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Old September 13, 2019   #1
lubadub
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Default Brix Score

I became interested in using a refractometer to determine Brix scores of my tomatoes just to get an idea about how my tomato nutritional plan was working. According to persons more knowledgeable about this than I, I looked up scores reported as norms on the Internet. I found that a reading of 4 was poor, 6 average, 8 good and 12 excellent. Brix essentially measures the sugars dissolved in the juice of something such as a tomato. The higher the Brix, the better the tomato. I went to a large Master Gardener's site near where I lived and their beef steak tomatoes had a Brix of 6 %. My beefsteak tomatoes had a Brix of 5%. The garden of a friend near where I live had tomatoes with a Brix of 6%. Another friend had tomatoes with a Brix of 3%. I found nothing around me, so far, with a Brix above 6%, nothing good or excellent. Any of you looking at Brix scores and if so, how are your tomatoes adding up? One strawberry had a Brix of 7% and a Blueberry 15%, just out of interest.
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Old September 14, 2019   #2
Worth1
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A strawberry with a Brix of 7 would be like eating sour paper to me.
A good strawberry should be up close to 16 just like a good watermelon.

To get that sweetness you need well drained soil and not flooded with water all the time.
Some of the best berries I have ever eaten were in the wild on dry ground around limestone outcrops.
Some of the worst were in south east Texas along the coast and north of it in tight black soil that doesn't drain well.

Most consumers have gotten so used to the garbage they sell in stores they have no idea what the real thing is.
Tomatoes can be acidic and yet sweet not sweet and acidic.
And as said many times the sugar hides the acid.
So what is the Brix and acid level of the store bought tomatoes?
I can't taste anything.

Back to fruits strawberries and other berries.
I can find it safe to say growing up I ate more berries and fruit than any kid alive because my parents were berry and fruit fanatics.
We had dried fruit, frozen fruit, fresh fruit, and canned fruit 365 days a year.
There wasn't a day went by we didn't eat fruit.
I kept dried fruit and pecans in my bedroom for snaking while reading at night.
All of it dried out in the sunshine on the farm.
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Old September 16, 2019   #3
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Are these big or small tomatoes? If you get more than 6 brix in a large tomato then you have an exceptionally one. Cherry and grape tomatoes have much lower production per leaf area, which is why they can also get sweeter (that's probably just one factor). Even there, above 10 will be quite rare.
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Old September 16, 2019   #4
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I measured the Brix of a small cherry tomato from the grocery store and it was 7, the highest for any tomato I have come across so far. A lot of people feel a high Brix score correlates well with food quality and how it has been grown and the nutrition value. Some are even saying that rather than talking about organic or not there will also at some time in the future be a Brix score posted in the grocery store next to various fruits and vegetables in effect pointing out the nutritional value of the product.
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Old September 16, 2019   #5
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Brix is not a measure of nutrition. It is a measure of dissolved solids, basically sugar.

I would rather know that my store bought produce is free of synthetics a.k.a organic rather than how much sugar it contains.
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Old September 16, 2019   #6
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When I think about what is grown organically I think more about the food being absent of harmful contaminants rather than it having a higher nutritional value. Whereas, I think of Brix relating more to nutrient content.
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Old September 16, 2019   #7
RJGlew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lubadub View Post
I measured the Brix of a small cherry tomato from the grocery store and it was 7, the highest for any tomato I have come across so far. A lot of people feel a high Brix score correlates well with food quality and how it has been grown and the nutrition value. Some are even saying that rather than talking about organic or not there will also at some time in the future be a Brix score posted in the grocery store next to various fruits and vegetables in effect pointing out the nutritional value of the product.
Tokita's SunDolce is reputed to have a Brix reading of 12.
Tokita's Sun Gold has a Brix of 8, but it is low acid which helps make it taste sweeter.

http://www.tokitaseed.co.jp/eng/ucatalogue_e.php
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Old September 16, 2019   #8
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As I said Brix does not relate to nutritional content unless you consider sugar to be a nutrient. Brix is measuring sugar content.
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Old September 16, 2019   #9
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People are hooked on sugar if you keep telling them enough times that Brix is relative to nutrients they will believe it.

