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Robert J. Porting, Carl E. Sams, William S. Conway, Jimmie L. Collins, and Marjorie P. Penfield

`Golden Delicious' and `Red Rome' apples were pressure infiltrated (69 kPa for 2 or 4 min) at harvest with 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4%, and 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8% CaCl2 solutions (w/v), respectively, and placed in 0°C storage. Juice was extracted from the apples after 0, 2, 4 or 6 months in storage. Sensory evaluation of the juice was conducted to determine if CaCl2 concentration affected color, off-flavors, suspended particles or overall acceptability of the juice. Juice color was judged lighter with increased CaCl2 in both cultivars. Detection of off-flavors decreased as CaCl2 was increased in juice from `Red Rome'; whereas, off-flavors increased as CaCl2 was increased in `Golden Delicious' juice. CaCl2 treatments decreased suspended particles in both cultivars. As CaCl2 was increased overall acceptability of juice from `Red Rome' increased, while acceptability of juice from `Golden Delicious' decreased.

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Robert J. Porting, Carl E. Sams, William S. Conway, Jimmie L. Collins, and Marjorie P. Penfield

`Golden Delicious' and `Red Rome' apples were pressure infiltrated (69 kPa for 2 or 4 min) at harvest with 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4%, and 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8% CaCl2 solutions (w/v), respectively, and placed in 0°C storage. Juice was extracted from the apples after 0, 2, 4 or 6 months in storage. Sensory evaluation of the juice was conducted to determine if CaCl2 concentration affected color, off-flavors, suspended particles or overall acceptability of the juice. Juice color was judged lighter with increased CaCl2 in both cultivars. Detection of off-flavors decreased as CaCl2 was increased in juice from `Red Rome'; whereas, off-flavors increased as CaCl2 was increased in `Golden Delicious' juice. CaCl2 treatments decreased suspended particles in both cultivars. As CaCl2 was increased overall acceptability of juice from `Red Rome' increased, while acceptability of juice from `Golden Delicious' decreased.

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Esmaeil Fallahi, William S. Conway, Kenneth D. Hickey, and Carl E. Sams

In several experiments, strong negative correlations were found between fruit and leaf N vs. fruit color and fruit N vs. firmness, but a positive correlation existed between fruit Ca vs. firmness in apples. Based on these relationships, several models were developed to predict postharvest quality using preharvest nutrient status. Quantity and timing of N application to produce optimum-quality fruit in `Delicious', `Fuji', and `Gala' apples have also been investigated. High levels of nitrogen adversely affected fruit quality and increased endogenous ethylene and respiration. In separate experiments, the effects of seven post-bloom CaCl2 applications on various postharvest pathogens were studied in four apple cultivars. Calcium applications did not increase fruit Ca sufficiently enough to reduce colonization or maintain firmness after 4 months of 0C storage, but did slightly reduce infection by these pathogens during the growing season.

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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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Robert A. Saftner, J. George Buta, William S. Conway, and Carl E. Sams

The effects of 36 organosilicone and conventional carbon-based surfactants on postharvest infiltration of radiolabeled and unlabeled Ca solutions into `Golden Delicious' apples (Malus domestica Borkh) were examined to devise a more efficient pressure infiltration technique to increase fruit Ca concentration. Radiolabeled Ca infiltration and the proportional increase in fruit Ca estimated by fruit weight gain from Ca solutions of known concentration were significantly enhanced by a range of surfactants having different chemical structures. Tween 60 and 80; Triton X-45, X-100, X-114, X-305, and X-405; and Silwet L-77 and L-7604 enhanced Ca infiltration. The two organosilicone surfactants, Silwet L-77 and Silwet L-7604, known for their greater capacity to lower the surface tension of solutions than conventional carbon-based surfactants, were the most effective at augmenting Ca infiltration. Applications of surfactants to fruit were as or more effective when used as a pretreatment rather than mixing the surfactant with the Ca solutions. The pressure necessary to increase Ca to levels considered sufficient to maintain fruit firmness and resist decay during storage could be lowered in fruit treated with organosilicone surfactants. Sequential postharvest surfactant and Ca treatments may be a practical means of increasing the Ca concentration in apples.

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Esmaeil Fallahi, William S. Conway, K.D. Hickey, and Carl E. Sams

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William S. Conway, Wojciech J. Janisiewicz, Joshua D. Klein, and Carl E. Sams

The viability of Penicillium expansum Link conidia in sporulating culture declined rapidly when exposed to 38 °C, and when conidia were exposed to 38 °C prior to inoculation of apple fruits (Malus ×domestica Borkh.), the resulting lesions were smaller than those on fruit inoculated with nonheated conidia. `Gala' apples were heated after harvest (38 °C for 4 days), pressure infiltrated with a 2% solution of CaCl2, or treated with the antagonist Pseudomonas syringae van Hall, alone or in combinations to reduce postharvest decay caused by Penicillium expansum. After up to 6 months in storage at 1 °C, no decay lesions developed on fruit that were heated after inoculation with P. expansum, or any combination of P. expansum, antagonist, or Ca. Parallel lots of heat-treated and nonheated fruit that were either infiltrated or not infiltrated with Ca were stored up to 6 months. They were then inoculated with P. expansum alone, or with the antagonist followed by P. expansum. Prior heat treatment did not influence lesion size. Calcium alone, the antagonist alone, and heat plus Ca all reduced the incidence of decay by ≈25%, whereas heat plus the antagonist reduced it by 70%. Calcium plus the antagonist or Ca plus the antagonist and heat reduced decay incidence by 89% and 91%, respectively. The integrated strategy of heat-treating fruit, followed by Ca infiltration and then treatment with an antagonist, may be a useful alternative to controlling postharvest decay with fungicides.

