Technology promises extended "flavour life" of UK apples

Cranfield University is working with Tesco among others in attempting to extend the "flavour-life" of UK apples by up to six weeks using state-of-the-art sensors allied to improved post-harvest storage

Image: Kevin Jones (CC BY 2.0)
Image: Kevin Jones (CC BY 2.0)

The work builds on Cranfield's recent research to develop novel sensors to better inform targeted controlled atmosphere to suppress ripening while maintaining flavour, offering the ability to extend storage and so help reduce waste and the reliance on imports.

Its director of environment and agrifood Professor Leon Terry said: "The British apple industry is continuously being asked by UK retailers to extend availability and this can only be achieved by implementing ever more sophisticated storage technologies.

"We need to improve how apples are stored so that the focus is moved towards 'flavour-life' rather than just being driven by firmness and sugar content. If we control ripening while maintaining 'flavour-life', we can make incremental increases in storage time to help reduce a reliance on imports and extend the window in which high-quality British fruit can be offered."

The collaborative three-year project also includes Avalon Produce, produce distributor Richard Hochfeld, Chelsea Technologies Group and Univeg Katope UK, and has received £355,000 from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Innovate UK.

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