Science Into Practice - Better storage for Gala apples

In response to increased UK production of Gala apples, the industry needed to develop improved storage protocols to maintain fruit quality and improve flavour retention from harvest through until June.

AHDB Project TF 221 "Extending the marketing period of Gala apples, Phase 2: Orchard and storage management practices to optimise", managed by Richard Colgan and Debbie Rees of Greenwich National Resource Institute, assessed fruit picked from different Mondial and Shinga Gala orchards on 8, 9, 12 and 13 September 2014, with starch levels of 80-90 and 70-75 per cent, and compared their storage in different regimes for different durations.

Orchards with a high dry matter content (15.5-16 per cent) produced fruit with the highest Brix (13.5 per cent) at harvest that remained stable during prolonged storage until April and June. Co-ordinated taste panel assessments comparing UK and southern hemisphere fruit showed that late stored Gala scored as well as imported fruit in late April (2015). Although there was a slight decline in scores by June, the corresponding scores recorded for imported samples were both higher and lower than UK samples.

The controlled atmosphere regimes of 5/1 (1.5 degsC) without SmartFresh SM and 5/1 (0.5 degsC) with SmartFresh SM, and the dynamic controlled atmosphere (DCA) regime of three per cent CO2 and 0.4 per cent O2, provided fruit with the best eating quality in April - as good as imported Gala.

The controlled atmosphere regimes of three per cent CO2 and two per cent O2 + SmartFresh SM and the DCA regime five per cent CO2 and 0.4 per cent O2 were the highest ranked for maintaining fruit quality through to June.

Early harvesting and rapid establishment of controlled atmosphere regimes for Gala help to retain quality for longer in store.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

How will reduced apple and pear harvests hit the industry?

This spring, many top-fruit growers in the UK and across Europe were dismayed to discover that swathes of their orchards had been hit by frost.

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

How should fruit growers prepare for water abstraction reform?

Upcoming reforms to water abstraction licensing will for the first time cap the amount of water that fruit growers can take for trickle irrigation.

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

Getting a measure of the production labour crisis

At a debate during last week's Fruit Focus trade show in Kent, senior industry figures painted a bleak picture of an increasingly difficult seasonal labour market that is already impacting on investment.