Location: Wenatchee, Washington2009 Annual Report
1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
This project will strengthen synergy between PACE International LLC hereinafter called the Cooperator, and the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, hereinafter referred to as ARS in a collaborative effort to develop topically applied lipophilic compounds suitable for either conventional or designated ‘organic’ orchards, to be used as remedial or prophylactic treatments to reduce physiological apple disorders related to peel cracking, lenticel markings or lenticel breakdown (LB).
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Lenticel breakdown (LB) is a cuticle disorder occurring mainly on ‘Gala’ and ‘Fuji’ apples. For the past several years, LB has been among the top priorities of the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission. Recent work at ARS in Wenatchee has elucidated the dynamics of fruit epidermal tissue—how the apple peel stretches, grows and responds biochemically and structurally to changes in environmental conditions—and has expertise on the nature of LB. On the other hand, PACE International LLC has formulary expertise with a history of successful applications in the tree fruit industry worldwide. Together, we propose to investigate different formulations of natural lipids and lipophilic compounds for their effects on fruit cuticle ultrastructure and fruit cuticle disorders. Documents Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement with Pace International LLC.
3. Progress Report
This project relates to objective 1 of the associated in-house project that seeks to identify factors that influence postharvest fruit quality and development of market limiting physiological disorders. Data from our previous research suggested lipophilic coatings applied preharvest were effective for 1) reducing lenticel breakdown of ‘Gala’ apples stored at 31°F for up to 180 days, and 2) reducing moisture loss of fruit during storage. From these experimental data, the product EpiShield was developed by Pace, Int’l. In 2008 we evaluated EpiShield on peaches to reduce moisture loss in storage. Harvested peaches were dipped (to improve efficacy) for 2 minutes in increasing rates of EpiShield then stored at 36 °F. After 12 weeks in storage, percent water loss was evaluated by measuring final weight of individual fruit and calculating the difference with the pre-storage weight. Percent water loss was 11.1, 11.7, 11.3 and 8.7 for of 0, 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5% EpiShield. At the highest rate evaluated, moisture loss was reduced by 20%, fruit showed no shrivel and peel quality was unaffected. Monitoring Activities: Progress is monitored through periodic meetings as well as annual written progress reports to the non-funding organization.