Growing Futures

What is dry matter?

Delivering superior apples

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What is dry matter?

Dry matter is the solid component of fruits, essentially what is left when all the water is removed, and mainly consists of soluble carbohydrates such as fructose, sucrose and glucose. Dry matter concentration is analysed by removing all the water from samples of apple, by using an electric dehydration unit or by baking slices of apples at 65°C for 48 hours.

Plant & Food Research has worked alongside consultancy AgFirst to develop robust protocols for measuring DMC for use in commercial laboratories on behalf of the New Zealand pipfruit industry.

DMC is a good indicator of both taste and texture in apples. Research published by Plant & Food Research has shown that apples with high DMC at harvest store better, holding their structural integrity for longer under ideal storage conditions. The maintenance of structural integrity is important for consumers, as it means the apples will be crisper and juicier than those with low DMC, which lose structural integrity faster in storage. Consequently, apples with high DMC are preferentially chosen by the pipfruit industry for shipping to high-value markets.