Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/28/2018
Publication Date: 1/1/2019
Citation: Lee, J., Mattheis, J.P., Rudell Jr, D.R. 2019. High storage humidity affects fruit quality attributes and incidence of fruit cracking in cold-stored ‘Royal Gala’ apples. HortScience. 54(1):149-154. https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI13406-18.
Interpretive Summary: Apple fruit storage conditions after harvest impact how long fruit can be held and how good they will be to eat. One of the factors that influences fruit response to storage is how much humidity is in the storage room. ‘Gala’ apples are known to be sensitive to cold storage conditions and flesh browning and external cracks may develop when fruit are held in unsuitable environments. This research demonstrated the maintaining a high humidity during ‘Gala’ cold storage reduces shriveling and weight loss, but may enhance development of flesh browning and cracking.
Technical Abstract: . ‘Royal Gala’ apples can be susceptable to the incidence of fruit cracking and senscent flesh breakdown during cold storage. As the development of these physiological disorders in other cultivars can be influenced by humidity during storage, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of high storage humidity on fruit quality attributes and incidence of physiological disorders in cold stored ‘Royal Gala’ apples. Fruit obtained from a commercial orchard was held in cardboard boxes with or without a perfoliated polyethylene liner during and after cold storage. High storage humidity induced by the perfoliated polyethylene liner reduced fresh weight loss but enhaced the change of fruit circumference after cold storage. High storage humidity contributed the most reduction of cortex lightness (L*) and hue angle (ho) in stem-end cortex tissues during shelf life. Fruit stored with liners had reduced internal ethylene concentration (IEC) and outer cortex firmness after removal from storage compared with control fruit. High storage humidity prevented shriveling but provoked fruit cracking. The incidence and severity of flesh breakdown were further aggravated during shelf life, compared with cold storage, regardless of a liner application. Overall, maintaining high storage humidity by applying a perfoliated polyethylene liner can contribute to delaying fresh weight loss, reduced IEC, and prevention of fruit shriveling but can enhance cortex tissue browning, loss of flesh firmness, and incidence of fruit cracking during cold storage and shelf life.