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Assessment of Mechanical Damage on Olive Fruit under Impact Loading


 Start Page 365 | End Page 376


 Introduction The Olive fruit (Olea europaea L. ) is so sensitive to impact like many other crops that would lead to Mechanical damage and bruising which reduce the quality of it. The Olive fruit damage includes a brownish bruise at the bruised location. Most mechanical impact damage occurs during harvesting, handling and transportation. Bruise sensitivity of two common olive cultivars in Iran (cv. Roghani and cv. Conservolea) was studied by free fall method because of development of the area under olive cultivation in Iran, and necessity to mechanical harvest in near future. Materials and Methods Two cultivar of Olive fruit named Conservolea and Roghani were collected from Research Orchard of Horticultural Department of Isfahan University of Technology. A free-fall device was designed and built to accomplish an impact experiment which included a load cell monitoring system to measure Impact force. The effect of cultivar, height and mass were studied in a factorial experiment. The factors consisted of two cultivar, height at five levels, and mass at three levels with 10 replications. The experiments were performed according to completely randomized design. The effect of Impact force and Absorbed energy was also studied for the two cultivars. The dimensions of bruising was measured 24 hours after the tests by a caliper with an accuracy of 0. 01 mm. The bruising area and volume was calculated assuming the elliptical model for the bruised region. Experimental data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA). Mean comparison was performed based on least significant difference (LSD) test with P<0. 05. Results and Discussion For both cultivars the bruising occurred under the skin and near to the stone. This could show the effect of stone at bruising. The shape of bruised region was elliptical in cv. Roghani and spherical in cv. Conservolea. The bigger stone index and the lower flesh width of cv. Roghani might be one of the reasons of more volume of bruising in this cultivar. This variety could be due to less sphericity in cv. Roghani than cv. Conservolea. The distribution of bruising was more in Roghani cultivar since it had more oil and less water content that might led to more bruising distributed under impact condition so the volume of bruising was more than Conservolea cultivar. The effects of cultivar, height and mass were significant on area and volume of bruising. Increasing height and mass significantly resulted to increase the area and volume of bruising for both cultivars. The bruise area and volume were significantly higher in cv. Roghani. This could be due to differences in physical properties of the cultivars. Roghani cultivar had a higher pit/flesh ratio in comparison with Conservolea cultivars that could contribute to more area of bruising in this cultivar. Increasing the force and energy led to increase in bruise volume for both cultivars. In cv. Roghani, despite the lower levels of force and energy, the bruise volume was more than cv. Conservolea. The reason of lower energy and force in cv. Roghani might be as a result of lower mass than cv. Conservolea. Conclusions The results showed that the effects of independent variables were significant on the volume and area of bruising so that, increasing height and mass increased the volume and area of bruising. The Roghani cv. was significantly more sensitive to bruising compared to Conservolea cv. The energy and force levels were higher in cv. Conservolea since it was heavier than cv. Roghani while the volume of the bruise was more in cv. Roghani. This might be due to the lower sphericity and flesh/pit ratio in cv. Roghani. The shape of Mechanical damage which was appeared with a brownish bruising on olive tissue was related to the geometric shape of the fruit i. e. for cv. Roghani and cv. Conservolea the bruising was elliptical in and spherical just like the geometric shape of the cultivars.


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