Quality of `Cripps Pink' apples (Malu × domestica) harvested at a starch index of 2 and 4 was evaluated over three crop seasons. Apple quality was evaluated after harvest and after regular atmosphere (RA) and controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage at 1% O2 and 1% CO2, 1% O2 and 3% CO2, and 1% O2 and 5% CO2 (1 year only) at 1 ºC (33 to 34 ºF). Over three seasons, commercially acceptable fruit quality was achieved on either harvest date following both long-term RA and CA storage. Fruit size was not different between apples harvested at a starch index of 2 or 4. Firmness and acids remained at acceptable levels [62 N (14 lb) and ≥0.50%, respectively] in `Cripps Pink' apples regardless of maturity, storage time or storage conditions. Delaying harvest after a starch index of 2 was achieved increased soluble solids concentration (SSC), SSC to TA (titratable acidity) ratio, peel color, malic acid and citric acid concentrations but decreased fructose content. `Cripps Pink' apples responded well to CA storage conditions of 1% O2 with 1% or 3% CO2, but displayed significant firmness loss and greatly increased internal breakdown at 1% O2 and 5% CO2 at 1 ºC.
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