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Revista Ceres

Print version ISSN 0034-737XOn-line version ISSN 2177-3491

Rev. Ceres vol.67 no.5 Viçosa Set./Oct. 2020  Epub Oct 02, 2020 

Crop Production

Effect of planting date on postharvest quality of roots of different carrot cultivars grown in the Brazilian semiarid region

Victor Emmanuel de Vasconcelos Gomes1  *

Núbia Marisa Ferreira1 

Leilson Costa Grangeiro1 

Rodolfo Rodrigo de Almeida Lacerda1 

Antonio Fabrício de Almeida1 

João Paulo Nunes da Costa1 

1 Universidade Federal Rural do Semiárido, Programa de Pós Graduação em Agronomia/Fitotecnia, Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.;;;;;


In regions with high temperatures, carrot cultivation is difficult because high temperatures tend to reduce the size and pigmentation of the root and, consequently, the yield and quality of the product. However, with the advent of summer cultivars, the cultivation of quality carrots under high temperatures has been viable. The aim of this work was to evaluate the postharvest quality of ten carrot cultivars as a function of different planting dates. The experiments were carried out on the Rafael Fernandes Experimental Farm of the Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Árido (UFERSA). Four experiments were carried out in May, June, July and August 2017. The experimental design was a randomized block with ten treatments and four replications. The following was evaluated: white halo percentage, soluble solids content, total soluble sugars, total titratable acidity, soluble solids/titratable acidity ratio and beta-carotene content. The interaction between the carrot cultivars and planting date had a significant influence on the postharvest quality of carrot roots. The hybrid cultivars had an overall better post-harvest quality. The carrots sown in July had better quality traits; however, they were more affected by the “white halo” disorder.

Keywords: Daucus carota L.; adaptability; consumer preference; limiting environment.


Modern agriculture has increasingly sought to maximize available resources, aimed not only at increasing productivity, as in the past, but also at seeking higher quality food. Nowadays, due to the greater degree of knowledge about the quality of products, consumers are giving preference to fresh produce that is smaller in size and has greater nutritional value (Hoppu et al., 2020).

The chemical composition of carrot roots is variable and influenced by genetic factors and cultivation conditions, such as crop system, soil type and physical properties, planting time, rainfall, and temperature during the growing season (Seljåsen et al., 2013), as well as phytosanitary aspects, fertilization, and planting density.

Among the climatic and management factors that affect carrot quality, precipitation and irrigation are very important (Soltoft, 2010). Stress from high or low water availability in the soil can induce the production of undesirable compounds (Reid & Gillespie, 2017). Other important factors are temperature and light conditions. Warm and humid climates seem to affect quality by inducing a turpentine-flavored, less sweet-tasting carrot compared to carrots grown in cooler and drier climates. It is known that low cultivation temperatures (9 - 21 ºC) affect the sensory aspect by increasing the sweet taste (+35%) and content of fructose (+49%) and glucose (+28%) and reducing the bitter taste (−30%) and content of sucrose (−33%) and β-carotene (−40%) (Seljåsen et al., 2013).

Therefore, understanding the environmental conditions in different regions and climates where a crop is grown is crucial when choosing a cultivar.

In order to overcome the limitations imposed by high temperatures, Brazilian researchers have developed cultivars that perform well in the temperature range of 18 to 25 ºC. The new varieties, in addition to good climate adaptability, have resistance to diseases caused by fungi and nematodes. This makes it possible to cultivate carrots in regions and states where the temperatures are higher, such as Bahia and Goiás (Silva et al., 2011).

The use of summer cultivars and seeds from primary umbels has been the main strategy to enable carrot cultivation in regions where this vegetable was not cultivated in the past (Resende et al., 2016).

Although the summer cultivar Brasilia is still one of the most widely used in warm regions during summer, in recent years the planted area using imported hybrid cultivars has also increased and research using these new materials, mainly in high temperature conditions, is still incipient. Among the advantages of hybrid cultivars over open-pollinated cultivars are the higher degree of hybrid heterosis and vigor, as well as greater uniformity of internal root color and low presence of white halo.

