Method for in-field texture analysis of sugar beet roots using a handheld penetrometerEnglish, William; Ekelöf, Joakim; Vancutsem, Françoise; Leijdekkers, Martijn; Kleuker, Gunnar; Hoffmann, Christa M.;
Methodology for analysing textural properties of sugar beet roots in the laboratory has previously been established. It has been shown to be reliable and of value in exploring relationships between textural properties, damage rates, and storability of varieties. In this paper, a methodology for the assessment of textural properties in-field, prior to harvest, using an inexpensive handheld penetrometer is examined. Three sugar beet varieties were grown in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden during 2019. Textural properties were assessed in-field with the handheld penetrometer 2, 1 and 0 months prior to harvest, and with the laboratory penetrometer directly after harvest. Comparison of the results showed generally strong correlations. A power analysis suggests a difference in mean Handheld Pressure of 0.10 MPa could be found significant within a large trial with a block design. The reliability of the handheld penetrometer was further assessed in the Swedish national variety trials over three years (2019-2021). Correlation coefficients of 0.86 and 0.94 were found between mean Handheld Pressure for 2019 and 2020, and 2020 and 2021 respectively. The handheld penetrometer can be applied as an economic means of quantifying differences in textural properties of sugar beet varieties. Clear operating procedure and training must exist.
Mechanical properties; textural properties; firmness; pre-harvest measurement; post-harvest losses
Published inActa Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B - Soil & Plant Science 2022, volume: 72, number: 1, pages: 623-634
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