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Deirdre M. Holcroft and Adel A. Kader

Anthocyanin concentrations increased in both external and internal tissues of `Selva' strawberries (Fragaria ×ananassa Duch.) stored in air at 5 °C for 10 days, but the increase was lower in fruit stored in air enriched with 10 or 20 kPa CO2. Flesh red color was less intense in CO2 storage than in air storage. Activities of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and UDP glucose: flavonoid glucosyltransferase (GT) decreased during storage, with decreases being greater in both external and internal tissues of strawberry fruit stored in air + 20 kPa CO2 than in those kept in air. Activities of both PAL and GT in external tissues of strawberries stored in air + 10 kPa CO2 were similar to those in fruit stored in air, while enzyme activities in internal tissues more closely resembled those from fruit stored in air + 20 kPa CO2. Phenolic compounds increased during storage but were not affected by the storage atmosphere. The pH increased and titratable acidity decreased during storage; these effects were enhanced in internal tissues by the CO2 treatments, and may in turn have influenced anthocyanin expression.

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Jennifer R. DeEll and Robert K. Prange

This paper reports preliminary results on the postharvest quality and storage characteristics of several scab-resistant apple cultivars. `Novaspy', `Moira', `Priscilla', `Novamac', `Nova Easygro', `Prima', and `Macfree' were stored for 3 months at 3C in air or standard controlled atmosphere (CA; 4.5% CO2 and 2.5% O2) in 1990 and for 4 months at 0C in air, standard CA, or low-O, CA (LO; 1.5% CO2 and 1.5% O2) in 1991. `Moira', `Prima', and `Priscilla' had very limited storage life. `Moira' was susceptible to bitterpit, scald, core browning, vascular breakdown, and storage rots. `Prima' was susceptible to core browning and vascular breakdown and had a high incidence of storage rots in air storage. `Priscilla' had several defects as a result of insect damage and was susceptible to bitterpit and scald. `Novaspy' stored very well and had virtually no physiological disorders or storage rots. `Novamac, `Nova Easygro', and `Macfree' developed few storage rots and were essentially at the end of their storage life after 4 months, regardless of storage conditions. Firmness in `Novamac' decreased substantially in all storage atmospheres, while `Nova Easygro' and `Macfree' were susceptible to core browning and scald.

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James M. Wargo and Chris B. Watkins

`Honeycrisp' apples (Malus × domestica) were harvested over 3-week periods in 2001 and 2002. Maturity and quality indices were determined at harvest. Fruit quality was evaluated after air storage [0.0 to 2.2 °C (32 to 36 °F), 95% relative humidity] for 10-13 weeks and 15-18 weeks for the 2001 and 2002 harvests, respectively. Internal ethylene concentrations (IEC), starch indices (1-8 scale), firmness and soluble solids content (SSC) did not show consistent patterns of change over time. Starch hydrolysis was advanced on all harvest dates, but it is suggested that a starch index of 7 is a useful guide for timing harvest of fruit in western New York. After storage, firmness closely followed that observed immediately after harvest, and softening during storage was slow. No change in SSC was observed during storage in either year. Incidence of bitter pit and soft scald was generally low and was not affected consistently by harvest date. The incidence of stem punctures averaged 18.5% over both years, but was not affected by harvest date. Development of stem end cracking in both years, and rot development in one year, increased with later harvest dates. A panel of storage operators, packers, growers, and fruit extension specialists evaluated the samples for appearance and eating quality after storage, and results suggested that a 2-week harvest window is optimal for `Honeycrisp' apples that are spot picked to select the most mature fruit at each harvest.

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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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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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Richard L. Bell, T. van der Zwet, and R.C. Blake

`Blake's Pride' has been released jointly by USDA and The Ohio State Univ. as a new fire blight-resistant cultivar. The original seedling tree was selected in 1977 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster by R.C. Blake and T. van der Zwet from a cross of US 446 × US 505, performed in 1965 by H.J. Brooks, and was tested under the original seedling number, OHUS 66131-021. The fruit of `Blake's Pride' is pyriform to round-pyriform in shape, and is moderate in size, averaging ≈2.75″ to 3″ in diameter, and 3.25″ in height. The stem is short, medium in thickness, and upright. Skin undercolor is yellow, the finish is glossy, and 20% to 30% of the fruit surface is covered with a smooth, light tan russet. Harvest maturity occurs about 3 weeks after `Bartlett', and the fruit will store in air storage for at least 3 months without core breakdown or superficial scald. The flesh texture is moderately fine, juicy, and buttery. Grit cells are moderately small and occur primarily around the core and in a thin layer under the skin, similar to `Bartlett'. The flavor is subacid and aromatic. The tree is moderate in vigor on `Bartlett' seedling rootstock, and upright-spreading in habit. Yield has been moderate to moderately high. Fire blight infections are rare, and extend no further than 1-year-old growth. Artificial blossom inoculations indicate a moderate degree of resistance of blossoms to fire blight infection. Resistance of `Blake's Pride' to both shoot and blossom infection is much greater than that of `Bartlett'.

