Influence of Field Temperatures on the Moisture and Sugar Contents of Sweetcorn

M C N Nunes, A Delgado, Y Yagiz, J P Emond


Sweetcorn is highly perishable, and overall quality deteriorates rapidly after harvest. It is commonly assumed that the higher the field temperatures during harvest, the lower the kernel moisture and sugar contents; however no data were found in the literature regarding this assumption. The objective of this work was to measure moisture and sugar contents of sweetcorn harvested at different times of the day. Sweetcorn F1 ‘Passion’ (sh2variety) was harvested twice from two different commercial fields in Florida and in Georgia. Sweetcorn samples were collected every 2 h from 8:00 Am to 2:00 pm. Promptly after harvest, sweetcorn kernels were removed from the cobs and immediately placed into dry ice and kept frozen until chemical analyses were performed. Results showed that even if field temperatures in Georgia were warmer than in Florida, moisture and sugar contents were higher in sweetcorn from Georgia compared to Florida. Moisture content slightly decreased in sweetcorn harvest from 8:00 Amto 2:00 pmbut in most cases the decrease was not statistically significant. Overall, sucrose, glucose, fructose, and total sugar contents were lowest in sweetcorn harvested at 8:00 Amand highest in sweetcorn from later harvests. Results from this study suggest that lower moisture and sugar contents sometimes measured in sweetcorn harvested later in the day, when the temperatures are warmest, might be a result of poor postharvest temperature management rather than a consequence of the higher field temperatures during harvest.


Zea mays, fructose, glucose, harvest time, sucrose, total sugars

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283

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