NE1836: Improving Quality and Reducing Losses in Specialty Fruit Crops through Storage Technologies
(Multistate Research Project)
NE1836: Improving Quality and Reducing Losses in Specialty Fruit Crops through Storage Technologies
Duration: 10/01/2018 to 09/30/2023
Statement of Issues and Justification
The need as indicated by stakeholders
The scale of horticultural fruit production across North America is highly variable, ranging from large-scale farms and fruit storages in states such as Michigan, New York and Washington, to smaller sized operations in states such as Maine, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. While large scale farms and storage operations are the backbone of the USA food supply, an exciting trend towards increased diversification has been occurring nationwide, independent of production size; the expanded cultivation of many small fruits and fruit-type vegetables yields fruits for local markets is coupled with the development of new techniques for growing season extension and organic production and handling practices. The 'locavore' trend is gradually reshaping the economics of the agriculture industry and is spurring a revival of small farms; the last available report (2015) from the USDA Economic Research Service estimates that locally grown foods generated nearly $7 billion in sales in 2012. Also, the organic food industry in the U.S. has been growing at a rate of 20-30% per year for the past 10 years, with a commensurate increase in land farmed under certified organic management.
Fruits, along with vegetables, are essential components of a healthy diet, and their consumption is associated with decreased risk of chronic diseases and in maintaining a healthy weight. Despite the widespread availability of fresh fruit, many Americans fall short of the recommended five servings per day. The foremost complaint of consumers is lack of variety and quality in fruit – if it doesn’t taste good, no one will eat horticultural products, no matter how ‘good’ it is for their health. Therefore, deterioration of quality attributes such as texture and flavor, as well as development of storage disorders and rots, continues to cause losses for producers and marketers, especially with increased environmental variability during growing seasons. Environmental stressors such as high solar irradiance leading to postharvest disorders can reduce product quality in certain high production regions of the US more than others. As a result, the fresh fruit industries rely on prophylactic postharvest chemical applications to ensure minimization of losses due to ripening, softening, senescence, decay, and development of storage disorders. While advances have been made in nontoxic control alternatives, changes in the types and amounts of available chemicals and increased emphasis on improved targets for sustainability have created a need to modify storage technologies. New approaches are required to meet needs of organic markets, minimize losses of fruit during storage and transport, and thereby maintain regional and global market shares for domestic producers as well as allow small-scale producers to maintain local market share. A better understanding of relationships between postharvest physiology of fruits and their susceptibility to physiological disorders and decay pathogens is essential for developing improved control measures and reducing chemical use. It also leads to improved phenotyping for new cultivar development and means for assessing disorder risk to better inform cold chain decisions and reduce disorders on the retail shelf.
This project involves research on a wide variety of fruits that are important in different growing regions. These fruits include avocados, blueberries, cherries, papaya, peaches, pears, pineapples and plums, with the most collaborative focus on apple fruit, the most valuable fruit crop in most of the participating states. Research with all of these specialty crops is critical to the project’s success, and sharing of technical knowledge, especially about application of new technologies, increases the probability of successful outcomes from research on all fruits. Also, while this project primarily addresses the needs of large-scale fruit storage operations, the knowledge obtained is adaptable to meet the needs of smaller-scale operations. The project involves most postharvest scientists in the USA and Canada, nearly all with extension/outreach responsibilities, thereby providing a powerful platform for development and extension of this knowledge.
Several developments in fruit production and storage technologies make this project highly relevant for fruit industries in North America.
- The development of new cultivars within a range of fruit types. Examples include new plum cultivars with longer storage potential and less susceptibility to chilling injuries. For apples, the huge impact that Honeycrisp has had on grower profitability has increased awareness of how consumers will respond to apples with improved texture and flavor. Along with these trends there has been greater emphasis on licensed cultivars in order to protect market share; these include Cosmic Crisp in Washington, SnapDragon and RubyFrost in New York, and Evercrisp in Ohio. Honeycrisp has been widely used as a parent in breeding programs, and many of the storage disorder susceptibilities have been inherited by progeny.
- Changes in planting designs, especially intensive plantings and rootstock for apples. Increased yields, while of more uniform appearance, can result in fruits with compromised keeping quality because of lower carbohydrate and mineral concentrations.
- Increasing interest in organic fruit production is accompanied by a requirement for compatible storage technologies. Chemical control measures are being replaced with often highly sophisticated and sometimes risky postharvest storage technologies.
- Adoption of preharvest plant growth regulators such as aminoethoxyvinylglycine (ReTain) and 1-methylcycopropene (1-MCP; Harvista) has occurred in fruit industries to control maturity and ripening. Use of these compounds has increased greatly, largely in response to the need to reduce harvest costs and to manage harvest with fewer pickers.
- The development of new non-destructive technologies for assessment of fruit maturity and quality. Examples include the Delta Absorbance (DA) meter for chlorophyll measurements, and the F750 meter for dry matter concentration measurements.
