707 PB 353 MODIFICATION OF EPICUTICULAR WAX STRUCTURE BY HEAT-TREATMENT IN `GOLDEN DELICIOUS APPLES AND ITS EFFECT ON POST HARVEST CALCIUM UPTAKE

in HortScience
Authors:
S. RoyHorticultural Crops Quality Lab., USDA, ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705
The University of Tennessee., Knoxville, TN, 37901
Electron Microscopy Lab., USDA, ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705

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W.S. ConwayHorticultural Crops Quality Lab., USDA, ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705

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A.E. WatadaHorticultural Crops Quality Lab., USDA, ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705

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C.E. SamsThe University of Tennessee., Knoxville, TN, 37901

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Eric F. ErbeElectron Microscopy Lab., USDA, ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705

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W.P. WerginElectron Microscopy Lab., USDA, ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705

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Prestorage heat treatment of apples has been shown to have a positive effect on fruit quality in storage. Postharvest treatment of apples with CaCl2 also beneficially affected fruit during storage. However, calcium uptake seems limited in heat-treated apples which indicates that the surface of the fruit may have been affected by the heat treatment. This study examined the effect of heat treatment on the subsequent uptake of CaCl2 solutions and related this process to the ultrastructure of the epicuticular wax surface of the fruit. Apples were pressure infiltrated with a 4% CaCl2 solution either without heat treatment or following 4 days at 38°C. Examination of the apple surfaces with low temperature scanning electron microscopy revealed that heat treatment changed the pattern of epicuticular wax. The epicuticular wax of non heated fruit exhibited numerous deep surface cracks. The epicotictdar wax of heated fruit did not exhibit similar cracks. This apparent obstruction or elimination of deep cracks may limit the CaCl2, solutions from entering the fruit. The heated fruit contained significantly less calcium compared to the fruit that were pressure infiltrated with the CaCl2 solution but not heated. These results indicate that cracks on the fruit surface may be a” important pathway for the penetration of CaCl2 solutions.

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