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S.R. Drake, D.C. Elfving, M.A. Drake, T.A. Eisele, S.L. Drake, and D.B. Visser

This study was conducted over two crop seasons using `Scarletspur Delicious' and `Gale Gala' apple trees (Malus ×domestica). The bioregulators aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG), ethephon (ETH), and 1-methylcyclopropene (MCP) were applied at various times before or after harvest. Fruit response was evaluated at harvest and after regular atmosphere (RA) and controlled atmosphere (CA) storage [2.0% oxygen (O2) and <2.0% carbon dioxide (CO2) at 0 °C] and quality of whole and juice apple products evaluated. AVG reduced starch loss and ethylene production, enhanced firmness, and reduced cracking in `Gale Gala,' but reduced sensory acceptance of apples and apple juice. ETH intensified starch loss, ethylene production, and reduced firmness, but did not affect `Gale Gala' fruit cracking. AVG followed by ETH reduced starch loss, ethylene production, and cracking and maintained firmness. This combination also aided in sensory acceptance of apples but reduced sensory preference of apple juice. Exposure to postharvest MCP improved flesh firmness retention and reduced ethylene production after both RA and CA storage. MCP either favored or reduced sensory acceptance of whole apples, depending on the particular season, but reduced sensory preference of apple juice. Sensory scores for `Scarletspur Delicious' apples were more strongly modified by bioregulators than were `Gale Gala' apples.

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S.R. Drake, T.A. Eisele, D.C. Elfving, M.A. Drake, S.L. Drake, and D.B. Visser

In a study conducted over three crop seasons, Ethrel (ETH) increased the Brix, sucrose, and sorbitol content of 'Scarletspur Delicious' apple juice while reducing the fructose content. Both longer preharvest exposure to, and higher concentrations of, ETH had a stronger influence than application closer to harvest and/or at lesser amounts. Time of ETH application tended to influence individual carbohydrates more so than amount of ETH applied. ETH reduced total acidity and also reduced apple juice individual acid (quinic and malic) contents with longer preharvest exposure or higher concentrations. Aminoethoxyvinylglycine [AVG (ReTain)] reduced both Brix and sucrose content of 'Scarletspur Delicious' apple juice, but had no influence on either total acidity or individual acid contents. Combinations of AVG with ETH tended to counteract the influence of either used alone on total Brix, carbohydrates, total acidity and individual acids. Mineral content of 'Scarletspur Delicious' apple juice was not strongly influenced by application of either ETH or AVG.

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S.R. Drake, T.A. Eisele, M.A. Drake, D.C. Elfving, S.L. Drake, and D.B. Visser

This study was conducted over three crop seasons using 'Delicious' (Scarletspur strain) apple trees on MM.111 rootstock. The bioregulators aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG) and ethephon (ETH) were applied alone or in combinations at various time intervals before harvest. Fruit response to bioregulators was evaluated at harvest and after storage. AVG applied 4 weeks before first harvest retarded starch loss at harvest, retained greater firmness, and reduced internal ethylene concentration and watercore of fruit at harvest and after both regular and controlled atmosphere storage. AVG did not influence peel color (hue values), but the flesh color of treated apples was more green. AVG in all instances tended to reduce the sensory scores for apples and apple juice. In contrast, ETH enhanced starch hydrolysis, flesh color development (green to more yellow), and soluble solids concentration while reducing titratable acidity levels. ETH had no influence on fruit firmness at harvest, but reduced firmness levels after storage in an inverse relationship to the concentration applied. Sensory values for whole apples were not influenced by ETH treatment, but ETH improved sensory preference for apple juice, particularly at early harvest. Applying AVG before ETH enhanced soluble solids and sensory scores for both fruit and juice. Treating with AVG followed by ETH at 150 mg·L–1 permitted the maintenance of satisfactory firmness values (>53.4 N) after long-term storage along with better quality and sensory perceptions. Using specific combinations of both AVG and ETH permitted ETH-mediated improvements in objective and perceived fruit quality to be obtained without the losses in flesh firmness and storability due to uncontrolled ethylene evolution and ripening typically observed when ETH is applied alone preharvest.