- 1-MCP has been widely adopted for postharvest treatment of apples, but less used for other fruit types because it can inhibit rather than delay ripening, resulting in undesirable effects on product quality. However, 1-MCP has come off patent and a number of new postharvest technologies for application such as sachets and incorporation of 1-MCP into films are becoming available. Additionally, new niche applications for 1-MCP continue to be developed.
- The recent banning of the antioxidant, diphenylamine, in Europe raises concerns about its future viability in North America. One alternative technology, dynamic controlled atmosphere (DCA) storage, in which oxygen concentrations in storages are kept close to the anaerobic compensation point, is an option that needs further exploration.
- Physiological disorders can be affected positively or negatively by storage technologies. For example, superficial scald of apples is inhibited by 1-MCP, DPA, and DCA storage, while other disorders, especially carbon dioxide-related ones tend to be increased by 1-MCP. In addition, a number of emergent disorders in apple (skin wrinkling, leather blotch, stem end browning) appear to be more prevalent, with no clarity yet on their causes.
- Regulations related to immigration and guest worker programs continue to evolve. The expectation is that acquiring the needed labor for a timely harvest will become more challenging. This threat has already lead to the development of new harvest and handling technologies that have the potential to negatively impact the quality of the harvested fruit. The impact of these new technologies needs to be assessed in order to improve their performance and to inform farmers of benefits and liabilities.
Research in this project will focus on each of these needs over the next five years.
Importance of the Work
The multistate project described here is focused on fruit, reflecting the continued investment in postharvest issues related to fruit by the Agricultural Experiment Stations. The project objectives address a range of postharvest issues of fruits throughout the US as well as Canada. Previous (NE103, NE1018, NE1036) and current (NE1336) versions of this project have made major contributions to the fresh fruit industry. These include industry adoption of innovative applied methods developed by the group, and basic research on postharvest problems such as superficial scald, and bitter pit in pome fruits, and chilling injury (CI) in pome and stone fruits. The efforts of this project have led to more effective control measures and new knowledge of the genetic and biochemical causes of the disorders. Other environmental impacts during fruit growth, especially elevated solar irradiation, are major contributors to annual postharvest losses in major US fruit production regions. By necessity, our collective work continues to assess metabolic bases of these losses and identify novel solutions mitigating them in a changing regulatory environment such as sorting to improve storage consistency or remove high risk fruit. Nonchemical and reduced risk chemical methods of preventing losses have been studied/developed as a way to extend storage life of highly perishable fruits such as berries. Over the past five years, members of NE1336 have conducted extensive research on postharvest nutritional quality of many types of fruits to identify and quantify antioxidative constituents beneficial to human health, and to determine how the content and composition of these phytonutrients are influenced by cultivar and storage methods. Studies on apples have continued to be a major focus, with an emphasis on newly emerging problems such as browning disorders and CI, which cause major losses for producers. 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), an ethylene action and ripening inhibitor developed by members of this project, has been adopted as a common commercial means to control ripening and maintain quality in storage of apple and continues to be a critical area of research for NE1336. As 1-MCP moves off patent, new applications of value to varied commercial interests are being assessed and uses with fruits other than apple are gaining a renewed interest.
Consumers prefer newer apple cultivars and are willing to pay more for them compared with older cultivars (Yue and Tong, 2011). ‘Honeycrisp’ apple, a relatively new cultivar with high consumer demand, has been widely planted in the U.S., and a number of physiological disorders have been identified through the activities of the NE1336 that raise challenges for continued expansion. As this cultivar is widely used in breeding programs across the United States, postharvest testing of Honeycrisp and its progeny, from different orchards and regions, will provide useful information to growers and shippers, especially those forming marketing cooperatives. Information on problems with both older, established cultivars and replacement cultivars in regional growing areas has become increasingly important as locally grown and food safety issues have made consumers more interested in regionally produced fruit.
Technical Feasibility of the Research and Advantages for Doing the Work as a Multistate Effort
As a group, researchers in the current project (NE1336) actively collaborate to find solutions to problems faced by the fruit industry. The researchers in this project have skillsets that span a number of scientific fields (e.g., pathology, engineering, nutrition, physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology) and have an established track record for collaboration on projects across North America and continue to recruit new collaborators. The project actively develops solutions for rapid implementation to maintain industry profitability, while supporting the applied research with a strong basic program that seeks to understand fruit physiology and biochemistry, particularly in relation to responses to genetic differences among cultivars, and responses of fruits to technologies such as 1-MCP and CA storage regimes. The genetic underpinnings of the biochemical mechanisms involved in the induction of storage disorders and fruit quality are being elucidated, often in association with grants based on research that was originally carried out under the auspices of this project. One example is a USDA NIFA Specialty Crops Project that is exploring the genomics and metabolomics of several physiological disorders. Future combined efforts hold the promise of finding the causes of browning disorders such as bitter pit, chilling injuries, CO2 injury, and emergent physiological disorders. Increasing consumer appeal of U.S. fruit through improvement of texture, flavor, and aroma, and preventing losses for growers can best be approached by a broad array of sensory, physiological, biochemical, and molecular genetic techniques.
