Science Into Practice - Optimum strategies for storage

Scrubbed low-oxygen storage (5/1 CA) has improved storage quality of Bramley apples, particularly in the control of bitter pit and superficial scald. The use of SmartFresh (1-MCP) or ethylene scrubbing is widespread and provides further scald control.

A disadvantage of 5/1 CA is the propensity for carbon dioxide injury. To avoid this, it is recommended that the establishment of CA conditions for SmartFresh-treated fruit is delayed for three weeks.

Concerns about the ability of stores to achieve rapid establishment of 5/1 CA after this initial delay prompted many growers to adopt a procedure whereby stores are sealed immediately and carbon dioxide is scrubbed while oxygen concentrations are allowed to drop to 10 per cent for 21 days before 5/1 conditions are established.

An optimum strategy has not been established. This project will determine an optimum strategy to control CO2 injury while maintaining background colour, firmness, bitter pit and scald control. Bramleys stored long-term are also susceptible to high numbers of core rots. More rapid establishment of CA may reduce the incidence of core rots.

Project TF 199 will identify the optimum storage strategies to improve the quality of stored Bramley apples thereby increase the proportion of the crop that is suitable for supermarket sale in fresh form. The findings of this project will be applicable to 5/1 CA Bramley stores, as used by the majority of growers in mainland UK.

Dates for your diary

HDC Protected Edibles Panel Meeting, University of Worcester, 8 June.

SCEPTRE Field Vegetable Herbicide Screening Trial Viewing, Spalding, 22 June.

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activity, visit

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Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production

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