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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Development and Commercial Implementation of Scald Risk Assessment Tools for Apple Storage Risk Management

Location: Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research

Project Number: 5350-43000-006-32
Project Type: Trust

Start Date: Jun 14, 2013
End Date: Jun 13, 2017

Objective:
Superficial scald is a peel browning disorder of apple that is responsible for significant annual crop losses during storage. We are continuing to develop biomarker-based tests to assess risk for this disorder at the beginning of the storage period to afford. As part of our ongoing project, our objectives are (1) to facilitate commercial testing and implementation of existing tools and (2) to continue to find new biomarkers that more accurately assess scald risk during and following harvest. We expect to determine the utility of existing and new biomarker-based tools for agricultural service providers to aid fruit producers in managing apple storage stock.

Approach:
(1) Work with AgroFresh to test and implement biomarker-based scald risk assessment tools. We will work with partner scientists to establish methods to measure scald-risk assessment biomarkers in there laboratories and collaboratively test these tools in commercial-scale pilot studies under commercial storage conditions. Biomarkers will be measured in the commercial laboratory. Our evaluation protocols will be weighed against their results. It is expected that results will validate prior results in the commercial settings and potentially provide apple producers with a means to have scald risk assessed as a service. (2) Continue to find more accurate biomarkers to be used in scald risk assessment tools. We will perform new storage studies and use tissue from existing storage studies to analyze chemical composition of apple peel in areas not already explored. We will use a variety of extraction and chromatographic/ mass spectrometric techniques to find these novel processes and chemicals that represent changes associated with scald risk. We expect to find biomarkers more closely tied with actual processes that lead to scald development than existing biomarkers.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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