Storage protocols for fruits are cultivar- and often region-specific, and must be optimized to reduce postharvest losses. Further, many storage disorders are impacted by local growing conditions and the cultural activities of the grower. The broad geographical distribution of the team in this project provides a unique opportunity where responses of cultivars to a wide range of growing conditions can be studied and the difficulties posed by the intrinsic variability of a fruit crop can be overcome. To this end, several institutions have installed equivalent facilities, such as those for controlled atmosphere (CA) storage, enabling parallel investigations across regions. An example is the investigation of the sensitivity of the apple cultivar Honeycrisp to the elevated CO2 concentrations encountered in CA storage. Some NE1336 members have focused on the impact of the rate of establishment of the desired atmosphere, others have evaluated chemical and cultural techniques for controlling the sensitivity of the fruit, and others have evaluated the role played by environment in fruit sensitivity to the CA atmosphere. Through combined effort, the NE1336 membership work as a research and extension team to solve industry problems and to provide rapid dissemination of research results that would not occur without the organization of a multistate project. This has become especially important as the interest in locally grown fruits demands a mobilization of knowledge and adaptation to the varied resources of small to large farms. As no individual state has the expertise and resources required to address all aspects and issues of fruit quality, the multistate project can combine their respective strengths for a synergistic and coordinated effort to investigate postharvest issues and problems, and provide much needed recommendations and solutions to the fresh fruit industry, both regionally and nationally.
Integration of sensory testing into postharvest research has been challenging, as physical measurements of quality do not always predict consumer preferences. An exciting addition to the project is the sensory research to be carried out by Dr. Dando (Cornell University). Cost effective sensory analyses are difficult, and most postharvest research data are based on physical measurement such as texture, soluble solids, and acidity. Dando will develop a sensory framework for use by various stations involved in the project across North America. Initially this research will focus on Honeycrisp apple, but will expand to other cultivars as necessary.
The accomplishments of the NE1336 project include extensive evaluation of fruit cultivars and development or modification of methodologies to best enhance storage life, quality, and flavor and the elucidation of mechanisms involved in flavor and storage disorder development in fruits. Another excellent example of impact resulting from our continued collaboration of at least six research units participating in NE1336 to establish the best postharvest practices for the Honeycrisp apple in various regions of the U.S. and Canada. The NE1336 program has generated key information that has at least provided solutions to storage of this cultivar, including the development of CA storage regimes. Successful transfer of information to researchers and industries has been done via peer-reviewed publications, grower meetings and trade publications, and a website. Most members of this project have strong extension/outreach programs associated with their research and they have been successful at changing the behavior of the fruit industries. The North American apple industry, for instance, has directly and demonstrably benefitted from the research and extension efforts of the NE1336 and now uniformly employs a protocol for suppressing chilling injury in Honeycrisp.
The proposed new project will make similar valuable contributions, continuing to develop and improve methods and technologies for evaluation, maintenance, and genetic enhancement of postharvest quality of fresh fruits. The primary goals of our new research project are to increase competitiveness for domestic fruit production and preserve 'fresh-picked' sensory and nutritional quality, which in turn will increase the availability and consumption of locally grown and highly perishable fruit. To meet these goals, we make better use of existing storage technologies, and develop new, safer technologies requiring minimal use of chemicals. We do not have an economist formally involved in the project because of commitment to other projects, but they (e.g., Brad Rickard, NY) are willing to contribute as needed. The overall impact of this project will be to improve the long-range health of the American populace via greater consumption of fresh fruits, and to increase profitability of organic and convention operations at all levels of scale.
One of the most valuable aspects of this Multistate Project is the connection among members conducting basic research and those involved in applied science. Fundamental information relating to fruit physiology, molecular biology, and biochemistry is developed by some members of the Technical Committee and then used by other members to guide their more applied research. Examples of such collaborations include work on ethylene action and ripening, quality loss, biosynthesis of aroma and flavor compounds, and storage disorder development. Conversely, the applied research identifies and defines problems in a way that helps refine inquiry at the fundamental level. Techniques and methods developed by NE1336 members have led to advances in maintenance of fruit quality and consistency, reduction in pesticide use, and practices that are easily tailored for regional and small-scale fruit production systems. Introduction of new fruits through postharvest manipulation has added more consumer choices. Annual reports are available on the NIMSS project website (http://nimss.umd.edu/homepages/home.cfm?trackID=10057), and publications resulting from this project for 2012-2017 are listed in Appendix B.
Related, Current and Previous Work
A search of the NIMSS database revealed that, apart from efforts by the NE1336, there is an absence of multistate project(s) or coordinating committees focused on investigations into the biology and technologies used to preserve the wholesomeness and quality of fresh fruit. This multistate project is needed in order to provide coordination and collaboration among scientists working in this field in order to service a diverse and valuable fruit industry and avoid duplication of effort and inefficient use of resources.