However, in some states, even with the advent of summer and hybrid cultivars, carrot production is insufficient to meet the domestic demand. In the state of Rio Grande do Norte, where virtually all commercialized carrots come from Bahia, the price of this product in local markets is usually well above the average of the Brazilian market (Bezerra Neto et al., 2014).

Additional research is needed due to the difficulties of carrot production in warm and lower elevation regions, starting with the selection of cultivars with genetic potential for quality root production under high temperatures.

Thus, it is assumed that the planting date influences the postharvest quality of carrot roots due to climatic and environmental variations, such as precipitation, temperature, and cloudiness.

In order to provide more information about the behavior of new carrot cultivars under limiting environmental conditions, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of planting dateson the root quality of ten carrot cultivars under semiarid conditions, in Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte.


Location and characterization of the area

The experiments were carried out on the Rafael Fernandes Experimental Farm, 20 km from Mossoró, RN (Latitude 5º03'37”S; Longitude 37º23'50” W; average elevation 72m), in a sandy loam, Argissolic Red Latosol (Embrapa, 2016). Four experiments were conducted, with planting in May (Season 1), June (Season 2), July (Season 3) and August (Season 4) 2017.

The climate of the region according to the Köppen classification is BSwh', dry and very hot, with two seasons: a dry season, which is usually from June to January; and a rainy season, between February and May (Carmo Filho et al., 1991). Table 1 shows the monthly averages for temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and solar radiation during the experiments.

Table 1: Meteorological data of the study area during the experiment. Mossoró, RN. Ufersa, 2017 

Year Month T (°C) RH (%) R (mm) S.R. (W/m²)
Mean Max Min Mean Max Min
2017 May 28.0 38.6 19.4 75.6 98.0 31.9 15.4 226.4
June 27.7 36.3 20.7 70.8 97.3 31.5 14.2 211.3
July 27.0 35.6 19.1 66.9 98.2 29.3 58.6 198.9
August 27.5 37.9 19.4 64.9 93.5 29.0 0.2 254.7
September 28.0 38.5 19.6 60.4 90.8 24.5 2.4 263.6
October 28.3 38.6 21.0 64.2 91.4 29.3 0.8 267.1
November 28.0 37.2 21.0 67.8 91.5 32.9 0.6 277.7
December 28.4 37.3 21.8 69.2 93.5 36.7 1.4 250.9
2018 January 28.1 37.5 20.3 71.7 96.6 30.0 64.4 236.1

Note: T = Temperature; RH = Relative humidity; R = Rainfall; S.R. = Solar radiation.

For the chemical characterization of the soil, soil samples were collected from 0 to 20 cm deep. Results are presented in Table 2. Since the experiments were carried out in adjacent areas, only a composite sample was taken from the experimental area for analysis.

Table 2: Chemical characterization of the soil in the experimental areas. Mossoró, RN. Ufersa, 2017 

pH EC P1 K+ Na+ Ca2+ Mg+2
(water) dS m-1 mg dm-3 cmolc dm-3
5.10 0.03 6.70 32.20 4.80 0.80 0.50

1Melich Extractor 1

Treatments and experimental design

The experimental design was a completely randomized block with 10 treatments and four replications. The treatments consisted of the Brasilia (TopSeed®), BRS Planalto (ISLA®), Supreme (ISLA®), Nativa (Sakata®), Kuronan (ISLA®), Mariana (Feltrin®), Melinda (Feltrin®), Amanda, (Agristar®), Francine (Agristar®) and Erica (Agristar®) cultivars, cultivated in May, June, July and August. Each experimental plot consisted of a 3.0 x 1.0 m seedbed with six rows of plants spaced 0.15 x 0.06 cm apart. The four central rows were considered the harvestable area and one plant at each end was neglected.

