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C.H. Crisosto, W.A. Retzlaff, L.E. William, T.M. DeJong, and J.P. Zoffoli

We investigated the effects of three seasonal atmospheric ozone (0,) concentrations on fruit quality, internal breakdown, weight loss, cuticle structure, and ripening characteristics of plum fruit from 3-year-old `Casselman' trees in the 1991 season. Trees were exposed to 12-hour daily mean O3 concentrations of 0.034 [charcoal-filtered air (CFA)], 0.050 [ambient air (AA)], or 0.094 [ambient plus O3 (AA+O)] μl·liter-1 from bloom to leaf-fall (1 Apr. to31 Oct. 1991). Fruit quality and internal breakdown incidence measured at harvest and after 2, 4, and 6 weeks of storage at 0C were not affected by any of the O3 treatments. Following an ethylene (C2H4) preconditioning treatment, the rate of fruit softening, C2H4 production, and CO, evolution was higher for plums harvested from the AA + O than from those grown in CFA. Weight loss of fruit from the AA + O exceeded that of fruit from CFA and AA. Anatomical studies of mature plums indicated differences in wax deposition and cuticle thickness between fruit grown in AA + O, AA, and CFA. Differences in gas permeability, therefore, may explain the difference in the ripening pattern of `Casselman' plum fruit grown in high atmospheric O3 partial pressures.

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Carlos H. Crisosto, David Garner, Harry L. Andris, and Kevin R. Day

A commercial controlled delayed cooling or preconditioning treatment was developed to extend peach (Prunus persica) market life of the most popular California peach cultivars. A 24 to 48 h cooling delay at 68 °F (20.0 °C) was the most effective treatment for extending market life of internal breakdown susceptible peaches without causing fruit deterioration. This treatment increased minimum market life by up to 2 weeks in the cultivars tested. Weight loss and softening occurred during the controlled delayed cooling treatments, but did not reduce fruit quality. Detailed monitoring of these fruit quality changes during the delayed cooling period and proper use of fungicides is highly recommended for success in this new fruit delivery system. Rapid cooling after preconditioning is important to stop further fruit deterioration such as flesh softening, senescence, decay and weight loss. Controlled delayed cooling can also be used to pre-ripen susceptible and nonsusceptible peaches to deliver a ready-to-buy product to the consumer.

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George D. Nanos and F. Gordon Mitchell

`High-temperature controlled-atmosphere (high CO2/low O2) conditioning was investigated as a possible treatment to delay the incidence of internal breakdown of peaches and nectarines (Prunus persica L. Batsch) during subsequent cold storage. Maintaining an atmosphere of 5% to 15% CO2 added to air or to 1% to 5% O2 while conditioning peaches for 2 days at 20C partially prevented fruit ripening (compared to fruit conditioned in air), as measured by flesh softening and loss of green pigment, while no off-flavors were detected. Conditioning of peaches at 20C for 4 days in air or in air + 20% CO2 was detrimental to fruit quality, as indicated by flesh softening or detection of off-flavors.

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Laura J. Lehman and George M. Greene II

A two year study of `Golden Delicious' and `York Imperial' apple responses to delayed cooling and CA storage imposition after harvest was completed in 1991. Apples from six to eight commercial orchards were harvested at an acceptable maturity level for long-term storage, subjected to a delay in refrigeration (0,3, or 6 days) followed by a delay in CA storage imposition (0,14, or 28 days), and then stored at 0°c, 2.4% oxygen, and 1.6% carbon dioxide for up to eight months. Fruit acidity, soluble solids content, bitter pit incidence, scald, internal breakdown, and the development of low oxygen injury were not influenced by the delays. Delays often resulted in more rot and excessive weight loss during storage. Delays in both cooling and CA storage imposition had an additive effect on fruit softening, such that the longest delays resulted in the softest fruit.

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Terence L. Robinson* and Christopher B. Watkins