The following projects were found to address some aspects of postharvest preservation of food crops. Postharvest-related objectives dealing with the characterization of harvested crop quality, the preservation of harvested crop quality, and the assessment of storage and processing on healthfulness and/or safety of harvested crops are noted.
S294 Quality and Safety of Fresh-cut Vegetables and Fruits. This multistate research project is dedicated to the preservation of lightly processed fruit and vegetable products. Its primary focus is on food safety, but two of its objectives describe activities similar to those proposed for TEMP_1836. These are:
- Evaluate methods of sampling and measuring flavor and nutrition of fresh-cut products to facilitate comparison to traditional shelf life factors. 2. Develop new strategies to improve and maintain inherent fresh-cut product quality and nutrition. 3. Improve understanding of physiological mechanisms that affect fresh-cut product quality.
W3009 - Integrated Systems Research and Development in Automation and Sensors for Sustainability of Specialty Crops. This multistate research project is
- Adapt biological concepts associated with specialty crop production, harvest, and postharvest handling into quantifiable parameters which can be sensed
- Develop sensors and sensing systems which can measure and interpret the parameters
WERA27 - Potato Variety Development. This multistate research coordinating committee and information exchange group i solely dedicated to the development of potato varieties, with some emphasis on the selection of traits beneficial to storage.
- Coordinate studies to optimize cultural management, disease and pest resistance, storage and processing characteristics that result in new potato selections that can be produced with minimal environmental impact and optimal usage under growing conditions in each participating state.
NC213 - Marketing and Delivery of Quality Grains and BioProcess Coproducts. This multistate research project is solely targeted to grain production, storage and processing and does not deal with fresh fruit.
- To characterize quality and safety attributes of cereals, oilseeds, and their processed products, and to develop related measurement systems.
- To develop efficient operating and management systems that maintain quality, capture value, and preserve food safety in the farm-to-user supply chain.
NCCC212 - Small Fruit and Viticulture Research. This multistate research coordinating committee and information exchange group governs informational exchange for small fruit production and targets nutritional value.
- Explore the association between fruit constituents and human health impacts.
Current and Previous Work
The NE1336 project has made significant contributions to postharvest fruit research and has made impactful contributions to the management procedures and livelihoods of producers. Applied research has centered on pre- and postharvest conditions by focusing on new cultivar evaluation, susceptibility to and identification of the causes of storage disorders, methods of decay prevention, and postharvest quality loss. New knowledge is delivered to users in a timely fashion through Extension outreach, which remains an integral function of the group to assist and educate growers and packinghouse operators on issues such as disease control and modification of sanitation, storage, and handling protocols. Fundamental research on the genetic and biochemical mechanisms of storage disorder development, volatile aroma/flavor production, nutritive value, and ripening and fruit quality is shared with collaborators within and outside the multistate project to foster trans-disciplinary approaches that will to contribute to the development of innovations and enhance applied research.
The proposed work is divided between developing better tools to control or minimize quality losses postharvest (objective 1) and developing a better understanding of the biological processes governing the development and maintenance of fruit quality (objective 2). Current and previous work is described relative to the proposed objectives:
Objective 1. Adapt or develop harvest, handling and storage technologies to improve fruit quality, increase consumption and reduce food waste.
Much of the decision-making regarding the application of harvest, handling and storage technologies depends on the cultivar. Production of new cultivars continues to expand for North American fruit industries and remains key to economic success. For example, the pome fruit industries have introduced several new cultivars for which no storage recommendations currently exist. These include Ambrosia (Cliff et al., 2017; Toivonen, 2015), Cosmic Crisp, SnapDragon, RubyFrost, and Evercrisp apples and Gem pear (Einhorn and Wang, 2016). Honeycrisp has been widely used as a parent in breeding programs, and many of the storage disorder susceptibilities have been inherited by progeny. Nevertheless, to address new needs, the NE1336 has continued efforts in evaluation of apples, pears, cherries, plums, peaches, muscadine grape and berry fruit. Evaluation of new cultivars is a priority for small scale and local producers as well as large producers in states such as CA, MI, NY and WA.
For apple, the development of storage protocols is a mature field (Watkins, 2017). Recently, much of the research in apple storage has been focused on the Honeycrisp apple. Due to its popularity with consumers and high profitability for producers, Honeycrisp production has substantially increased making it one of the most widely grown cultivars in North America. However, Honeycrisp is highly susceptible to physiological disorders including soggy breakdown, soft scald, and bitter pit. NE1336 researchers quickly developed strategies to minimize fruit losses. Maturity at harvest and storage temperature are two primary factors inducing low temperature disorders in HC, and conditioning has become an important technique for preventing these disorders (Al Shoffe et al., 2016 and 2017; Baugher et al., 2017; Chiu et al., 2015; DeEll et al., 2015 and 2016; Lachappelle et al., 2016; Leisso et al., 2016; Lum et al., 2016; Tong et a., 2016; Xu et al., 2017). The limits to use of CA storage for Honeycrisp because of susceptibility to CO2 injury continue to be explored. Also, significant work has also been invested in refining storage protocols for more traditional cultivars of apple including Empire (Doerflinger et al., 2015a,b; DeEll et al., 2017; Doerflinger et al., 2016; Ma et a., 2015a,b; Rickard et al., 2016). Findings of the group have been shared via web-based resources and numerous presentations to lay audiences. Research on these and other contributing factors and preventative measures have enabled the industry to produce and store Honeycrisp with reduced losses, though more research is needed.
