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Charles F. Forney, Michael A. Jordan, Kumudini U.K.G. Nicholas, and Jennifer R. DeEll

Use of volatile emissions and chlorophyll fluorescence as indicators of freezing injury were investigated for apple fruit (Malus ×domestica Borkh.). `Northern Spy' and `Delicious' apples were kept at -8.5 °C for 0, 6, or 24 h, and then at 20 °C. After 1, 2, 5, and 7 d at 20 °C, fruit were analyzed for firmness, skin and flesh browning, soluble solid content, titratable acidity, ethanol, ethyl acetate, ethylene, respiration rate, and chlorophyll fluorescence. Freezing caused skin and flesh browning and a loss of fruit firmness, which was greater in `Northern Spy' than in `Delicious'. In `Northern Spy' fruit subjected to the freezing treatments, ethanol and ethyl acetate concentrations were as much as 37- and 300-fold greater, respectively, than in control fruit. `Delicious' fruit showed similar patterns of ethanol and ethyl acetate increase, but of lower magnitude, as a result of freezing. Higher fruit respiratory quotients were associated with increased ethanol and ethyl acetate concentrations. Ethylene production and chlorophyll fluorescence of fruit were reduced by freezing.

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Charles F. Forney, Kumudini U.K.G. Nicholas, and Michael A. Jordan

Factors affecting the firmness of `Burlington', `Coville', and `Jersey' highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) during storage in controlled atmospheres or air were characterized. Fruit were stored for up to 9 weeks in 6-ounce plastic clamshells at 0 or 3 °C. Fruit firmness was measured as grams per millimeter of fruit deformation using a FirmTech1 firmness tester (Bioworks, Stillwater, Okla.). Blueberry fruit held in sealed chambers in 0% CO2/15% O2 did not soften during storage. At 0 and 3 °C, fruit firmness of all cultivars increased an average of 30% after 9 weeks of storage. Changes in fruit firmness varied between cultivars and ranged from no change in `Coville' fruit held at 3 °C to an increase in firmness of 9 g·mm–1 per week in `Burlington' fruit held at 3 °C. CO2 inhibited the postharvest firming of blueberry fruit and at higher concentrations induced softening. At 0 °C, fruit firmness decreased below initial values when held in concentrations of CO2 >12% for `Burlington' and >10% for `Coville' and `Jersey'. At 3 °C, fruit were more tolerant to CO2 and softening occurred at CO2 concentration >17% for `Burlington', and >12% for `Coville' and `Jersey' fruit. CO2-induced softening was enhanced by increased storage time. CO2 also was effective in reducing fruit decay. After 9 weeks, 2% and 36% of fruit held in air at 0 and 3 °C, respectively, were decayed. However, all fruit held in 10 to 25% CO2 had <1% decay. Controlled atmospheres of 10% to 15% CO2 reduced decay while maintaining fruit firmness.