Implementing and conducting the experiment

The tillage consisted of plowing, harrowing and raising the beds to a height of approximately 0.20 m. Planting fertilization was performed based on a soil analysis and recommendations by carrot producers in the region, with adaptations made according to the need of the crop. For each planting, we applied 120 kg ha-1 of N, 460 kg ha-1 of P2O5 and 110 kg ha-1 of S using mono ammonium phosphate.

Fertilization was performed three times a week, via fertigation, from 15 to 90 days after germination, using 98.4 kg ha-1 N, 300 kg ha-1 P2O5, 170 kg ha-1 K2O, 7.1 kg ha-1 Mg, 1 kg ha-1 Ca, 13.7 kg ha-1 S and 1.7 kg ha-1 B for each experiment. Micronutrients were supplied at a dosage of 2.1% B, 0.36% Cu, 2.66% Fe, 2.48% Mn, 0.036% Mo and 3.38% Zn. The micronutrient source also had a proportion of 1.6% K2O, 1.28% S and 0.86% Mg. A phytosanitary product was applied to control gall nematodes.

Sowing was performed manually in the transverse direction of the bed in holes approximately 2.0 cm deep, placing 3 to 4 seeds per hole. Thinning was performed 25 days after sowing (DAS), leaving one plant per hole.

The irrigation system used in the first 15 days after sowing was a micro sprinkler. During the remainder of the crop cycle, drip irrigation was used. Dripping was performed with three hoses per seedbed, spaced 0.15 m apart and with drippers every 0.20 m. Irrigation was performed daily, with the irrigation depth based on crop evapotranspiration (Allen et al., 2006).

Harvesting was performed when the older leaves yellowed and dried and the younger leaves bent down, which occurred, on average, 120 DAS.

Characteristics evaluated

For the postharvest quality analysis, 10 commercial roots from the experimental plot area were sampled.

- Soluble solids (°Brix): The roots were processed in a Philips Walita® Juicer Centrifuge to extract the juice. Then, the juice was filtered with filter paper and read using a digital refractometer with automatic temperature correction.

- Total soluble sugars (%): This was determined in the juice, using the method of Antrona (Southgate, 1991) and 1 mL of juice diluted in distilled water in a 250 mL volumetric flask. An aliquot of 1 mL was transferred to test tubes and then 2 mL of anthrone was added and homogenized. Subsequently, the absorbance was determined with a spectrophotometer at a wavelength of 620 nm.

- Total titratable acidity (% malic acid): This was determined using the titrometric method. 5 g of root sample was weighed in a 125 mL Erlenmeyer flask, completed to 50 mL with distilled water, and then three to five drops of 1% phenolphthalein were added and titrated with a 0.1N NaOH solution (Instituto Adolfo Lutz, 2008).

- Beta-carotene content (mg 100g-1): This was determined according to a method adapted from Nagata & Yamashita (1992). After crushing five carrots in a processor, a 0.5 g sample was taken and 5 mL of an acetone-hexane mixture (4:6) was added for the extraction. Then, the samples were left to rest for 30 minutes. The readings were made with a spectrophotometer, at wavelengths of 453, 505, 645 and 663 nm, to quantify the levels of β-carotene according to the equation below:

β-carotene (mg 100g-1) = 0.216*A663 - 1.22*A645 - 0.304*A505 + 0.452*A453

In which A663, A645, A505 and A453 stand for the absorbance of the sample at each of these wavelengths.

- Percentage of white halo in the roots (%): A sample of ten marketable plants was taken from the useful area of ​​the plot. These plants were cut in half and the presence or absence of the physiological disturbance “white halo” was verified.

Statistical Analysis

A variance analysis of the evaluated characteristics was performed separately for each experiment. Then, based on the recommendation by Pimentel-Gomes (2009), the experiments were jointly analyzed for the characteristics that passed the homogeneity test. The characteristics that did not present homogeneity were corrected according to the methodology recommended by Pimentel-Gomes (2009). The statistical analyses were performed using the software SISVAR v 5.3 (Ferreira, 2003). To compare the means, the Scott-Knott test at a 5% probability level was used.


According to the joint variance analysis, there was an interaction between the cultivar and planting time factors for all of the post-harvest quality related characteristics, except for beta-carotene content (Table 3).