1-MCP is now widely used by the apple industry and to a limited extent by the pear and kiwifruit industries. Mango has also been shown to benefit from its application in storage (Osuna-Garcia et al., 2015). Despite going off patent in 2016, it continues to be an important subject of postharvest research and will likely continue to be for some time as new formulations and application strategies emerge (Osuna-Garcia et al., 2015) and the impact of 1-MCP on disorder incidence becomes increasingly appreciated (Watkins et al., 2015 and 2016). In general, it is widely appreciated that 1-MCP affects fruit physiology and metabolism, particularly at the level of gene expression and enzyme activity (Du et al., 2016). While some of the work on 1-MCP deals directly with studies on specific cultivars of apple and pear (DeEll et al., 2015; Doerflinger et al., 2017; Wang and Sugar, 2015; Wang et al., 2015b), a significant portion of active research has been using 1-MCP as a tool to elucidate the effects of ethylene or further explore the relationship between storage technologies and the effects of 1-MCP on fruit quality attributes (Du et al., 2016; Watkins, 2015 and 2016; Xie et al., 2016: Yang et al., 2016). 1-MCP is now widely used by the industry on standard apple cultivars, with research of increasing importance on newer cultivars such as Ambrosia, Creston, Minneiska, Silken, SnowSweet, Cosmic Crisp, SnapDragon, RubyFrost, Evercrisp, and other advanced apple selections.
1-MCP can increase susceptibility of fruit to CO2 injury even as it controls other disorders (Watkins et al., 2017). Currently the CO2 injury is controlled by DPA, but fears about continued registration exist. Alternative strategies for control include CA delay treatments, but acceptable management systems have yet to be established.
Pear fruit storage challenges continue to evolve as 1-MCP and other plant growth regulators are increasingly used to modify fruit behavior during storage (Warner and Wang, 2016). Commercial use of 1-MCP on pear has been complicated by the need to prevent browning disorders and yet allow for ripening. Combining 1-MCP with CA on pears appears to have some merit for long-term storage (Lum et al., 2017; Wang and Long, 2015; Wang and Sugar, 2016; Wang et al., 2015b; Xie et al., 2015 and 2016). Disorders that continue to plague adequate storage include internal browning (Walsh and Newell, 2015; Wang, 2016; Wang et al., 2015a) and superficial scald, especially in d'Anjou (Wang, 2016; Zhao et al., 2016).
Small fruits and vine crops (e.g., blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, grape, and kiwifruit) are widely planted across the U.S. These fruits have a high cash value in both direct and commercial markets, and offer a viable income for small acreage growers (Ducharme et al., 2015; Perkins-Veazie, 2015). However, labor shortages threaten a timely harvest to maximize quality and new insect pests (e.g., spotted wing drosophila) pose serious threats. Constant evaluation of new cultivars for quality and ways to extend storage life in order to grow market share is needed (Cliff et al., 2017; Mandava and Wang, 2016; Mitcham and Cristoso, 2017; Toivonen et al., 2017). Sargent et al. (2016) has evaluated the impact of delayed cooling on blueberry fruit quality and Moggia et al. (2016) has determined important factors controlling moisture loss and shrivel. Due to labor issues, mechanical harvesting methods are being used on ever-larger acreages, but storage methodologies to mitigate the effects of greater fruit bruising and damage have yet to emerge. Mechanical harvesting continues to be associated with reduced fruit quality and increased decay. New low-impact harvester technologies are needed. The highly perishable nature of small fruit necessitates special measures to ensure their availability to consumers (Crisosto and Mitchell, 2017a, b). CA storage and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) can be used to extend storage life of berry fruits and its application continues to be explored (Hansen and Wang 2015b; Wang et al., 2015).
