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South African
Wine Lab Association:

Optical properties of berry epicultural waxes in four Georgian grape cultivars (Vitis vinifera L)

Rustioni, L; Maghradze, D; Failla, O.

The epidermis of plant shoot organs is generally covered by epicuticular waxes. The role of this layer is
related mainly to the protection of the inner tissues from biotic and abiotic stresses. In this study, attention
is focused on the optical properties of the berry epicuticular waxes of the grapevine (Vids vinjfera L.) at
fruit ripening. The reflectance of the berry surface was measured before and after chloroform treatments
in four Georgian grape cultivars grown in northern Italy. Epicarp optical properties were underlined
at different wavelengths (341 to 1025 nm) for each cultivar. The results show that the berry waxes have
several optical properties; it is possible that their main eco-physiological effect is to provide specific
protection against different types of radiation. Besides the physiological aspects, the results are interesting
also from a technical point of view in the field of interpretation of reflectance measurements carried out by
non-invasive instruments.

Epicuticular waxes, reflectance, berry physiology, visible, infrared

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