Table 3: ANOVA table. Mossoró, RN. Ufersa, 2017 

Block 12 3.64ns 0.3802ns 0.0015ns 0.3756ns 1.5956ns 0.4577ns
Cultivar(C) 9 66.89** 1.9434** 0.0064** 1.9914** 7.2344** 1.9380**
Planting date (S) 3 214.61** 13.8576** 0.0475** 98.5999** 13.7020** 4.6020**
C x S 27 9.14** 0.6119** 0.0034* 0.8439** 4.6366** 0.6460ns
Residual 105 2.82 0.2216 0.0019 0.3220 1.1969 0.5092
C.V.(%) 28.35 4.64 14.50 13.38 14.67 29.44

Note: WHP= White halo percentage; SS= Soluble solids content; TA= Titratable acidity; SS/TA= Soluble solids/Titratable acidity ratio; TSS= Total soluble sugars; (C= Beta-carotene content.

*= Significant at 5% level; **= Significant at 1% level; ns= not significant.

Regarding the white halo percentage, there was a significant difference between cultivars for all planting times. In general, the percentage of carrots with white halo increased with each planting date, from 25% in Season 1 to 76.2% in Season 4. The cultivars that showed the highest percentages of the disorder were Brasília, Kuronan and Suprema. The hybrid cultivar Nativa had the lowest percentage (Table 4).

Table 4: White halo percentage in carrot roots as a function of the planting date. Mossoró, RN. Ufersa, 2017 

White halo percentage
Cultivars Planting dates
May (Season 1) June (Season 2) July (Season 3) August (Season 4) Mean
Amanda 0.0cC 47.5bB 47.5cB 97.5aA 48.1
Brasília 55.0bB 95.0aA 100.0bA 75.0bA 81.3
BRS Planalto 0.0cB 62.5bA 60.0cA 70.0bA 48.1
Érica 0.0cC 62.5bB 62.5cB 100.0aA 46.2
Francine 2.5cB 62.5bA 45.0cA 70.0bA 45.0
Kuronan 87.5aA 97.5aA 85.0bA 100.0aA 92.5
Mariana 37.5bB 77.5aA 70.0cA 95.0aA 70.0
Melinda 10.0cB 50.0bA 62.5cA 52.5cA 43.8
Nativa 0.0cC 22.5cB 70.0cA 37.5cB 32.5
Suprema 57.5bB 92.5aA 95.0bA 82.5aA 81.9
Mean 25.0 67.0 69.8 76.2

Means followed by the same letter do not differ statistically (uppercase in the row and lowercase in the column) using the Scott-Knott test at 5% probability.

Although the open-pollinated cultivars were more susceptible to this disorder, hybrids were also susceptible. The Amanda cultivar did not exhibit the disorder in Season 1. In seasons 2 and 3, almost half of the roots were affected by white halo. In Season 4, nearly all of the roots of the Amanda cultivar showed the physiological disorder. A similar pattern was observed for the Francine cultivar.

This evolution of the physiological disturbance throughout the planting dates is certainly related to changes in climatic conditions that the plants were subjected to throughout the year, especially temperature, relative humidity and solar radiation. Although high temperatures are determinant for the occurrence of this physiological disorder, some cultivars appeared to be more tolerant (i.e., Melinda and Nativa). It was also observed that the Meloidogyne sp. infection tends to aggravate the problem. Therefore, the increased incidence of white halo in seasons 3 and 4 may also be related to a higher incidence of this disease in the study area.

White halo is a physiological disorder that affects the xylem vessels in carrot roots. It begins as a whitish halo around the vascular bundle and progresses to complete discoloration of the vascular bundle (Grangeiro et al. 2012). Carrot roots with this disorder have low market acceptance. Pereira et al. (2015) point out that in the Brazilian market, for consumption in natura, there is a preference for roots with a pronounced orange color and little differentiation between the colors of the xylem and phloem.