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Carl E. Sams, William S. Conway, Judith A. Abbott, Russell J. Lewis, and Noach Ben-Shalom

Heating `Golden Delicious' apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) for 4 days at 38C or pressure-infiltrating them with a 4% CaCl2 solution reduced decay and maintained fruit firmness during 6 months of storage at 0C. Heating reduced decay caused by Penicillium expansum Link ex Thorn by ≈30%, while pressure infiltration with CaCl2 reduced decay by >60%. Pressure infiltration with CaCl2 after heating reduced decay by ≈40%. Pressure infiltration maintained firmness best (>84 N), as measured with a manually driven electronic fruit-firmness probe, followed by heat and CaCl2 (76 N), heat alone (71 N), and no treatment (control) (60 N). Force vs. deformation (FD) curves from a puncture test with a fruit-firmness probe mounted in a universal testing machine showed that fruit heated before storage were firmer than all nonheated fruit, except those pressure-infiltrated with 4% CaCl2. However, FD curves also showed that apples pressure-infiltrated with 4% CaCl2 differed quantitatively from apples in all other treatments, including those heated.

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

Prestorage heat, CA storage, and pre- and poststorage treatments with the ethylene action inhibitor, 1-methylcyclopropene (MCP), were tested for their efficacy at inhibiting fungal decay and maintaining quality in `Golden Delicious' apples [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. Yellow Delicious Group] stored 0 to 5 months at 0 °C and 7 days at 20 °C. Before storage in air at 0 °C, preclimacteric fruit were treated with either MCP at a concentration of 1 μL·L-1 for 17 hours at 20 °C, 38 °C air for 4 days, MCP plus heat, or left untreated. Some sets of untreated fruit were stored in a controlled atmosphere of 1.5 kPa O2 and 2.5 kPa CO2 at 0 °C while other sets were removed from cold storage in air after 2.5 or 5 months, warmed to 20 °C, and treated with 1 μL·L-1 MCP for 17 hours. Prestorage MCP, heat, MCP plus heat treatments and CA storage decreased decay severity caused by wound-inoculated Penicillium expansum Link, Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr., and Colletotrichum acutatum Simmonds (teleomorph Glomerella acutata J.C. Guerber & J.C. Correll sp.nov.). Poststorage MCP treatment had no effect on decay severity. Both prestorage MCP treatment and CA storage delayed ripening as indicated by better retention of green peel color, titratable acidity, and Magness-Taylor flesh firmness, and the reduced respiration, ethylene production rates, and volatile levels that were observed upon transferring the fruit to 20 °C. The prestorage MCP treatment delayed ripening more than CA storage. Following 5 months cold storage, the prestorage MCP treatment maintained the shape of the compression force/deformation curve compared with that of fruit at harvest, as did CA storage, but at a lower force profile. The heat treatment had mixed effects on ripening: it hastened loss of green peel color and titratable acidity, but maintained firmness and delayed increases in respiration, ethylene production and volatile levels following cold storage. The MCP plus heat treatment inhibited ripening more than heat treatment alone but less than MCP treatment alone. In one of 2 years, the MCP plus heat treatment resulted in superficial injury to some of the fruit. Results indicated that MCP may provide an effective alternative to CA for reducing decay severity and maintaining quality during postharvest storage of `Golden Delicious' apples. Prestorage heat to control decay and maintain quality of apples needs further study, especially if used in combination with MCP.

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Joshua D. Klein, William S. Conway, Bruce D. Whitaker, and Carl E. Sams

`Golden Delicious' apples (Malus domestica Borkh.) were treated postharvest with heat (38C/4 d or 42C/24 h) or 2% CaCl2 (applied as a dip or pressure-infiltrated) or a combination thereof and then stored. Decay caused by Botrytis cinerea was virtually eliminated in fruit heated at 38C after inoculation prior to storage, regardless of Ca treatment. Apples inoculated upon removal from storage were almost completely protected from decay if they had been previously pressure-infiltrated with Ca, regardless of heat regime. Heating at 42C or Ca dips were only partially effective in preventing decay. Pressure infiltration of Ca (regardless of heat regime) or heating at 38C (regardless of Ca treatment) resulted in firmer fruit (68 N) than Ca dips or heating at 42C (56 N), which were firmer than nontreated fruit (52 N).