Optimal Harvest Time and Effect of Storage Time on Quality of Apples Grown in Mississippi

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Box 9555, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762

Maturity indices such as fruit size, firmness, fresh fruit weight, soluble solids content, titratable acidity, and juice pH of `Earligold'/EMLA 7, `Jonagold'/EMLA 111, `Improved Golden'/EMLA 7, `Improved Golden'/EMLA 111, `Scarlet Gala'/EMLA 7, `Jonafree'/Mark, `Macspur'/M 7A, `Royal Gala'/MM 111, and `Williams Pride'/M 7A were monitored. Based on maturity indices analysis, the optimal harvest time for each scion rootstock combination was determined. `Scarlet Gala'/EMLA 7, `Williams Pride'/M 7A, and `Earligold'/EMLA 7 were early cultivars, while `Jonagold'/ /EMLA 111, `Improved Golden'/EMLA 7, `Improved Golden'/EMLA 111, and `Macspur'/M 7A were late cultivars. After harvest, all cultivars were stored for 3 months under controlled conditions. Changes in fruit appearance, flavor, sweetness, tartness, and firmness were recorded. Fruit size, firmness, fresh fruit weight, soluble solids content, and juice pH were influenced by the cultivar/rootstock combination. Results of the sensory evaluation indicated that medium and late cultivars were preferred by panelists compared to the early harvested cultivars. `Improved Golden'/EMLA 7, `Royal Gala'/MM 111, and `Jonagold'/EMLA 111 combinations maintained quality during storage, compared with the remaining cultivars/rootstock combinations, and had a longer storage life.

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