Carrot hybrids showed higher levels of soluble solids compared to open-pollinated cultivars, except for the hybrid Nativa, which was not statistically different from open-pollinated cultivars, and the Suprema cultivar, which was the only open-pollinated cultivar with a soluble solids content statistically similar to the one observed for hybrid cultivars during seasons 1, 3 and 4 (Table 5). The means of total soluble solids obtained in the present study are above the range of 6.5 to 7.5º Brix, which is recommended for harvest and consumption (Paulus et al., 2012).

Table 5: Soluble solids content (ºBrix) in carrot roots as a function of the planting date. Mossoró, RN. Ufersa, 2017 

Soluble Solids Content (ºBrix)
Cultivars Planting dates
May June July August Mean
(Season 1) (Season 2) (Season 3) (Season 4)
Amanda 10.37aB 9.87aB 11.22aA 10.45aB 10.48
Brasília 9.51bB 9.61bB 10.57bA 9.88aB 9.90
BRS Planalto 9.20bB 9.01bB 11.07aA 9.28bB 9.64
Érica 10.27aA 10.20aA 11.03aA 8.60bB 10.36
Francine 10.20aB 10.40aB 11.08aA 10.46aB 10.54
Kuronan 9.56bB 9.15bB 10.26bA 9.72aB 9.68
Mariana 10.02aB 10.20aB 11.42aA 10.52aB 10.54
Melinda 9.06bB 10.83aA 11.13aA 10.40aA 10.36
Nativa 9.38bC 9.10bC 11.12aA 10.06aB 9.92
Suprema 10.10aB 9.45bB 11.20aA 9.86aB 10.15
Mean 9.77 9.78 11.02 10.03

Means followed by the same letter do not differ statistically (uppercase in the row and lowercase in the column) using the Scott-Knott test at 5% probability.

Soluble solids content is directly related to the taste and sweetness of plant products. Therefore, the high soluble solids content value is a positive result, since sweetness is a desirable attribute that increases the quality of carrots (Schifferstein et al., 2018).

Planting in July favored higher levels of soluble solids in the roots in all cultivars (Table 5). The high solar irradiance observed during the cycle of the plants sown in July, especially between September and December 2017, may have caused the greatest accumulation of soluble solids. This is because high luminosity favors an increase in soluble solids content in the plants (by reducing the root weight) and a decrease in acidity, resulting in better-tasting carrots (Mattiuz, 2007).

For the Shin Kuroda cultivar, which belongs to the Kuronan group, the average soluble solids content observed by Paulus et al. (2012) was 9.5 ºBrix, with the highest averages observed for carrots grown in the winter. In Mossoró, Grangeiro et al. (2012) report an average of 7.62 - 8.90 ºBrix for the Brasília cultivar.

Regarding titratable acidity, the cultivars did not differ statistically from each other for the planting dates of May and August. In June, the cultivars Brasília, Kuronan and Mariana did not differ from each other and were the ones with the greatest acidity (Table 6). In July, in addition to the cultivars mentioned above, the cultivars Amanda and BRS Planalto also formed the group of cultivars with the highest acidity.

Table 6: Titratable acidity (malic acid %) in carrot roots as a function of the planting date. Mossoró, RN. Ufersa, 2017 

Titratable Acidity (malic acid %)
Cultivars Planting dates
May June July August Means
(Season 1) (Season 2) (Season 3) (Season 4)
Amanda 0.1854aA 0.1581bB 0.1452aB 0.1504aB 0.1598
Brasília 0.1542aA 0.1743aA 0.1538aA 0.1256aB 0.1520
BRS Planalto 0.1329aB 0.1498bA 0.1563aA 0.1153aB 0.1386
Érica 0.1687aA 0.1615bA 0.1367bA 0.1367aA 0.1542
Francine 0.1653aA 0.1572bA 0.1273bB 0.1136aB 0.1409
Kuronan 0.1662aA 0.1965aA 0.1418aB 0.1359aB 0.1601
Mariana 0.1559aB 0.1854aA 0.1469aB 0.1111aC 0.1498
Melinda 0.1854aA 0.1623bA 0.1273bB 0.1444aB 0.1549
Nativa 0.1551aA 0.1273bA 0.1102bB 0.1239aB 0.1291
Suprema 0.1653aA 0.1606bA 0.1649aA 0.1282aB 0.1547
Means 0.1634 0.1633 0.1411 0.1278

Means followed by the same letter do not differ statistically (uppercase in the row and lowercase in the column) using the Scott-Knott test at 5% probability.

