Storage Disorders of Controlled Atmosphere-Stored Empire Apples

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The ‘Empire’ is a major apple variety in the northeastern United States, especially in New York, that is grown for both domestic and export markets. The cultivar is also favored for its fresh cut slice quality because of maintenance of texture and slow browning. Market demand for ‘Empire’ apples is high and the industry would like to store the fruit for at least 10 months. However, a number of physiological disorders limit the controlled atmosphere (CA) storage life for this variety. The main ones are external CO2 injury, firm flesh browning (chilling injury), soft flesh browning (senescent breakdown), and core browning.

External CO2 injury is a serious problem, but we now know that this injury can be prevented by treatment of fruit with diphenylamine (DPA), an antioxidant used for control of superficial scald, or by use of low CO2 levels in CA, especially during the earlier storage periods (Razafimbelo et al., 2006; Watkins and Nock, 2007).

Christopher B. Watkins
New York Fruit Quarterly