The NE1336 group continues to make major contributions to the prevention of disorder development and to our understanding of their genetic and molecular control, particularly superficial scald of apple and pear, carbon dioxide injury, flesh browning and bitter pit of apple, and CI of stone fruit. The mechanism for the development of soft scald and soggy breakdown remains unclear, although significant progress in our understanding of its management has been achieved (Al Shoffe et al, 2017; Leisso et al., 2016, McClure et al., 2016; Xu et al., 2017; Zarei et al., 2017). Production of several apple cultivars is limited by a high degree of susceptibility to bitter pit. Understanding Ca deficiency disorders at the cellular level may lead to more effective preventative measures. Bitter pit remains a challenge for some apple cultivars, especially Honeycrisp (Baugher et al., 2017). Superficial scald affects many cultivars of pear and apple. Accumulation of farnesene and its CTols in peel tissue of d'Anjou pear and is influenced by CA storage, storage temperature and 1-MCP application (Wang, 2016). Metabolomic profiling of apple peel during scald development showed extensive changes associated with scald, which precede actual symptom development. Du et al. (2016) has described the influence of superficial scald on the proteome of apple. Several browning disorders of apple occur with unknown causes. Empire apples are susceptible to flesh browning in long-term CA storage, under low temperature or with 1 MCP at warmer storage (Doerflinger et al., 2015b, c). Peroxidase and polyphenoloxidase activities may be linked to the expression of this disorder (Ma et al., 2015b).
Chilling injury (CI) continues to be a barrier to storage and quality of apple, the stone fruits, peach, nectarine, plum, pluot, cherry and apricot. CI is expressed as flesh mealiness, translucence or browning, and symptoms are more severe when fruit are stored at temperatures in the range of 2-8C. Application of conditioning CI in stone fruits is species dependent. In peach, conditioning or delaying cold storage for 24-48 hours improved sensory attributes compared to non-conditioned peaches. Interestingly, resistance to injury can be found within species and transcriptomic analyses provides some insights regarding the mechanism of CI and its timeframe (Pulg et al., 2015)
Objective 2. Improve our understanding of the biology of fruit quality to further our development of harvest and storage technology and development of new plant materials.
Phytochemicals encompass a host of nutritive and non-nutritive compounds found in plants that offer protective effects against chronic and degenerative diseases. Watermelon juice, for instance, has been evaluated for preventing sarcopenia (Sadji et al., 2015). While there is great interest in using fresh fruits and vegetables as potential alleviators of chronic diseases in medical and nutritional fields, the effects of postharvest treatments or storage on subsequent phytonutrient protection or manipulation are less studied but equally important (Song, 2015). Apple polyphenols were found to help preserve antioxidant activities in harvested kiwifruit (Zhang et al., 2015). Proteomic analysis has been used to better understand the dynamics of flavonoid and anthocyanin metabolism in strawberry (Song et al., 2015). Methods that extend storage life such as 1-MCP, CA storage and packaging can impact flavor and consumer acceptance. Volatile production in apple is impaired by ripening inhibition via the modified atmospheres of CA storage, low temperature and 1-MCP (Lumpkin et al, 2015;Yang et al., 2016). Recent studies have revealed that aroma formation is a well-regulated process but that the pathways are not well understood. A new pathway for the formation of branched-chain esters has been hypothesized to exist in apple (Sugimoto, et al., 2015). A route for the synthesis of hexyl acetate, the 'green apple' smell has also been demonstrated in apple (Schiller et al., 2015) and is linked to the de novo synthesis of free fatty acids (Contreras et al., 2015). Even so, additional information on the formation and regulation of aroma formation is required. For instance, while ester biosynthesis is demonstrably linked to ethylene perception (Yang et al., 2016), individual ester formation varies more than a thousand-fold between differing Malus germplasm lines (Sugimoto, et al., 2015).
Quantitative and qualitative ‘omics’ (proteomics and metabolomics) approaches to reveal and identify mechanisms involved in the biology of fruit quality for fruits are yielding new information on biological processes engaged during storage (Bowen et al., 2014, Du et al., 2016b; Gapper et al., 2014; Luo et al., 2017; Nahm, et al., 2017; Risticevic et al., 2016; Song 2015; Song et al., 2015). These omic approaches are being applied to uncover mechanisms related to disorder development for chilling injury (Leisso et al., 2016; Puig et al., 2016) and superficial scald (Du et al., 2016a). Transcriptome, protein and metabolomics profile changes associated with storage regimes will provide a more in-depth understanding of biology of fruit quality, but may also be useful in the development of ‘biomarkers’ to be used as diagnostic tools to monitor fruit quality and predict disorder development.
Adapt or develop harvest, handling and storage technologies to improve fruit quality, increase consumption and reduce food waste.
Improve our understanding of the biology of fruit quality to further our development of harvest and storage technology and development of new plant materials.
Objective 1. Adapt or develop harvest, handling and storage technologies to improve fruit quality, increase consumption and reduce food waste.
