Every year, Saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia) berries dry up while on the plant. When they are full, they are quite sweet. Yet when dry, they are rather tasteless. My reasoning is that as they dry, the sugar content should go up (they do not rot). Does anyone know why this is the case?
I don’t know much about plants. But aren’t berries sweet to attract animals which eat them and by doing so help to disperse seeds? When the berries start to dry out it’s probably at the end of the season. If the berry wasn’t consumed until then it probably won’t be eaten either when it’s additionally dry. It would make sense to transport the carbohydrates to some other plant tissues to be stored instead of wasting it in dry berries. Its just an idea… I really don’t know.
I saw a robin eating ripe Amelanchier utahensis berries in my neighborhood. That was fun! Any uneaten ones quickly dried up and have remained.
Anecdotally, raspberries left on a plant are sweet for a day or two past peak ripeness as they begin to shrivel, then become unpalatable quickly.
I hadn’t thought about that but it makes sense. I had thought about some enzymatic process, but not that the plant would resorb the products. Thanks.
One way to test this would be to pick some fresh ones and sun-dry them like raisins. Do they remain sweet if they are disconnected from the rest of the plant?