The Effectiveness of 0.7% Oxygen to Attenuate Scald Symptoms in `Delicious' Apples is Influenced by Harvest Maturity and Cultivar Strain

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Author: O.L. Lau 1
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  • 1 Industry Research Program, Okanagan Federated Shippers Association, c/o Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Summerland, B.C., Canada V0H 1Z0

In a 3-year study, the effectiveness of 0.7% and 1.5% O2 to attenuate scald was evaluated on three strains of `Delicious' apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh.)—`Harrold Red', `Starking', and `Starkrimson'—harvested five times at weekly intervals from a wide range of orchards. Scald susceptibility of fruit held in air, 1.5% O2 + 1.0% CO2, and 0.7% O2 + 1.0% CO2 at 0 °C decreased sharply as the fruit matured on the tree (starch index 1.0 to 2.5 on a 0 to 9 scale). Later harvests (starch index >2.8) further reduced scald but the fruit had more watercore-induced breakdown and were 3 N softer than fruit picked at a less advanced maturity. Early picked `Starkrimson' (starch index <2.0) scalded more than `Starking' and `Harrold Red' in air, 1.5% O2, and 0.7% O2 storage at 0 °C, and 0.7% O2 was less effective than 1.5% O2 in scald control. While 0.7% O2 storage effectively reduced scald (less than 10%) for 8 months in `Starking' and `Harrold Red' picked over a wide range of maturity (starch index 0.7 to 4.3), it did not adequately control scald (up to 45%) in early picked `Starkrimson' (starch index <2.0). Storage in 0.7% also reduced watercore-induced breakdown in `Starkrimson' (starch index >3.0) and did not result in skin purpling or alcoholic taste in `Harrold Red', `Starking', and `Starkrimson'.

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