Sub-objective 1. Honeycrisp harvest and handling (MD, MN, ME, MI, NY, ON, WA, WA-USDA). Research will continue on Honeycrisp, both the predominant strains as well as the early ripening Premier strain. In previous projects this group found that conditioning is an effective method to control chilling injuries such as soft scald and soggy breakdown, but a negative side effect of the method is increased susceptibility of fruit to bitter pit. In addition, emergent new disorders including a form of skin wrinkling as well as a 1-MCP-related disorder, leather blotch, are becoming prevalent. The technical committee has prioritized coordination on Honeycrisp because the high losses of fruit due to disorders are not sustainable as prices decline over time due to increased production. In this sub-objective, non-traditional storage temperatures and regimes to maintain quality of Honeycrisp apples with minimal losses due to occurrence of physiological disorders will be developed. Each partner contributing to this sub-objective has access to multiple storage rooms and CA equipment. Preliminary work shows that shorter term storage at 33F before movement of fruit to warmer temperatures of 38F or higher can decrease bitter pit incidence while avoiding chilling injuries. A key focus therefore will be on manipulation of temperature regimes including precooling. Fruit will be stored at the participating locations at different temperatures for various lengths of time, and temperature conditions modified by step up- or step-down procedures. Fruit maturity and quality assessments involving DA and F750 meters will be used alongside traditional indicators of harvest maturity, as fruit maturity at the time of harvest greatly influences susceptibility of fruit to disorders. The interaction of these temperature manipulations with preharvest plant growth regulators, growing region, and air and CA storage. Research on relationships between preharvest climate data and susceptibility of fruit to physiological disorders will be expanded beyond collaborative work (ME, MN, ON) already carried out and published. Data will be shared across the project throughout the year, and formally at the annual multistate project meeting. Results and conclusions will be analyzed collectively before recommendations to the industry are made.
Sub-objective 2. Development of tailored maturity, handling and storage recommendations for blueberries, blackberries and other small fruits, stonefruit and apple selections (FL, MD, ME, MI, NC, NY, ON, WA, WA-USDA) and tropical fruit (pineapple, papaya) (HI). Optimum harvest dates using new quality index tools such as the DA and F750 meters, together with traditional harvest index tools such ethylene production, internal ethylene concentrations, starch pattern indices, firmness, soluble solids concentrations, color, sugars, organic acids and titratable acidity will be developed. These indices will be related to storage performance under air and CA conditions. The role played by temperature management practices prior to and during storage and shipping on fruit quality maintenance will be include in this sub-objective.The ability to combine rapid screening of fruit and compositional changes will provide more precise information for best storage methods and handling for consumer acceptance. The results of the work in this section are localized to growing areas, sometimes because of the exclusive licenses that restrict access beyond State lines.
Many new apple cultivars have Honeycrisp as a parent and share similar susceptibilities to certain physiological disorders. All new apple cultivars are now evaluated in the context of the effects of 1-MCP (pre- and post-harvest) and ReTain, storage temperatures, CA recommendations, and use of postharvest chemicals including fungicides where necessary. Protocols for evaluation and handling of each fruit type will be standardized to maximize the ability of the team members to analyze results at annual multistate project meeting.
Tropical fruit such as papaya have unique problems with the use of 1-MCP and results with other crops studied in this project provide potential approaches to address these conditions. Protocols for evaluation of fruit types will be standardized to maximize the ability of the team members to analyze results at annual multistate project meeting.
Sub-objective 3. To add formal sensory components to fruit quality evaluation (ME, MI, NY, ON, WA, WA-USDA). The initial focus will be on Honeycrisp. Matching fruit from multiple locations will be compared centrally by a consumer sensory panel of 120 regular Honeycrisp apple consumers at Cornell University (Instrumental assessments will be carried out at the postharvest lab.). Apples grown here at Cornell will be sent to multiple locations for comparison in different markets, to characterize regional preference patterns, with data gathered remotely using Compusense Cloud sensory analysis software, which allows for data to be recorded from any location via a simple web browser interface. The overall goals of this sub-objective are to:
- To provide a sensory point-of-contact, for advice on testing strategies as-a-whole.
- Custom designing sensory testing for the project’s other investigators, tests could be place online, and accessed at each project locations for sensory testing to be run at each of the projects facilities. This involves visits by the lead sensory scientist (Dando) to “audit” the facility where testing would take place; advise on facility and sample prep issues, to make sure future testing is carried out according to good practice. Further visits while testing is taking place could also be discussed, as well as providing assistance with data analysis for results generated in this scheme.
- To centrally test samples at Cornell for a number of projects from other investigators
- Finally, as testing at all locations will be performed using an analogous testing strategy, the project over 3-5 years will generate a large data set, allowing for further meta-analysis of what will likely be the largest dataset of its type in existence.
Sub-objective 4. To develop dynamic controlled atmosphere (DCA) technology for use on conventionally and organic grown apple cultivars (NY, ON, NS, WA). DCA allows fruit to be stored at oxygen levels approaching anaerobic respiration levels. Industry will adopt this technology only if it can be shown that fruit can be stored safely under oxygen concentrations in the storage that are well below standard CA conditions under actual industry handling conditions; and that quality will be maintained through the marketing chain after storage. The adoption of 1-MCP by the industry has set a new bar for this quality standard and our goal is to either match that performance or provide evidence of quality characteristics under DCA conditions that are superior to 1-MCP treated fruit.
