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I.B. Ferguson and C.B. Watkins

Apple fruit (Malus domestics Borkh. cv. Cox's Orange Pippin) were harvested in four orchards from trees growing under the same conditions but differing in crop load. Regardless of fruit size, apples from light-cropping trees had lower Ca and higher K concentrations and more bitter pit than did fruit from trees with heavy crop loads. The inverse relationship between Ca concentration in the fruit and the incidence of bitter pit also varied according to crop load and could affect the ability to predict incidence of bitter pit from Ca measurements. Differences in fruit maturity that would influence bitter pit incidence were not associated with crop load. The enhanced susceptibility to storage disorders, such as bitter pit, in fruit of all sizes from light-cropping trees suggests the need to handle fruit from such trees differently for postharvest storage.

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M.S. Tian, A.B. Woolf, J.H. Bowen and I.B. Ferguson

Hot water treatments (HWTs), at a range of temperatures (43 to 55C) and durations (10 sec to 30 min), were applied to floret groups of `Shogun' broccoli (Brassica oleracea L. var italica) directly after harvest. Floret groups were then stored at 20C in the dark for 3 days. A range of optimal treatments was found in which yellowing was markedly reduced, and heat damage (water soaking and decay) did not occur. Chlorophyll fluorescence measurements indicated that in the optimum treatment that prevented yellowing the Fv/Fm ratio following HWT decreased immediately and was maintained at a constant level for the next 3 days. A further experiment examined the effect of HWT durations up to 20 min at 47C on fluorescence and yellowing. Longer durations of HWTs (>5 min) progressively reduced yellowing and the Fv/Fm ratio. From these three experiments a HWT of 47C for 7.5 min was selected as the best treatment. This treatment consistently reduced yellowing for up to 5 days. A decrease in the Fv/Fm ratio may be a useful indicator of broccoli florets response to hot water treatments.