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K.C. Shellie, L.G. Neven, and S.R. Drake

Sweet cherries (Prunus avium `Bing') exposed to 113 or 117 °F (45 or 47 °C) in an atmosphere of 1% oxygen with 15% carbon dioxide (balance nitrogen) were heated to a maximum center temperature of 112 or 115 °F (44 or 46 °C) in 41 or 27 min, respectively. Heated cherries had similar incidence of pitting and decay, and similar preference ratings after 14 days of storage at 34 °F (1 °C) as nonheated or methyl bromide fumigated fruit. Heated cherries and methyl bromide fumigated cherries were less firm after 14 days of cold storage than nonheated, control fruit. The stems of methyl bromide fumigated cherries were less green than heated or nonheated cherries. Cherries exposed to 113 °F had lower titratable acidity than nonheated cherries, fumigated cherries, or cherries exposed to 117 °F. Cherry quality after 14 days of cold storage was not affected by hydrocooling before heating (5 min in water at 34 °F) or by method of cooling after heating (hydrocooling, forced air cooling, or static air cooling). Cherries stored for 14 days at 34 °F in 6% oxygen with 17% carbon dioxide (balance nitrogen) had similar market quality as cherries stored in air at 34 °F. Results suggest that `Bing' sweet cherry can tolerate heating in an atmosphere of low oxygen containing elevated carbon dioxide at doses that may provide quarantine security against codling moth (Cydia pomonella) and western cherry fruit fly (Rhagoletis cingulata).

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J.D. Hansen, M.L. Heidt, M.A. Watkins, S.R. Drake, J. Tang, and S. Wang

Efficacy of using radio frequency (RF) at 27.12 MHz was evaluated as a postharvest quarantine treatment against fifth instars of the codling moth [Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)], in apples (Malus sylvestris). Tests under the given conditions demonstrated that the energy fields between the RF unit's electrodes were neither predictable nor uniform. Moving fruit submerged in water during RF exposure may improve uniformity, but pulp temperatures varied considerably among fruit, among sites on the same fruit, and at different depths within the same site. As a result of these inconsistencies, quarantine efficacy was not obtained either using a range of final average temperatures from 40 to 68 °C (104.0 to 154.4 °F) or at holding times up to 20 minutes. We concluded it would be difficult to obtain the appropriate parameters for treatment efficacy and fruit quality maintenance using this technology under these conditions.

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J.D. Hansen, M.L. Heidt, M.A. Watkins, S.R. Drake, J. Tang, and S. Wang

Quarantine regulations require domestic sweet cherries (Prunus avium) exported to Japan to be treated to control codling moth [Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)]. The current procedure, methyl bromide fumigation, may be discontinued because of health, safety, and environmental concerns. To examine a potential alternative method, `Bing' sweet cherries were each infested with a codling moth larva, submerged in a 38 °C water bath for 6 minutes pretreatment, then exposed to various temperatures generated by radio frequency and held at that temperature for different times: 50 °C for 6 minutes, 51.6 °C for 4 minutes, 53.3 °C for 0.5 minutes, and 54.4 °C for 0.5 minutes. Insect mortality was evaluated 24 hours after treatment and fruit quality was evaluated after treatment and after 7 and 14 days of storage at 1 °C. No larvae survived at the 50 and 51.6 °C treatments. Fruit color of non-infested cherries was darkened as temperature increased. Stem color was severely impacted after 7 days of storage, even in a warm water bath of 38 °C for 6 minutes, as was fruit firmness at the same treatment. Fruit quality loss increased after 14 days of storage, compared to after 7 days of storage. The amount of pitting and bruising of cherries increased with temperature and again this increase was more evident after 14 days of storage.