Keeping Fuji Apples Fresh
May 29, 1997
Fuji apples retain flavor and crispness for up to nine months
after harvest, thanks to fruit storage methods developed at the
Agricultural Research Service and now
used by the apple industry.
Previously, Fuji apples were only available to consumers during
the fall harvest. No one knew how to keep them fresh for a lengthy market
period. However, over six growing seasons, ARS scientists determined how Fuji
responds to whats called controlled atmosphere (CA) conditions.
CA is a common industry technique used to extend storage life for
other varieties of apples by modifying the concentration of the main gasses
naturally present in air--oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.
ARS scientists analyzed the Fuji for changes in color, firmness,
starch, sugar and acid content. Results: the best CA treatment for Fuji apples
holds storage temperature at 34 degrees F. and maintains oxygen at one to 1.5
percent and carbon dioxide at one percent or less.
Fuji apple production is rapidly expanding in Washington state. In
1992, growers there produced about 805,000 boxes of Fujis. By 1995, production
had jumped to nearly 3.5 million boxes.
An article about the research appears in the April issue of
Agricultural Research, ARS monthly magazine. The article also is
on the World Wide Web in html format at:
Scientific contact: James P. Mattheis, USDA-ARS Tree Fruit
Research Laboratory, Wenatchee, Wash., phone (509) 664-2280, fax 664-2287,