Late harvest, high CO, storage increase internal browning of Fuji apples

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In a 3-year study, internal browning of Fuji apples during postharvest storage varied from year to year, but was strongly affected each year by harvest timing and carbon dioxide concentration in storage atmospheres. Internal browning incidence and severity were low in fruit harvested within 180 days after bloom. Timely harvest and storage at CO, levels below 0.5% are recommended to reduce losses from this disorder.

In the 15 years that Fuji apples have been grown commercially in California, apple growers and packers have quickly learned how to grow and market this premium quality dessert apple. California Fuji growers typically conduct several sequential harvests over a 4-to-6-week period to optimize eating quality and external red color development. Firm, sweet and low in acid, Fuji apples may be successfully stored under controlled atmospheres (CA) at 32°F and 90% to 95% relative humidity as long as 9 months after harvest. Many preharvest and postharvest problems have been successfully resolved as Fuji apple acreage and production have increased, while some remain as challenges. Internal browning (IB), first observed in California during the winter marketing of Fuji apples from the 1991 harvest, remains a challenge.

Joe Grant
Beth Mitcham
Bill Biasi
Steve Chinchiolo
California Agriculture