Tolerance of apples to low levels (0.5%) of O2 was cultivar-dependent. `Spartan' (SP), `Delicious' (RD), and `Golden Delicious' (GD) apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) held for 7 months in 1.0% O2 (with 1.5% CO2) at 0.5C, plus ≈2 months in air at 0C and 7 days in air at 20C, were similar to those held in 1.5% O2. However, incidence of skin injury in fruit held in 0.5% O2 was very high in SP (purple-brown discoloration), low in RD (purple-brown discoloration), but only negligible in GD (lesions). Skin discoloration in SP and RD developed rapidly in air at 20C. Holding in 0.5% O2 improved retention of flesh firmness and juice acidity in GD and, under certain conditions, reduced scald in RD and SP, delayed yellowing in GD, but increased flesh breakdown in SP, flesh browning and alcohol flavor in SP and RD, and core browning in RD.
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