AGQ Labs attended on August 1st the California Avocado Growers Seminar at the South Coast Research & Extension Center in Irvine, CA
This seminar was presented and hosted by the California Avocado Society, the California Avocado Commission, and the University of California Cooperative Extension.
The California Avocado Society, originally named the California Avocado Association, came into being on May 15, 1915 at a meeting held at the Alexandria Hotel in Los Angeles, California. A board of nine volunteer directors was named and bylaws were tentatively formulated. Currently, the California Avocado Society is still led by an all-volunteer board made up of 13 directors from California, as well as six at-large directors from avocado growing areas around the world; Australia, Chile, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, and South Africa.
It is the mission of the California Avocado Society to promote efficiency of production and orderly marketing toward assuring long term profitability for the business of avocado growing.
AGQ Labs Agronomy Director, Kenny Lam, attended the seminar and explained to all the participants the services provided in our laboratory in Oxnard, CA. It was a good opportunity to explain our Cell Wall Calcium analysis applied to the avocados.
Up until now, the majority of the tests conducted had estimated cell wall calcium indirectly, as the difference between total calcium and soluble calcium. Such a procedure is inexact, it overestimates the bound fraction by adding the insoluble and residual fractions, which are sometimes greater than the bound fraction. Thus, on 2015, the R&D Department of the Agronomic area of AGQ Labs started working on designing a specific method for analysis of both cell wall calcium and total calcium, with detection limits lower than those used on the leaf. This testing has been conducted in parallel at our laboratories in Spain and Chile. We have studied the evolution of calcium fractions throughout the ripening period of the fruits (e.g. tomatoes), comparing fruits that do and do not experience specific alterations (e.g. bitter pit in apples or cracking in peaches). We have also conducted tests on blueberries and avocados.
This method has been fine-tuned by our laboratories, by conducting specific extractions, so that, using plasma emission spectrophotometry (ICP) the various calcium fractions can be analyzed. After many months of work and testing, we can state that the analysis is validated.
As a result of these tests, we can conclude that cell wall calcium is a diagnostic tool for evaluating quality parameters related to the appearance and market life of the product. We have also seen that, in certain matrices, total calcium, with quantification limits adapted to the fruit, is also a very reliable marker for assessing a number of concrete alterations.
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