Crop load and cider quality — manipulating cider quality through horticultural practices


Wednesday, 30 November, 2016


Crop load and cider quality — manipulating cider quality through horticultural practices

In the US, domestic cider consumption has risen 850% in the last five years, with similar increases likely in Australia and New Zealand.

A group of researchers led by Cornell University’s Gregory Peck looked at the effects of orchard management on cider quality. In particular, they examined the effect of crop load densities on the polyphenol content of finished ciders.

Most of the apple cultivars now used for cider production were originally planted for the fresh or processing (juice, apple sauce and vinegar) markets and so do not necessarily have the flavour characteristics favoured by cider producers. The researchers hand-thinned ‘York’ apple trees in a 14-year old orchard to low (two apples per cm2 branch cross-sectional area (BCSA)), medium (4/BCSA) and high (6/BCSA) crop loads.

The total polyphenol content of the juice from the three treatment styles was the same at harvest but, following fermentation, the medium crop load had 27% and the high crop load had 37% greater total polyphenol content than the low crop load.

The yeast assimilable nitrogen (YAN) concentration in the low crop load juice made was 18% and 22% greater than the medium and high crop loads, respectively.

These variations in results show that cider manufacturers can modify the quality of their cider by manipulating crop loads.

The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal website.

Image caption: Low, medium and high crop load treatments shown on ‘York Imperial’ apple trees grown at Virginia Tech’s Alson H. Smith, Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Image courtesy of Gregory Peck

Related News

Plant-based citrus yoghurt market on the rise

Citrus yoghurt sales are likely to be concentrated in conventional formulations, but plant-based...

An avo a day equals a happy gut

Eating avocado as part of your daily diet can help improve gut health, according to new research.

Singapore approves lab-grown chicken nuggets

Singapore approves cultured meat: could this be a major step forward for the cultured meat industry?


  • All content Copyright © 2021 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd