Submitted to: Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: One of the primary goals of current postharvest research is to reduce the use of fungicides in controlling losses of stored fruit. Previous research has shown that various postharvest treatments can be beneficial in maintaining fruit quality. The results of the present research have shown that heat treatment of apples following inoculation with Botrytis cinerea, an important postharvest pathogen, completely controlled decay. Also, postharvest calcium treatment of apples reduced decay caused by this same fungus when fruit were inoculated following calcium treatment but did not totally eliminate it. This information will enable fruit growers to develop alternate strategies to maintain the quality of stored fruit and reduce their dependency on fungicides.
Technical Abstract: Golden Delicious apples (Malus domestica, Borkh.) were treated after harvest with heat (38C/4 d or 42C/1 d) or 2 percent (w/v) CaCl2 (applied as a dip or pressure-infiltrated) or a combination thereof and stored at 0C for up to six months. Decay caused by Botrytis cinerea Pers.:Fr. was virtually eliminated in fruit heated at 38C after inoculation to a depth of f2mm prior to storage, regardless of Ca treatment. Apples inoculated with B. cinerea to a depth of 0.5mm (but not 2mm) below the fruit surface upon removal from storage were almost completely protected from decay if they had previously been pressure-infiltrated with Ca, regardless of heat regime. Both heating at 42C and dipping in Ca were only partially effective in preventing decay from either pre- or post-storage inoculations. Fruit firmness was not related to resistance to decay.