In 2001 and 2002, we imposed a wide range of croploads (0-15 fruits/cm2 of TCA) on 4- and 5-year-old Honeycrisp/M.9 trees by manual hand thinning soon after bloom to define appropriate croploads that give adequate repeat bloom and also the best fruit quality. At harvest each year we evaluated fruit ripening and quality. Samples were stored for 5 months in air at 38 °F and 33 °F and evaluated for fruit firmness and storage disorders. Cropload was negatively correlated with tree growth, return bloom, fruit size, fruit red color, fruit sugar content, fruit starch content, fruit firmness, fruit acidity, fruit bitter pit, fruit senescent breakdown, fruit rot and fruit superficial scald, but was positively correlated with leaf blotch symptoms, fruit internal ethylene concentration at harvest, and fruit soggy breakdown. There was a strong effect of cropload on fruit size up to a cropload 7, beyond which there was only a small additional effect. Although there was considerable variation in return bloom, a relatively low cropload was required to obtain adequate return bloom. Fruit red color was reduced only slightly up to a cropload of 8 beyond which it was reduced dramatically. The reduced fruit color and sugar content at high croploads could indicate a delay in maturity of but, fruits from high croploads were also softer, had less starch and greater internal ethylene. It that excessive croploads advance maturity. Overall, croploads greater than 10 resulted in no bloom the next year, and poor fruit size, color and flavor, but these fruits tended to have the least storage disorders. Moderate croploads (7-8) resulted in disappointing return bloom and mediocre fruit quality. For optimum quality and annual cropping, relatively low croploads of 4-5 were necessary.

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Christopher B. Watkins, Mustafa Erkan, Jacqueline F. Nock, Kevin A. Iungerman, Randolph M. Beaudry, and Renae E. Moran

`Honeycrisp' is a new apple [Malus sylvestris (L.) Mill. var. domestica (Borkh.) Mansf.] cultivar that has been planted extensively in North America, but the storage disorders soggy breakdown and soft scald have resulted in major fruit losses. The effects of harvest date and storage temperature on fruit quality and susceptibility of fruit to these disorders have been investigated in Michigan, New York, and Maine. Internal ethylene concentrations were variable over a wide range of harvest dates, and a rapid increase in autocatalytic ethylene production was not always apparent. The starch pattern index, soluble solids content, titratable acidity and firmness also appear to have limited use as harvest indices. Development of soggy breakdown and soft scald is associated with later harvest dates and storage of fruit at temperatures of 0 to 0.5 °C compared with higher storage temperatures. It is recommended that `Honeycrisp' be stored at 3 °C, although storage disorders still can occur at this temperature if fruit are harvested late. In addition, greasiness development may be worse at higher storage temperatures.

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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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Dangyang Ke and Adel A. Kader

Fruits of peach (Prunus persica L., cv. `Fairtime') and plum (Prunus domestica L., cv. `Angeleno') were kept in air and in 0.25% or 0.02% O2 at 0, 5, or 10°C for 3 to 40 days to study the effects of temperatures and insecticidal low O2 atmospheres on their physiological responses and quality attributes. Exposure to low O2 atmospheres reduced respiration and ethylene production rates of the stone fruits. The low O2 treatments retarded color change and flesh softening of plums and maintained acidity of peaches. Exposure to the low O2 atmospheres also delayed incidence and reduced severity of internal breakdown (chilling injury) and decay of the peaches at 5°C and, therefore, maintained both external and internal appearance qualities of the fruits longer than those kept in air. The most important limiting factor for fruit tolerance to insecticidal low O2 atmospheres was development of alcoholic off-flavor which was associated with accumulation of ethanol and acetaldehyde in the fruits. The peaches and plums could tolerate exposures to the low O2 atmospheres for 9 to 40 days, depending on the temperature and O2 level used. These results suggest that stone fruits are quite tolerant to insecticidal low O2 atmospheres.

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Frank J. Peryesa and Stephen R Drake

Fruit growers and shippers have suggested that excessive rates of boron (B) in foliar nutrient sprays may reduce quality of stored apples. Foliar B sprays were applied by handgun in mid-July to bearing apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh. cv. Starking) at rates of 0, 11.3,22.6 g B/tree. Fruits of uniform size (220 g) were analyzed for B content at harvest and for quality indices at harvest, after 10 days ripening postharvest, after 3 months refrigerated air storage, and after 8 days ripening poststorage. Whole fruit B concentration was directly proportional to B application rate. At all sampling times fruit firmness, soluble solids, titratable acidity, and internal and external color parameters were independent of whole fruit B concentration. Fruit disorders were unrelated to treatment except for internal breakdown after 8 months refrigerated air storage, which was positively related to whole fruit B concentration. Increases in fruit B were relatively greater in the core tissue, suggesting that some of the applied B entered the fruit through the tree vascular system.

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Carlos H. Crisosto, R. Scott Johnson, Juvenal G. Luza, and Gayle M. Crisosto

connection reported herein is not to be construed as either an actual or implied endorsement of said products. We thank A.A. Kader and F.G. Mitchell for their technical assistance in the internal breakdown evaluation tests. The cost of publishing this paper