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M. Meheriuk, D.-L. McKenzie, G.H. Neilsen, and J.W. Hall

Four green apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) cultivars, `Granny Smith', `Mutsu', `Newtown', and `Shamrock', were subjected to a factorial experiment of two rates of nitrogen fertilization and three concentrations of foliar urea sprays for 4 years. The higher rate of N (160 kg N/ha) had no effect on ground color or fruit quality relative to the lower rate of 80 kg N/ha. Urea sprays enhanced green pigmentation in `Granny Smith' and `Newtown' at harvest and retarded yellowing of fruit in all cultivars during air storage at 0C. Response was similar for urea at 0.5% and 1%, and urea sprays did not adversely affect quality. Urea sprays increased fruit N by 23% and 47% for the 0.5% and 1% concentrations, respectively.

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M.C.N. Nunes, A.M.M.B. Morais, J.K. Brecht, and S.A. Sargent

`Chandler' strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) harvested three-quarter colored or fully red were stored in air or a controlled atmosphere (CA) of 5% O2 + 15% CO2 at 4 or 10 °C to evaluate the influence of fruit maturity and storage temperature on the response to CA. Quality evaluations were made after 1 and 2 weeks in air or CA, and also after 1 and 2 weeks in air or CA plus 1 day in air at 20 °C. By 2 weeks, strawberries of both maturities stored in air at 10 °C were decayed, however, strawberries stored in CA at 4 or 10 °C or air at 4 °C had no decay even after 2 weeks plus 1 day at 20 °C. Three-quarter colored fruit stored in either air or CA remained firmer, lighter (higher L* value) and purer red (higher hue and chroma values) than fully red fruit, with the most pronounced effect being on CA-stored fruit at 4 °C. CA was more effective than air storage in maintaining initial anthocyanin and soluble solids contents (SSC) of three-quarter colored fruit and fruit stored at 10 °C. Strawberries harvested three-quarter colored maintained initial hue and chroma values for 2 weeks in CA at 4 °C, becoming fully red only when transferred to air at 20 °C. Although three-quarter colored fruit darkened and softened in 10 °C storage, the CA-stored fruit remained lighter colored and as firm as the at-harvest values of fully red fruit. After 1 or 2 weeks in CA at either 4 or 10 °C plus 1 day at 20 °C, three-quarter colored fruit also had similar SSC levels but lower total anthocyanin contents than the initial levels in fully red fruit. CA maintained better strawberry quality than air storage even at an above optimum storage temperature of 10 °C, but CA was more effective at the lower temperature of 4 °C. Three-quarter colored fruit responded better to CA than fully red fruit, maintaining better appearance, firmness, and color over 2 weeks storage, while achieving similar acidity and SSC with minimal decay development.

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Duane W. Greene

BAS-125 10W is a new plant growth retardant that was evaluated on `McIntosh' apples to control excessive vegetative growth. When applied at concentrations between 0 and 375 ppm, it significantly reduced terminal growth. As a result, light penetration into the tree was increased and fruit at harvest had more red color, and more were graded into the US Extra Fancy category. BAS-125 increased fruit set; thus, fruit were smaller, but firmer, at harvest. Treated fruit were firmer and had less decay following 20 weeks of regular air storage. Several different thinning strategies were employed to thin BAS-125-treated `Delicious' trees. In one experiment, the best thinning treatment was a combination spray containing 10 ppm NAA plus carbaryl at petal fall followed by 8 ppm NAA when fruit size averaged 10 mm. The best treatment in another experiment was a Wilthin application at 80% bloom followed by 8 ppm NAA plus carbaryl at petal fall. Recommendations for the successful use of BAS-125 10W in the Northeast will be discussed.

