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Susan Lurie and Joshua D. Klein

Apples (Malus domestica Borkh. cv. Anna) were treated at harvest by a dip in 3% CaCI2 solution, heated for 4 days at 38C, or the two treatments combined, before being placed in OC storage. After removal of the apples from storage and holding them for 1 week at 20C, the combined treatment maintained fruit quality best. The fruit remained firmer than with either treatment separately, and peel yellowing and decreased titratable acidity caused by the heat treatment were less pronounced. Heat treatment alone maintained fruit firmness, while CaCI2 alone had no effect on fruit quality, although it raised the fruit calcium level more than the combined treatment in most experiments. Altering the temperature (0, 20, or 38C) of the CaCl2 dip did not change its efficacy. There was less soluble and more insoluble pectin in cell wall extracts of apples from the combined treatment than from other treatments. In addition, proportionally less Ca was present in the water-soluble pectin fraction of the combined treatment compared to other treatments, indicating different binding properties in the cell wall.

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Joshua D. Klein and Susan Lurie

`Anna' and `Granny Smith' apples (Malus domestics Borkh.) that were kept at 46C for 12 hours or at 42C for 24 hours before storage at 0C were firmer at the end of storage and had a higher soluble solids: acid ratio and a lower incidence of superficial scald than unheated fruit. These heat regimes produced results similar to those obtained by keeping fruit at 38C for 72 or 96 hours before storage. Prestorage regimes of 46C for 24 hours or 42C for 48 hours resulted in fruit damage after storage.

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Joshua D. Klein and Susan Lurie

Commercial, ecological, and agrotechnical considerations have recently renewed interest in the use of physical rather than chemical means to maintain postharvest quality of horticultural crops. This review discusses prestorage heat treatments that protect against physiological disorders, enhance natural resistance to pathogen infection, reversibly inhibit fruit ripening, and permit flexibility in storage temperatures.

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Joshua D. Klein and Shlomo Cohen

Thinning of nectarines and peaches is largely an expensive manual task. We investigated the use of organosilicone surfactants as thinning materials that can be applied by mechanized sprayers. Of the surfactants tested, Silwet-408 (Witco) and Boost (Dow-Elanco) were the most effective thinning agents. Spray concentrations of 0.1% or 0.25% (v/v) applied at 30% and 60% full bloom, or 0.5% applied at 80% to 90% bloom, reduced by 50% the mass of fruitlets that had to be hand-thinned and increased the average weight of harvested fruit by up to 20%. When 0.75% to 1% surfactants were applied at 80% to 100% full bloom, fruit yield was reduced by up to 90%. The sprays did not affect fruitlets that had set already, nor did they cause damage to leaves or young shoots. Open flowers were more susceptible to the surfactants than were flowers at tight-bloom or balloon stage. Ion leakage from both petals and flower bases increased in proportion to concentration of surfactant applied, but there was no increase in lipid peroxidation.

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Joshua D. Klein and Susan Lurie

The benefits conferred by a prestorage heat treatment on poststorage quality of apples (Malus domestics Borkh.) were measured on `Anna', a non-storing early cultivar, and `Granny Smith', a long-storing late cultivar. The major benefit was a decrease in rate of apple softening, both during OC storage and during simulated shelf life at 20C. Soluble solids concentration was not affected by heat treatment, but titratable acidity was reduced. Ethylene production after heat treatment and storage was similar to or higher than that of control apples, but respiration was lower. The optimum temperature and time combination for prestorage treatment of both cultivars was 4 days at 38C.

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Susan Lurie and Joshua D. Klein

Mature-green tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) fruit, when kept for 3 days at 36, 38, or 40C before being kept at 2C for 3 weeks, did not develop chilling injury, while unheated fruit placed at 2C immediately after harvest did. When removed from 2 to 20C, the heated tomatoes had lower levels of K+ leakage and a higher phospholipid content than unheated fruit. Sterol levels were similar in heated and unheated fruit while malonaldehyde concentration was higher in heated fruit at transfer to 20C. The unheated tomatoes remained green, and brown areas developed under the peel; their rate of CO2 evolution was high and decreased sharply, while ethylene evolution was low and increased at 20C. In contrast, the heat-treated tomatoes ripened normally although more slowly than freshly harvested tomatoes: color developed normally, chlorophyll disappeared, and lycopene content increased, CO2, and ethylene evolution increased to a climacteric peak and K+ leakage increased with time. During prestorage heating, heat-stress ethylene production was inhibited, protein synthesis was depressed, and heat-shock proteins accumulated. There appears to be a relationship between the “heat shock response” and the protection of tomato fruit from low-temperature injury.

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Joshua D. Klein and Susan Lurie

Apple (Malus domestica Borkh. `Grand Alexander') fruit were stored immediately at 0C after harvest or after being held at 38,42, or 46C for 72,24, or 12 h, respectively. Half of each fruit lot was dipped in 1.5 % CaCl before storage. Heating did not appreciably affect Ca uptake into epidermal or cortical tissue. Calcium and heat treatments acted synergistically in reducing the severity of superficial scald and in retaining fruit firmness after 5 months of storage, relative to nontreated or nonheated Ca-dipped fruit.

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Bruce D. Whitaker, Joshua D. Klein and William S. Conway

Postharvest heat treatment of apples maintains fruit firmness and reduces decay during storage. Four days at 38C are beneficial, but 1 or 2 days are detrimental. The cellular basis of these effects may involve changes in cell wall and membrane lipid metabolism. Lipids from hypodermal tissue of `Golden Delicious' apples were analyzed after 0, 1, 2, or 4 days at 38C. Major lipids included phospholipids (PL), free sterols (FS), steryl glycosides (SG), and cerebrosides (CB). Galactolipids (GL) were minor components. PL content fell ?10% after 1 day at 38C, was unchanged after 2 days, and began to rise again after 4 days. PL class composition did not change with heating, but fatty-acid unsaturation declined throughout. FS and CB content and composition changed little, whereas SG content cropped by ≈20% over 4 days. GL fell ≈50% during 1 day at 38C, with no change at days 2 or 4. A burst of PL catabolism followed by recovery of synthesis may in part explain the different effects of 1-, 2-, or 4-day heat treatments. GL loss (in plastids) may be related to the effect of heat on fruit color (yellowing).

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Susan Lurie, Joshua D. Klein and Ruth Ben Arie

A prestorage heat treatment of 38C for 4 days applied to `Granny Smith' apples (Malus domestics Borkh.) before regular air storage at 0C inhibited the development of superficial scald. Heat-treated apples stored for 3 months had superficial scald levels similar to diphenylamine (DPA)-dipped apples, while all nontreated control apples had scald. After 5 or 6 months of storage, this inhibition of scald development by prestorage heat treatment declined. The prestorage heat treatment inhibited the accumulation of α-farnesene and conjugated trienes in apple cuticle during storage, while DPA inhibited only α-farnesene oxidation. This treatment may be a substitute for chemical treatments against scald not only for short-term storage of `Granny Smith' but possibly also for other scald-susceptible apple cultivars.