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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wenatchee, Washington » Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research » Research » Research Project #441690

Research Project: Reducing CO2-Related Disorders During Honeycrisp Rapid CA Treatment

Location: Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research

Project Number: 2094-43000-008-020-T
Project Type: Trust Fund Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2022
End Date: Sep 30, 2025

1. Determine influence of carborn dioxide (CO2) levels on disorder development during rapid controlled atmosphere (CA) treatment. 2. Determine impact of initial fruit temperature, conditioning temperature, and temperature pull down rate on disorder development. 3. Monitor flesh chemistry to indicate which treatment conditions may elevate risk of developing softscald/soggy breakdown or CO2-related browning.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) sensitivity continues to cause considerable losses of important cultivars including Honeycrisp. Both internal and external disorders caused by elevated CO2 during storage are often confused with disorders merely caused by chilling alone, including softscald and soggy breakdown. Rapid Controlled Atmosphere (CA) imposition during temperature conditioning at 50°F is now an accepted practice to reduce bitter pit and chilling injury (soft scald or soggy breakdown). An unintended consequence of a rapid CA treatment can be peel and internal disorders caused by elevated CO2. Outcomes of our current project include a chemical fingerprint linking CO2 sensitivity with internal and external browning that we can use to distinguish it from the other disorders. We propose to improve Honeycrisp rapid CA treatment by determining the combined influences of room CO2 levels, pre-harvest and postharvest 1-methylcyclopropene(MCP), temperature, and rapid CA treatment duration on disorder development. We will monitor levels of fruit chemicals linked with increased risk of browning associated with CO2 sensitivity during treatment to assess risk during treatment. Pre- and postharvest 1-MCP treatment will be included in this study as both are heavily used and can have significant positive and negative impacts on development of all these disorders.