The synthesis of organic acids in a plant is directly related to the photosynthetic capacity of the plant (Taiz & Zeiger, 2017). Thus, environmental factors such as temperature and solar radiation, associated with planting density, may have influenced the decrease in the acid content in the roots during the planting dates.

In general, the titratable acidity means found here were similar or approximate to those in the literature. Alves at al. (2010) obtained 0.167% malic acid for the Brasília cultivar. Pereira (2014) reports that the titratable acidity of conventional and organic carrot samples was 0.19 and 0.2% malic acid, respectively, with no significant differences between the two cultivation systems.

For the ratio of soluble solids/titratable acidity, there was no significant difference between cultivars in Season 1. Seasons 3 and 4 had the highest soluble solids/total titratable acid (SS/TA) ratios. The increase in the SS/TA ratio during the planting dates was observed for practically all cultivars, except Érica, Melinda and Nativa that showed an increase in Season 3 and a decrease in Season 4 (Table 7).

Table 7: Soluble solids/titratable acidity ratio (ºBrix/%) in carrot roots as a function of the planting date. Mossoró, RN. Ufersa, 2017 

SS/TA ratio (ºBrix/%)
Cultivars Planting dates
May June July August Mean
(Season 1) (Season 2) (Season 3) (Season 4)
Amanda 56.29aB 63.23aB 77.51bA 69.76bA 66.70
Brasília 61.98aB 55.19aB 72.51bA 79.52bA 67.30
BRS Planalto 70.10aA 60.25aB 74.08bA 81.83bA 71.57
Érica 60.95aA 63.26aA 81.10bA 62.91bA 68.01
Francine 62.77aB 66.25aB 87.27aA 93.75aA 77.51
Kuronan 58.85aB 46.99aB 72.67bA 71.93bA 62.61
Mariana 65.18aC 55.84aC 77.90bB 98.97aA 74.48
Melinda 55.00aC 67.18aC 88.27aA 72.68bB 70.78
Nativa 62.16aC 71.51aC 101.32aA 82.21bB 79.30
Suprema 61.81aA 58.91aA 68.22bA 77.01bA 66.49
Mean 61.51 60.86 80.09 80.37

Means followed by the same letter do not differ statistically (uppercase in the row and lowercase in the column) using the Scott-Knott test at 5% probability.

The Francine, Mariana and Nativa cultivars had the highest SS/TA averages and were statistically equal. The other cultivars did not statistically differ from each other and had averages ranging from 62.61 to 70.78 (Table 7).

The increase in the SS/TA ratio in seasons 3 and 4 is related to the increase in the content of soluble solids in those seasons and to the decrease in the titratable acidity observed in the same seasons.

The results obtained in the present study were superior to those obtained by Figueiredo Neto et al. (2010) (30.8 °Brix/% for Brasília cultivar) and Alves et al. (2010) (°Brix/50.15% for Brasília carrot). This difference can be attributed to the difference in soil, spacing, management and local average temperature.

The total soluble sugar levels ranged from 6.46 to 8.28%. A significant difference was observed between cultivars in seasons 1, 2 and 3. In seasons 1 and 2, the cultivars that stood out were the hybrids Amanda, Érica, Francine, and Mariana (Table 8).

