versão impressa ISSN 0102-0536
SIMOES, Adriano do N et al. Populational density and harvest age of carrots for baby carrot manufacture. Hortic. Bras. [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.2, pp. 147-154. ISSN 0102-0536. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-05362010000200002.
The quality of baby carrots may be associated to the standard of the raw material that in turn, may be influenced by agronomic practices. Thus, the effect of planting density and harvest age were assessed on physical and morphological characteristics, yield and end quality of intact and minimally processed carrots in the form of baby carrots. A randomized block experimental design was used with the density in the plots (4 x 20 cm and 4 x 7.5 cm) and the harvest age in the subplots (50, 57, 64, 71, 78, 85, 92, 99 and 106 days), with five replications. The experimental unit consisted of 25 plants. The assessments of diameter, length, yield, secondary phloem translocation with the cambio and total carotenoids were decisive in selecting the carrot harvest age for baby carrot manufacture. Under the 4 x 20 cm and 4 x 7.5 cm adensed conditions, harvested between 85 and 92 days, carrot roots became thinner and more orange in color (with maximum carotenoid accumulation), larger and with satisfactory yields and therefore more acceptable for minimal processing in the form of baby carrots. Thus the decision of populational density associated to harvest age will depend on the market demand, on price, quality and other variables. The use of adensed cropping with early harvests may lead to obtain carrots and respective baby carrots that are more acceptable for commercialization.
Palavras-chave : Daucus carota; quality; planting system; minimal processing.