et al., 2010). In the European Union, most of the apple growing countries produce higher yields by 10-20% than Hungary. The conditions of better yields are partly due to a more favourable ecological milieu, partly to more developed technologies and serious discipline of the operations. Our own competitiveness could be developed first of all in those moments. As a consequence of global climatic changes, excesses of weather, i.e. hail-storms became more frequent. Different methods of protection against hail are developed abroad but also in Hungary. The examination of effects of the hail protection nets compared with the check without nets has been the purpose of our experiments. The growing system was the intensive one with high planting densities. Fruits of the two subsequent years have been compared as grown with and without hail protective nets. It turned out that in one season when shoot growth was stimulated, the shadowing effect of the net increased in addition the growth and at the same time braked the differentiation of flower buds, which exerted negative effects on yield of the next year. Let alone this phenomenon, the quality of fruits was not influenced by the hail protection net.

  • Relations of phenometrical indices of apple fruits with weather variation in the assortment of varieties of an apple gene bank

    The purpose of phenometry is to examine the measurable parameters of the plants in order to follow up the consequences of weather processes. We should fi nd the reasons, why the diameter of fruits grows larger in one season and smaller in the next. Variation may occur as a response to insuffi cient provision of water or nutrients, but also because of pathological effects and of extremely high or low temperatures, moreover, of extraordinary heavy fruit load. There are phenometrical characteristics, which consider the fi nal consequences (density of fl owers, fruits set, drop of fruits), whereas other parameters could be followed up (size, length and width of fruits) as the dynamic components of growth. The quantitative parameters of growth are functionally related to each other, where the weather conditions, soil humidity and nutrients are on the input side, thus it is possible to model the growth of fruits as a function of the environment. Initially, the relations between the main weather variables and the phenometrical data have to be cleared. In the present study, the interactions between the mentioned phenomena are presented and numerically defi ned.

  • Hungaricum as a quality of fruits and fruit products

    The territory of the Hungarian state is largely suitable for the purpose of growing fruits of the temperate zone species. During the next decennia, the annual volume of Hungarian fruit production is expected to be around 1.1-1.3 million tons, from which some 15% is considered to be a produce of Hungary or "Hungaricum" (90 thousand tons of sour cherry, 50 thousand tons of apricot, 20 thousand tons of raspberry, 10 thousand tons of walnut). These fruits symbolise the country's special quality, which are worth to catch the interest the foreign consumers.

    The category of Hungaricum involves almost exclusively varieties of Hungarian origin as sour cherries, apricots, raspberries and walnuts, and they are representing outstanding qualities on the international markets.

    As for the fruit products the fruit brandies are eligible to be "Hungaricum" and are called exclusively "Pálinka". The Pálinka, provided to be distinguished with a geographic mark and will be competitive on the world market. Smaller quantities, though significant produce is represented by the deep frozen raspberry.

  • Effect of foliar spraying with algae suspension on leaf and fruit quality parameters of apple varieties

    Foliar nutrition experiment was made to investigate the effect of algae products on fruit quality of apples (Malus domestica Borkh.). The study was conducted in 2011 at Siófok inWest-Hungary on cv. ‘Jonagored’ and ‘Idared’grafted on M9 rootstock. In our trial leaf diagnostic and fruit quality measurements were made to study the effectiveness of applied products. Relative leaf chlorophyll content was determined by a portable chlorophyll meter. Fruit weight and shape index were measured. Fruit inner qualifying parameters like titratable acid content and Brix value were also determined. It can be stated that the used products had traceable effect on investigated fruit parameters. Although, leaf N content was not effected by treatments significantly, relative leaf chlorophyll content significantly increased by both treatments. Used products significantly increased the fruit weight and shape index. Applied treatments significantly decreased the pH of pulp. Treatments increased the acid contents (fumaric, citric, malic) of apples and decreased the amount of monosaccharides. It means that the applied treatments pushed out the ratio of acid/sugar.

  • Sunburn incidence of apples is affected by rootstocks and fruit position within the canopy but not by fruit position on the cluster

    Authors investigated sunburn incidence of apples on the combinations of three different growth inducing rootstocks (M.9,MM.106 and seedling) and five varieties (‘Smoothee’, ‘Golden Reinders’, ‘Granny Smith’, ‘Gloster’ and ‘Jonagold Jonica’). Symptoms were classified as sunburn browning, sunburn necrosis and photooxidative sunburn. The frequency of symptoms was recorded at various parts of the canopy (N, E,W, S, and lower canopy, upper canopy) and on the cluster (terminal, lateral). Cultivar susceptibility varied between 0.30 and 5.65% on M.9 rootstock, ‘Granny Smith’ seemed to be the most susceptible cultivar whereas relatively low percentage of damaged fruit was observed for ‘Gloster’. On MM.106 and seedling rootstocks, damage level was significantly lower than on M.9. Remarkable differences were not observed in the share of the three sunburn types between cultivars. The most common symptom observed was sunburn browning. Far less fruit was affected by sunburn necrosis and photooxidative sunburn. Photooxidative sunburn symptoms were not found on ‘Granny Smith’ and ‘Gloster’ fruits on MM.106 rootstock. Latter cultivar did not show sunburn necrosis symptoms either. With increasing growing vigor of the rootstocks the share of sunburn browning increased. Fruits with sunburn symptoms were found in a great majority on theW quadrant of the trees. This was true for all cultivars. Remarkable differences in the location within the canopy of affected fruits between the three types of sunburn were not observed. Specific distribution of sunburned fruit was observed along the vertical axis of the canopy, too. Most of the damaged fruit were found in the upper canopy. This is particularly true for trees on vigorous stocks such as MM.106 and seedling. On M.9 rootstock, depending on cultivars 5.9 to 38.9% of sunburned fruit was located in the lower canopy. Most common symptom in the lower canopy was the sunburn browning, however symptoms of sunburn necrosis were not found at lower canopy level. Low rate of photooxidative sunburn was observed such lower canopy conditions. Sunburn incidence was very similar on king or side fruit. Significant differences were not found in the share of each sunburn types between fruit positions on the cluster. This was not influenced by rootstocks either.

  • Production of transgenic carnation with antisense ACS (1-aminocyclopropane44-carboxy late synthase) gene

    Dianthus chinensis and Dianthus caryophyllus varieties were tested for shoot regeneration from leaf and petal explants and transformed with Agrobacterium tuniefaciens strains (EHA 105 and LBA 4404) harbouring an apple derived ACS cDNA in antisense orientation in order to reduce ethylene production and influence the ethylene dependant traits in carnation. After transformation regenerating shoots were selected on MS medium containing 50-75-100-125-150 mg/1 kanamycin and supplemented with 1 mg/1 BA, 0.2 mg/1 NAA. Transgene integration was proved by PCR analysis with npt II spcific primers followed by Southern hybridisation of DNA isolated from green shoots on medium containing 150 mg/1 kanamycin. Several putative transformants were subjected to RT-PCR in order to examine the npt 11 expression at mRNA level. Both the transformant and the non-transformant plants were potted into glasshouse to observe the effect of changed ethylene production on flowering time, petal senescence and vase life.