It doesn't matter what facts are it is what people want to believe are facts with no evidence or proof.
A Budweiser can in my yard is not proof I drink Budweiser.
It is only an indicator that deserves more research.
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Old September 17, 2019   #10
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Since when is sugar not a nutrient?
In any case, a high sugar content for same variety suggests that nutrition for that plant has been on point, as well as sun exposure, plant health etc, which will lead to overall better quality fruit.
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Old September 17, 2019   #11
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I have no idea how to measure brix scores but I do know when a tomato has a high sugar content even when it is quite acidic. Those are the rich tomatoes with a full complex flavor and they are usually at their best when it is a bit drier than normal and that has certainly been the case all of this season for me. I don't particularly care for the truly sweet tomatoes that seem to have too little of that acid bite to them and no longer grow any of them.

Some varieties that are usually not my usual favorites have been off the chart flavor wise this summer. City water is quite pricey here and I have been watering enough to keep things growing and alive keeping in mind the bill that will be due each month. Even so my tomatoes overall this year have been at the top as far as flavor this year but size has suffered with the lack of rainfall. Production per plant has probably been a little off due to some blossom drop from dry conditions and spider mite damage but still steady production even in the hottest weather. Although smaller than normal my black tomatoes have been exceptionally flavorful in the scorching heat of late summer and early fall this year along with a few of the reds and pinks. Even my ripe bell peppers have been extremely sweet and flavorful this year.

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Old September 17, 2019   #12
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I do think that certain growers use a Brix score to tell when the fruit is ripe, i.e. at the peak of its development. I think that this may be especially important with growers of melons for example.

Posting a Brix score in a grocery store to show how nutritious the vegetables are just does not make sense to me. Even if you consider sugar to be a nutrient, the average person is not looking for a high sugar content and the nutrients that people are commonly interested in such as vitamins and minerals are not going to be measured by a Brix score.
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Old September 17, 2019   #13
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Sugar is nutrition for something that is running full throttle.
Not something at idle.
Then it gets stored as fat.
The same goes for pasta and such.
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Old September 18, 2019   #14
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Maybe a little mind shift for you on brix.
Consider sampling sap from a petiole or stem, not the fruit:

"CO2 is free, too. If a plant photosynthesizes faster it’s going to have higher sugar content and a higher Brix level. Once Brix gets over 12, the plant is largely resistant to insects and pathogens. High-Brix plants have formed relationships with soil microbes that are able to supply trace elements and other nutrients that the plant needs for self-defense, for its immune system."

Lub, read this when you get a chance. it expands on a discussion we had on your other thread. Great thoughts on the interaction of roots with soils and microbes. Explains how this interaction is all driven by carbon (simple SUGARS), and why you may consider the brix levels of the plants themselves to explain what is going on rather than just sampling the fruit.

https://www.ecofarmingdaily.com/inte...althy-topsoil/
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Old September 18, 2019   #15
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Another teaser:

"Liquid carbon is basically dissolved sugar. Sugars are formed in plant chloroplasts during photosynthesis. Some of the sugars are used for growth and some are exuded into soil by plant roots to support the microbes involved in nutrient acquisition.
At first people thought “leaky” roots were defective. Exuding carbon into the soil seemed such a silly thing for plants to do! Then it became recognized that some of the exudates were phenolic compounds with allelopathic effects, important in plant defense. Of course we now know that plant roots exude a vast array of chemical substances, all based on carbon, to signal to microbes and to other plants. But perhaps the most significant finding, at least from a human perspective, is that the flow of liquid carbon to soil is the primary pathway by which new topsoil is formed.
In order for carbon to “flow” to soil, there has to be a partnership between plant roots and the soil microbes that will receive that carbon. Somewhere between 85 to 90 percent of the nutrients plants require for healthy growth are acquired via carbon exchange — that is, where plant root exudates provide energy to microbes in order to obtain minerals and trace elements otherwise unavailable. We inadvertently blow the microbial bridge in conventional farming with high rates of synthetic fertilizers or with fungicides or other biocides.
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