Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Wenatchee, Washington » Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #413430

Research Project: Enhancement of Apple, Pear, and Sweet Cherry Quality

Location: Physiology and Pathology of Tree Fruits Research

Title: Effects of Cooling Delay and Harvest Maturity on ‘Gem’ Pear Internal Breakdown Development [abstract]

item Leisso, Rachel
item Turner, Janet
item Dowell, Kristal
item DONG, YU - Qinghai University

Submitted to: Annual Meeting Horticultural Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/3/2024
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: ‘Gem’ pear is relatively new European pear cultivar with good fire blight resistance. Fruit can be eaten without ripening, either at harvest or upon removing from cold storage, when still crisp and juicy, or can be expected to ripen to a buttery melting texture after 30- 60 days of low temperature (~30 °F) storage. Although research initially indicated ‘Gem’ could be stored in air at 30 °F (-1.1 °C) for 5 months with good retention of quality, in practice ‘Gem’ storage has proved more challenging, primarily due to internal breakdown which can appear as early as 2 months after harvest, either in air or controlled atmosphere (CA) storage conditions. Additionally, with increasing commercial production of ‘Gem’, there is industry interest to extend storage beyond 5 months. This on-going study evaluates factors potentially influencing internal breakdown development, including cooling delay (representing a delay of room temperature establishment at storage facility) and fruit maturity in year 1 and cooling delay and rate of CA establishment in year 2. In year 1, internal breakdown incidence was essentially absent for fruit harvested at 56 N flesh firmness but higher for fruit harvested at 44 N, especially where cooling was delayed. Fruit harvested at 56 N did not soften to below 18 N at 60 d storage, indicating a longer period of postharvest chilling is required for less mature fruit.