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Ma. Teresa MartÌnez-Damian and Marita I. Cantwell

Spinach is not packed commercially in modified-atmosphere packaging due to difficulties in maintaining beneficial conditions during distribution, where temperature fluctuations can occur. However, low O2 and high CO2 atmospheres can be useful to retard yellowing and deterioration. In two experiments we studied developing and full-size leaves stored at 7.5 °C in air and controlled atmospheres of 0.5% O2 + 10%CO2 and 5%O2 + 10% or 20% CO2. Subjective quality evaluations (visual quality, decay, discoloration, off-odors, and yellowing) and objective evaluations (L*a*b* color values, chlorophyll, pH and titratable acidity, ammonia, and ethanol and acetaldehyde) were conducted every 3 days during 15 days. The developing leaves had higher visual quality and lower off-odor scores during storage than did the full-size leaves. In air storage, leaves were below the limit of salability by day 12. The atmospheres containing 10% CO2 were similarly effective in maintaining the visual quality and greenness of the leaves, and reduced off-odors in developing but not full-size leaves. The 20% CO2 atmosphere resulted in some leaf damage. Ammonia concentrations increased during storage, with lowest and highest concentrations in leaves stored in air and 20% CO2, respectively. Tissue pH only slightly increased from 6.5 in air-stored samples, but increased notably during storage in the controlled atmospheres. At 2.5 and 7.5 °C, a plastic film providing a 5% O2 and 6% CO2 atmosphere resulted in better quality spinach than that obtained with either a 10% O2 and 3% CO2 package atmosphere or the commercial perforated polybag.

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Robert A. Saftner, Judith A. Abbott, William S. Conway, and Cynthia L. Barden

Air heat, methyl jasmonate dip, and vapor treatments with the ethylene action inhibitor 1-methylcyclopropene (MCP) were used to evaluate their effects on ripening-related characteristics and susceptibility to fungal decay in `Golden Delicious' apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh.) through 5 months of storage at 0 °C and ripening at 20 °C for 7 days. Preclimacteric fruit were treated with MCP vapor at a concentration of 1 μL•L-1 for 18 h at 20 °C, 38 °C air for 4 days, methyl jasmonate dip at concentrations of 10-5 and 10-4 for 3 min at 20 °C, combinations thereof, or left untreated before storage in air at 0 °C. One set of untreated fruit was stored in a controlled atmosphere of 1.5 O2 and 2.5% CO2 at 0 °C. The MCP treatment and CA storage delayed ripening, as indicated by better retention of green peel color and flesh firmness, and the reduced respiration, ethylene production rates, and volatile (both flavor- and superficial scald-associated) levels that were observed upon transferring the fruit to 20 °C. The MCP treatment followed by air storage delayed ripening more than CA storage. The heat treatment also delayed ripening but hastened skin yellowing. While methyl jasmonate dips had no significant effect on ripening, they were the only treatments used that reduced the incidence of postharvest decay and discolored the surface of some fruit. The results indicate that MCP may provide an effective alternative to CA for maintaining quality during cold storage and ripening. The results also indicate that methyl jasmonate dip treatment may reduce postharvest decay of fruit while maintaining fruit quality.

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Richard L. Bell*, Tom van der Zwet, and Diane D. Miller

`Shenandoah' is a new European pear (Pyrus communis L.) cultivar which combines resistance to fire blight with fruit of excellent quality. The original seedling tree was selected in 1985 from a cross of `Max Red Bartlett'× US 56112-146, and was tested under the original seedling number, US 78304-057. The fruit of `Shenandoah' is pyriform in shape, and moderately large in size, averaging 72 mm in diameter and 92 mm in height. Skin color at harvest is light green, turning yellow-green when ripe. The skin finish is glossy, and 10% to 20% of the fruit surface is blushed red. There is light tan russet at the calyx. Lenticles are slightly conspicuous, and are surrounded by small, light brown russet. The stem is medium to long (≈25 mm), of medium thickness, and slightly curved. Harvest maturity occurs about four weeks after `Bartlett', and the fruit will store in refrigerated (-1 °C) air storage for at least four months without core breakdown or superficial scald. The flesh texture is moderately fine, juicy, and buttery. Grit cells are moderately small and occur primarily around the core and in a thin layer under the skin. The flavor is aromatic, similar to `Bartlett', and is moderately acidic during the first two months of storage, becoming subacid after longer storage. The tree is moderate in vigor on `Bartlett' seedling and `OHxF 97' rootstocks, and upright-spreading in habit. Shenandoah' blooms in mid-season, similar to `Bartlett'. Yield has been moderately high and precocious, and with no pronounced biennial pattern. Fire blight resistance is similar to `Seckel', with infections extending no further than 1-year-old branches. Artificial blossom inoculations indicate a moderate degree of blossom resistance to fire blight infection.

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H.P. Vasantha Rupasinghe, Dennis P. Murr, Jennifer R. DeEll, and Murray D. Porteous

Flesh softening is a major quality parameter that can limit long-term storage of apple cultivars. This study investigated the combined effects of preharvest AVG (Retain™) application, 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP; EthylBloc™) exposure at harvest, and commercial controlled atmosphere (CA) storage (2.0% O2 + 2.5% CO2) on flesh softening of `Empire' apple. Treatments were assigned in a split-split-plot experimental design; AVG and no AVG application as the main-plot, CA and air storage as the sub-plots, and 0, 0.1 0.5, 1.0 mL·L–1 1-MCP as the sub-sub-plots. Apples were removed from storage at 70 and 140 days after harvest and kept up to an additional 2 weeks at 20 °C for post-storage assessment of ripening. Preharvest AVG application of `Empire' fruit delayed maturation slightly as determined by starch index at harvest, but did not affect fruit size at harvest nor flesh softening in storage. All levels of 1-MCP were equally effective in controlling fruit softening both in air and CA, as 1-MCP-treated fruit were ≈2.5 kg firmer than untreated fruit. This firmness advantage was still evident even after 2 weeks at 20 °C, with CA-stored fruit holding their firmness the best. When all three technologies were combined, treated fruit were overall 156% firmer than control fruit (no AVG, no 1-MCP, air-stored). As well, ethylene production and emanation of aroma volatiles were reduced significantly in these fruit. Therefore, the synergism of AVG, 1-MCP and long-term CA storage could potentially hold flesh firmness and other ripening parameters of apples to values near those found at harvest.