The sweetness and overall quality of vegetables are important to farmers, consumers and others. Farmers, grocers, restaurant owners and others strive to provide healthy, high-quality products and dishes, and consumers enjoy eating them. Winter may be a time when the sweetness of cookies and other treats gets the most attention, however, winter can also be a great time for farmers to become more familiar with two areas.
First, how crop management tends to influence crop quality, and second, how crop quality, especially sweetness, is measured. With that in mind, the Vegetable Production Systems Laboratory at the OSU-OARDC will host two Brix workshops for area farmers in February.
The quality of fresh vegetables is assessed using many criteria, few of which can be objectively and reliably measured on the farm. Brix is an important exception to this rule.
Brix values the approximate level of sugars in fresh vegetables, fruits and juices. In this way, Brix values can provide a glimpse into how sweet a vegetable may taste to the consumer. The relationship between Brix values and sweetness in the mouth is not ironclad because other factors influence flavor. Still, Brix values are reliable estimates of sugar concentrations. In fact, Brix measurements have been used throughout the food, beverage and condiment industry for many years. They are occasionally used to set vegetable and fruit harvest dates.
Brix can be measured quickly, easily and inexpensively on the farm, in the kitchen and elsewhere. A few tools and following the correct procedure are required.
OSU-OARDC horticulturists will host two upcoming workshops on the measurement and use of Brix values. Join them on Feb. 9 at the OARDC or Feb. 18 at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) annual conference to learn more about Brix. These workshops will focus on measuring, interpreting and using Brix values, especially from the farmer’s perspective. Others in the food industry are also encouraged to participate. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. See below for additional workshop details.
Upcoming Brix Workshops:
Feb. 9, from 1-3 p.m., at the OARDC, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster 44691, inside Fisher Hall, South Exhibit area.
To register, contact Danae Wolfe at Wolfe.email@example.com or 330-202-3555 ext. 2687
Feb. 18, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Topic will be Brix Levels as an Indicator of Vegetable Quality: Measurement and Meaningby Natalie Bumgarner, Matt Kleinhenz and Joe Scheerens, all of the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. Workshop will be presented at the OEFFA annual conference in Granville, Ohio. To register for the OEFFA conference, visit http://www.oeffa.org/conf-register2012.php
Published: January 25, 2012