Development of a Commercial Preservation Technology to Minimize Physiological Injury and Assure Quality Attributes of Apple Fruit
The ripening of fleshy fruits such as apple, pears and tomatoes results in a coordinated change in texture, nutritional characteristics, color, flavor and aroma, and initiates senescence processes that reduce shelf life. Fresh market apples are often treated with 1-methylcyclopropene and stored under controlled atmosphere conditions to delay ripening and extend the supply period to consumers. However, there is always some degree of economic loss due to external injury and flesh browning of the fruit. In this proposal, we intend to investigate mechanisms responsible for these physiological disorders in two popular Canadian apple cultivars ('Empire' and 'McIntosh'). The fruit will be stored under various conditions of temperature and carbon dioxide with or without 1-methylcyclopropene treatment and fruit quality and biochemical and molecular parameters will be assessed. The overall goal is to contribute to the development of a reliable commercial preservation technology to minimize physiological injury and assure quality attributes of apple fruit.