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D.C. Elfving, E.C. Lougheed, C.L. Chu, and R.A. Cline

Foliar daminozide (DZ) applications to `McIntosh' apple trees (Malus domestics Borkh.) increased fruit color, reduced preharvest drop, resulted in greater firmness at harvest and after air storage, delayed starch hydrolysis, and reduced fruit ethylene production at harvest and after storage. Foliar paclobutrazol (PBZ) reduced preharvest drop and flesh firmness loss if applied within 5 weeks after full bloom (WAFB). Later applications had no effect. PBZ did not influence the progress of starch hydrolysis or ethylene production at harvest but reduced poststorage ethylene production in one season. Stem-cavity browning and brown core were increased by PBZ applied at 5 and 9 WAFB in 1987. In 1988, fruit soluble solids content (SSC) was reduced by a double application of PBZ and by uniconazole (UCZ). UCZ had little effect on `McIntosh' fruit other than the reduction in SSC. PBZ applications were less consistent in their effects than DZ. Chemical names used: butanedioic acid mono(2,2-dimethylhydrazide) (daminozide); ß-[(4-chlorophenyl) methyl]-α- -(l,l-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol); ß-[(4-chlorophenyl)methylene]-α-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (uniconazole).

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Chen-Yi Hung, Cindy B.S. Tong, and John R. Murray

The color of red potatoes is due to an accumulation of anthocyanins in periderm tissues. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of several factors on tuber redness. Using the red tuber-producing S. tuberosum ssp. tuberosum cultivar Norland, we observed that chroma (intensity of redness) and anthocyanin content of greenhouse-grown tubers decreased as tuber weight increased. There was a slight or no increase in hue (tint). We used HPLC to determine that pelargonidin and peonidin are the major anthocyanidins (aglycones of anthocyanins) in tuber periderm. The ratio of pelargonidin to peonidin increased as tuber weight increased up to 25 g fresh weight. The decrease in chroma was not due to an increase in cell sap pH; we observed a decrease in cellular pH as tuber weight increased. Controlled-atmosphere storage had no effect on tuber chroma or anthocyanin content compared to air storage. Methyl jasmonate, sucrose, or light treatment did not increase anthocyanin accumulation. Tubers exposed to light had less anthocyanin than those kept in the dark. We are examining the developmental expression of anthocyanin biosynthetic genes, as well as the effect of maize transcription factors on anthocyanin synthesis, in tuber periderm.

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Duane W. Greene

An experiment was initiated on mature `Morespur McIntosh'on M.7 rootstock to document the effects of repeated yearly applications of benzyladenine (BA) and naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) on fruit quality at harvest, the development of storage disorders following regular air storage, and on return bloom. When analyzed over the 4-year period, thinning did not significantly reduce crop load. This result was due in large part to no thinning response one year and very poor set on all trees in another year. Thinners were effective at increasing return bloom over the course of the experiment. BA increased fruit weight but reduced red color compared with NAA treated and control trees. Fruit quality differences at harvests were attributed primarily to crop load effects. There were no fruit quality, return bloom, or storage disorders that could not be explained by treatment effects on crop load or due to previously known effects of individual thinners. The results of this experiment clearly suggest that there are no direct adverse effects following repeated use of either NAA or BA.

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Raymond L. Granger, Y. Groleau, C. Fortin, Gilles L. Rousselle, and L.P.S. Spangelo

`QAS-13' is an advanced apple selection that has a proven performance and is in the process of becoming a new cultivar that carries the Vf gene for resistance to apple scab (Venturia inaequalis Cke. Wint.) derived from `Malus floribunda 821'. It combines field immunity to scab and cold tolerance under Quebec climate and soil conditions. The Ott.521 (Melba x 11-51) x `Spartan' cross was made in Ottawa in 1968. The fruits are very attractive and exhibit a smooth and shiny finish somewhat similar to that of `Spartan'. Their glossy, medium- to dark-red color is slightly striped over a greenish-yellow background and covers up to 85% of the fruit surface. Their picking season coincides with that of `Spartan', which is ≈1 week before that of `Red Delicious'. They are round-oblate to oblate in shape with an average diameter of 70 to 75 mm and weigh ≈140 g/fruit. The skin is smooth, thin, and moderately tough, with widely spaced conspicuous beige lenticels. Both the stem and calyx cavities are fairly deep. The stem resembles that of `McIntosh'. the `QAS-13' apples keep better than `McIntosh' apples both in CA and air storages. Taste panelists have consistently ranked the `QAS-13' apples above `McIntosh' apples both at harvest and after storage. The `QAS-13' trees are less vigorous than those of `McIntosh', but more productive. However, they have exhibited a slight susceptibility to frog eye leaf spot (Botryosphaeria obtusa) similar to that of `McIntosh'.

