Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wenatchee, Washington » Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #279058

Title: Experience with Honeycrisp apple storage management in Washington

item HANRAHAN, I. - Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission
item SCHMIDT, T. - Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission
item MCFERSON, J. - Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission
item Mattheis, James

Submitted to: International Society for Horticultural Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/28/2012
Publication Date: 7/1/2012
Citation: Hanrahan, I., Schmidt, T., Mcferson, J., Mattheis, J.P. 2012. Experience with Honeycrisp apple storage management in Washington. International Society for Horticultural Science Meeting.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: High demand and premium pricing have led to rapid increases in Honeycrisp plantings and fruit volume in Washington State, USA since introduction of the cultivar in 1999. Most fruit is packed and sold by January because of strong demand coupled with difficulties associated with extended storage. However, with rapidly increasing production volume, it appears essential to lengthen the marketing window. Extended storage of Honeycrisp is complicated by severe fruit quality problems like bitter pit and skin greasiness. Rapid decline in titratable acidity can occur in mature fruit, leading to inconsistency in flavor. Fruit sensitivity to chilling manifests itself as soft scald and soggy breakdown and surface cavities can appear if fruit is exposed to CO2 levels >1%. Since 2008 we have conducted a series of experiments to determine: 1) if fruit storage can be extended while preserving fruit quality; 2) factors contributing to chilling disorder development; and, 3) orchard factors that influence postharvest performance. Best-storing fruit comes from annually bearing orchards with medium crop loads. Less mature fruit with some remaining starch (5, 1-6 scale), light green background color, good titratable acidity (0.5% malic acid) stored best, although flavor may have been compromised. One week at 10°C followed by subsequent storage at 2.2-3.3°C reduced incidence of soft scald and soggy breakdown. Controlled atmosphere (CA, =1% CO2; =2% O2) alone or in combination with 1-MCP reduced skin greasiness. Soft scald development was highly variable among orchards and years. Soft scald development was best mitigated by earlier harvests, since disorder incidence increases with advanced maturity.