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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Testing Biomarker-Based Tools for Scald Risk Assessment During Storage

Location: Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Determine if scald risk assessment tools indicate when delayed CA imposition leads to high scald risk and high scald incidence. 2. Indicate if and when scald risk is high during CA storage based on risk assessment tools and determine if storage conditions can be changed to alter biomarker levels and scald incidence. 3. Assess effectiveness of scald-risk assessment tools in pilot scale and commercial CA storages


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Our previous work screening hundreds of natural chemicals in apple peel during scald development has revealed those with potential for use as biomarker-based scald risk assessment tools. Further validation is needed to reveal whether tools will aid in commercial storage and supply chain management decisions by monitoring whether, California, storage conditions or crop protectant usage is sufficient to prevent superficial scald. We initially developed and validated this technology by measuring peel chemistry changes related to storage stress during the scald development period of fruit stored in both air and California. We propose continuing this work by testing additional, California, conditions in a laboratory setting as well as in pilot or commercial settings. Proposed objectives complement or extend objectives outlined in our existing WTFRC project as well as our recently awarded federal Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI) project to continue to develop biomarker-based storage management tools for superficial scald and other key postharvest disorders.


3.Progress Report:

This project relates to objective 1 of the associated in-house project which seeks to identify factors that influence postharvest fruit quality and development of market limiting physiological disorders. New diagnostic technology has been shown to indicate whether storage conditions are adequate to store apple without developing a specific type of peel browning and superficial scald, which contributes to significant annual economic losses to the US apple industry. This ongoing study will continue to evaluate these new tools in different storage environments. Collaborative work, headed by USDA-ARS, is underway to develop tools and gain a better understanding of this and other economically significant apple postharvest disorders using advanced biomarker discovery systems. Biomarker based tools for assessing plant health is a relatively novel concept that mirrors medical diagnostics technology and has widespread potential promoting food quality and agricultural sustainability.


Last Modified: 12/28/2014
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