Table 8: Total soluble sugars (%) in carrot roots as a function of the planting date. Mossoró, RN. Ufersa, 2017 

Total Soluble Sugars (%)
Cultivars Planting dates
May June July August Mean
(Season 1) (Season 2) (Season 3) (Season 4)
Amanda 9.33aA 8.89aA 7.15bB 7.25aB 8.16
Brasília 7.55bA 5.37bB 7.86aA 6.81aA 6.91
BRS Planalto 7.09bA 5.51bB 7.84aA 6.35aB 6.70
Érica 9.46aA 9.46aA 6.24bB 5.99aB 8.21
Francine 9.47aA 9.00aA 7.12bA 6.38aB 7.99
Kuronan 7.13bA 6.50bA 7.08bA 7.23aA 6.99
Mariana 8.88aA 8.27aA 6.72bB 6.87aB 7.69
Melinda 7.28bB 10.08aA 8.53aB 7.22aB 8.28
Nativa 7.89bA 6.00bB 8.25aA 7.15aA 7.33
Suprema 7.95bA 5.35bB 6.86bA 5.68aB 6.46
Mean 8.21 7.45 7.37 6.76

Means followed by the same letter do not differ statistically (uppercase in the row and lowercase in the column) using the Scott-Knott test at 5% probability.

In general, it was observed that the concentration of total soluble sugars tended to decrease throughout the year. This shows that planting carrots at the hottest times of the year will result in root quality loss. The lowest concentration of sugars in the hottest times of the year is related to the metabolism of the carrot plant. The carrot is a C3 metabolism plant and, therefore, it tends to undergo photorespiration with increased temperature and solar irradiance, and can also suffer photoinhibition due to high solar radiation, which can damage the photosynthetic apparatus and, consequently, have a direct impact on the ability to synthesize carbohydrates (Taiz & Zeiger, 2017).

The mean sugar contents found here are in accordance with Umuhoza et al. (2014), who reported that in Brasília type cultivars the sugar content varies in the range of 9.9 to 10.27%, values ​​similar to those found in American cultivars.

The means found by Alves et al. (2010), for the Mossoró region, ranged between 5.12 and 6.32% and are, therefore, lower than the averages identified in this study, even for the most unfavorable planting times for carrot cultivation in the region.

For the levels of beta-carotene, there was a significant effect of the cultivar factors and planting times alone (Table 9). The cultivars Brasília and Kuronan were similar to each other. The Brasília cultivar, which has been the most recommended cultivar for summer cultivation, once again exhibited the worst performance among the ten cultivars studied.

Table 9: Beta-carotene content (mg 100 g-1) in the carrot cultivars and different planting dates. Mossoró, RN. Ufersa, 2017 

Cultivars Beta-carotene (mg 100g-1)
Amanda 2.78 a
Brasília 1.68 b
BRS Planalto 2.50 a
Érica 2.47 a
Francine 2.36 a
Kuronan 2.06 b
Mariana 2.59 a
Melinda 2.78 a
Nativa 2.73 a
Suprema 2.30 a
Planting date Beta-carotene (mg 100g-1)
May (Season 1) 2.50 b
June (Season 2) 2.41 b
July (Season 3) 2.80 a
August (Season 4) 1.96 c

* Averages followed by the same letter do not differ statistically from each other by the Scott-Knott test at 5% probability.

Regarding the planting dates, carrots planted in July showed, on average, the highest content of beta-carotene in the roots, while carrots planted in August (Season 4) had the lowest content.

One of the main climatic factors that influences the content of carotenoids in carrots is air temperature. Air temperatures ranging from 16 to 25 ºC are considered ideal for the synthesis of beta-carotene (Vieira & Pessoa, 1997). The average temperatures in the study area, during the entire period of the experiment, were above the ideal range for the synthesis of beta-carotene, which would justify the low levels of this pigment found here.


The interaction between the carrot cultivars and the planting dates had a significant influence on postharvest quality of carrot roots.

For the study area, the cultivation of carrots in May and June is most recommended, since the July and August plantings resulted in a decrease in marketability, mainly due to a higher occurrence of white halo in the roots.

Finally, further studies should be conducted to find ways to attenuate the occurrence of white halo and cultivate carrots throughout the year in regions with hot climates.


The authors declare no financial or other competing conflicts of interest.


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Received: March 16, 2020; Accepted: July 21, 2020

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