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Carolina Contreras, Nihad Alsmairat, and Randy Beaudry

‘Honeycrisp’ apples were found to be sensitive to injury from O2 and CO2 partial pressures typical of those in controlled-atmosphere (CA) storage. A preliminary study was conducted in 2008 to investigate the effect of the following O2/CO2 partial pressure (kPa) combinations: 1/0, 3/0, 1/3, 3/3, 21/3, 21/0 (air), and 21/0 with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP; 1 μL·L−1) on CA-related injuries of 'Honeycrisp' during storage for 6 months at 3 °C. ‘Honeycrisp’ apples were found to be sensitive to an injury comprised of irregular-edged brown lesions in the cortex occasionally accompanied by the formation of lens-shaped voids. The symptoms are similar to CA-related injuries described for other apple cultivars and often characterized as a “CO2 injury.” Injury severity increased as O2 declined and as CO2 increased and was evident within the first month of storage. During 2009, 2010, and 2011, a study was conducted to evaluate options for avoiding injury during CA storage for this cultivar. Fruit were conditioned at 3, 10, and 20 °C for 5 days and then exposed to the following O2/CO2 partial pressure combinations: 3/0, 3/3, 21/0 (regular air); 3/3 with diphenylamine (DPA) drench (1 g·L−1); and 21/0 with 1-MCP (1 μL·L−1). Injury severity declined as the temperature of the prestorage conditioning period increased; holding fruit for 5 days at 20 °C almost completely eliminated the disorder. The antioxidant DPA also provided nearly complete control of CA injury. 1-MCP, although not studied in conjunction with a modified atmosphere, was found to cause no injury in air storage and may provide an alternative to CA storage and avoid the risk of CA injury for ’Honeycrisp’. The relationship between disorder development and growing degree-days, rainfall, and maturity indexes was studied. Ethylene was the only factor with a significant linkage to the development of CA injury (R 2 = 0.35; P = 0.0043). Suggestions for handling of ‘Honeycrisp’ for extended storage are presented.

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Carolina Contreras, Mauricio González-Agüero, and Bruno G. Defilippi

Many attempts have been made to introduce pepinos in several countries. These efforts have involved breeding programs designed to adapt pepino plants to the respective climates and consumer preferences. However, low yields and the relatively small amount of information on the crop have played a negative role for the expansion of the pepino. Information on other features of the fruit (e.g., quality, physiology, and sensory attributes) is also scarce. Only a few studies provide useful data on pepino handling and storage potential; hence, there is not an adequate postharvest strategy to store this species. The objective of this review is to provide and discuss the available literature, with an emphasis on postharvest physiology aspects, and present 1) breeding for quality and how this has led to the development of the cultivars known today, 2) fruit physiology and quality, 3) handling and physiological disorders of pepino, and 4) highlight challenges for future research.

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Nihad Alsmairat, Carolina Contreras, James Hancock, Pete Callow, and Randolph Beaudry

We tested the impact of storage atmospheres in which the CO2 and O2 percentages sum to 21% on highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) fruit condition and quality. The CO2 and O2 combinations, in percent composition, were 19%/2%, 18%/3%, 16.5%/4.5%, 15%/6%, 13.5%/7.5%, 12%/9%, 6%/15%, and 0%/21% for CO2/O2, respectively. Nine blueberry cultivars were evaluated (Duke, Toro, Brigitta, Ozarkblue, Nelson, Liberty, Elliott, Legacy, and Jersey) after 8 weeks of controlled atmosphere (CA) storage at 0 °C. Surface mold, berry decay, skin reddening (associated with fruit pulp browning), fruit firmness, pulp discoloration, and the content of ethanol and acetaldehyde were assessed. Fruit firmness, skin reddening, and decay declined and the proportion of fruit with severe internal discoloration tended to increase as CO2 concentrations increased. Ethanol and acetaldehyde accumulation was minimal, indicating fermentation was not induced by the atmospheric conditions applied. Cultivar effects were far more pronounced than atmosphere effects. Some cultivars such as Duke, Toro, Brigitta, Liberty, and Legacy appear to be well suited to extended CA storage, whereas other cultivars such as Elliott stored moderately well, and Ozarkblue, Nelson, and Jersey stored poorly. The data indicate that responses to high levels of CO2, while O2 is maintained at its maximum level practicable, can, in a cultivar-dependent manner, include significant negative effects on quality while achieving the desired suppression of decay.

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Juan Pablo Zoffoli, Valentina Sanguedolce, Paulina Naranjo, and Carolina Contreras

The physiological disorders superficial scald, bitter pit, and lenticel blotch pit severely compromise the commercial value of ‘Granny Smith’ apples. A number of chemical treatments are available to alleviate these disorders but they are unacceptable in the expanding organic market. The objective of this research was to study the effectiveness of prestorage treatments—delayed cooling and elevated temperature under ultra-low oxygen (ULO) atmospheres—as organic-friendly strategies to control these disorders. ‘Granny Smith’ apples were exposed to four different treatments: 1) conditioning temperature treatments (CTemp): 10 days at 3 °C or 30 days at 3 °C or 10 days at 20 °C, in air; 2) the same conditioning temperature treatments combined with an ultra-low oxygen (ULO) conditioning treatment of 0.2–0.5 kPa O2 and <0.5 kPa CO2; 3) 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) treatment as a commercial control; and 4) untreated control fruit. After the prestorage treatment, fruit were stored for 90 or 150 days at 0 °C, and then held poststorage for 8 days at 20 °C before quality analysis. A combination treatment of temperature conditioning and ULO for 30 days at 3 °C achieved the best control of superficial scald, bitter pit, and lenticel blotch pit. The use of ULO with CTemp for 10 days at 20 °C offered the same control but induced high concentrations of ethanol and acetaldehyde that affected the organoleptic acceptability of the fruit and reduced its commercial value. The use of 1-MCP offered 100% control of superficial scald but bitter pit and lenticel blotch pit disorder incidences were similar or higher than in the control fruit. All ULO conditioning treatments resulted in high ethanol and acetaldehyde concentrations during the first 90 days of storage, but fruit exposed to ULO conditioning treatment for 30 days at 3 °C showed similar organoleptic acceptability to control fruit after 150 days. Therefore, ULO conditioning is a potentially useful treatment for the organic apple industry.