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William D. Wolk, O.L. Lau, G.H. Neilsen, and Brian G. Drought

A study was undertaken to identify key factors associated with storage disorders in three commercially important apple cultivars in British Columbia and to determine how early in the season associations could be measured. Fruit mass, density, and concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and dry matter were determined for `McIntosh', `Spartan', and `Golden Delicious' apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh) from ≈30 commercial orchards 9, 6, 3, and 0 weeks before harvest. Storage samples were collected at commercial harvest and evaluated for the development of internal breakdown (`McIntosh' and `Spartan') or bitter pit (`Golden Delicious') after 4 and 6 months of 0 °C air storage. Mass and [Ca] and the mass/[Ca] and [K]/[Ca] ratios were the factors most often significantly correlated with storage disorders within each year for all three cultivars. Correlations were as frequently significant 6 and 3 weeks before harvest as they were at harvest. Mass of `McIntosh' and `Spartan' was the only variable consistently related with breakdown in all 3 years of the study. There were no variables with a consistent relationship to bitter pit in `Golden Delicious'. Fruit [Ca] was associated with the relative levels of disorders within years but could not be associated with specific levels of disorders across all years.

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Zhenyong Wang and David R. Dilley

We are investigating alternative strategies to control scald on apples. Ethanol vapors were applied to `Law Rome' and `Red Delicious' apples in the storage chambers by ventilating air through aqueous solutions of ethanol at different concentrations, and in modified atmosphere packages by adding various initial concentrations of ethanol vapor. Fruits in storage chambers treated with ethanol vapor at 1600 ppm for about 2 months showed no scald when stored for an additional period in air storage whereas the scald index in control was up to 2.33 (the highest is 3). The similar results in the modified atmosphere experiments confirmed that ethanol vapor could prevent apple scald. Ethanol vapor treatment was also correlated with a reduction of α-farnesene production by the fruits. α-farnesene is an isoprenoid metabolite in the pathway to carotenoid synthesis that has been implicated indirectly as a factor in scald development. Evidence for this based on diphenylamine (DPA) reducing the level of a conjugated terpene product of α-farnesene oxidation. Our results suggested that the control of scald by ethanol vapor treatment may be related to the reduction of α-farnesene production and its subsequent oxidation. Ethanol vapor treatment resulted in accumulation of ethanol in the fruits in direct proportion to the ethanol concentration administered and reduced the rate of ethylene production, and the internal ethanol levels dropped rapidly when fruits were returned to air without ethanol vapor.

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R.J. Bender and J.K. Brecht

Mangoes for long-distance markets are harvested at the mature-green stage and shipped in refrigerated containers. Shipment under controlled atmosphere is still tentative, and the CO2 concentrations used are relatively low (maximum 10%), although mangoes have been reported as being less-sensitive to elevated CO2 than other tropical fruits. In the present study, CO2 concentrations of 10%, 15%, 25%, 35%, and 45% combined with 5% O2 were used to store mangoes. Mature-green `Tommy Atkins' were stored for 21 days at 12C, followed by air storage at 20C for 5 days. Tree-ripe mangoes were stored at 8 or 12C under the same conditions. Ethanol production rates increased along with increasing CO2 concentrations. However, only 35% and 45% CO2 atmospheres inflicted damage. Color development was severely inhibited under those treatments. Lower CO2 treatments, up to 25% in the storage atmosphere, inhibited skin color development and ethylene biosynthesis but, after 5 days in air at 20C, skin color and ethylene production reached control levels. Fruit flesh firmness did not differ among treatments at 12C. Tree ripe mangoes stored in CA at 8C were only significantly firmer than control fruit at transfer from CA to air.