Testing of traditional and new apple cultivars will continue across stations to evaluate the efficacy of this technology for North American industries. At least two cultivars will be studied collaboratively each year using either Fluorescent based DCA or Respiratory Quotient based DCA. Also, we will expand on preliminary research from NY and ON that indicates that flesh browning disorders can be inhibited by DCA treatment, and an ON study that shows that this effect can be supplemented with a post-storage 1-MCP treatment to obtain improved maintenance of quality after storage. Organically-grown fruit will also be studied; most organic production in the US occurs in WA, but organic blocks that are available in NY include Liberty, McIntosh, RubyFrost, Gala and Honeycrisp. Data across collaborating stations will be collected using uniform methodology, and data will be shared at the annual multistate project meeting.
Sub-objective 5. To evaluate new non-destructive tools to assess fruit maturity and fruit quality (FL, HI, ME, MI, MN, NY, ON). New instruments, such as the DA meter (chlorophyll assessment) and F750 (primarily dry matter concentrations but can be used to model other quality attributes) are becoming available to researchers and industry. We will collaborate in this project to assess the utility of these tools, alone and in combination, for their relationships with maturity and quality assessments by traditional means. Work in this sub-objective will overlap with 1 and 2 as appropriate, but the focus will be on use of these tools for prediction of optimal timing of preharvest plant growth regulator sprays, and for prediction of physiological storage disorders. Collaborative research approaches have been designed. Data will be analyzed collectively and reviewed at the annual multistate project meeting.
Sub-objective 6. To optimize use of 1-MCP and ethylene scrubbing on fruit including apples, stonefruit, cherries and strawberries, and to investigate novel application methods (FL, HI, MI, NY). We will investigate the use of 1-MCP to arrest the ripening of fruit at different ripeness stages. New, controlled-release 1-MCP sachet technology will be investigated in conjunction with modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) in simulated and actual (between stations) distribution to allow marketing of tree-ripe stone fruits, and subtropical and tropical fruits. This research will include evaluation of recovery of ripening competence by climacteric fruits following 1-MCP application at different ripeness stages. Possible prophylactic effects of controlled-release 1-MCP on potentially ethylene-sensitive products (small fruits and fruit-type vegetables) during simulated handling and distribution will also be evaluated. Benefits of new, palladium-based ethylene scrubbing technology with greater ethylene affinity and scrubbing capacity than traditional technologies will also be evaluated with fruit other than apple at different ripeness stages in simulated and actual (between stations) distribution tests.
Sub-objective 6. Quantification of phytonutrient bioactives will be conducted in collaboration with human nutrition experts to translate results into potential health benefits (NC, ME). Bioactives in plums and berry fruits will be characterized and quantified in cultivars with commercial potential.
Sub-objective 7. To improve our understanding of how our research reduces postharvest losses and contributes to economic benefit for producers and health benefits of consumers.
Objective 2. Improve our understanding of the biology of fruit quality to further our development of harvest and storage technology and development of new plant materials.
Sub-objective 1. To improve our understanding of how solar, chilling, and other stressors impact novel metabolic pathways associated with ripening, especially those pathways involved in fruit cuticle composition. Solar stress can negatively influence apple, pear, and sweet cherry appearance resulting in significant annual losses directly or indirectly related to resulting disorders. Untargeted metabolic profiling will be used to determine novel compounds comprising the cuticle of apple, pear, and sweet cherries and sun exposure influences cuticular composition. Cuticle condition will be evaluated using a variety of microscopy techniques to assess microscopic imperfections (USDA-WA; NY).
Sub-objective 2. To discover new or further illuminate known pathways of aroma compound biosynthesis (MI, NS). Previous work within the NE1336 has uncovered the existence of two new pathways - the citramalate pathway and a lipoxygenase pathway essential in the formation of branched chain esters and the ester hexyl acetate, which makes the 'green apple' scent. The regulation of these pathways is not known. We will investigate how these pathways are regulated at the genetic and protein level. We will initially use high and low aroma apple lines and use genetic, genomic, and transcriptomic data coupled with physiological measurements of ripening and aroma formation to learn how apple fruits regulate aroma formation during ripening. Further, based on preliminary work, the low aroma lines for branched-chain esters are expected to be partly due to differences in enzymatic activity, so enzymes will be formed using a bacterial expression system and evaluated for functionality. We will evaluate how storage atmospheres and inhibition of ethylene action during storage affects the expression of these important pathways. Finally, we will attempt to modify the aroma of strawberry fruit as a proof-of-concept approach to modify aroma by manipulating the noted pathways.
Sub-objective 3. The mechanisms by which application of sublethal postharvest stress treatments (e.g., heat or extreme atmosphere) affect, 1. Fruit ripening, and, 2. Upregulation of the fruit antioxidant system will be studied. The latter may confer tolerance to subsequent stresses such as chilling exposure. Heat treatments that have been previously developed for decay or insect control and brief exposure to anoxic or extreme CO2 atmospheres will be evaluated for effects on fruit quality and the fruit antioxidant system including stimulation of synthesis of pigments and aroma volatiles (FL).
Sub-objective 4. Quantitative and qualitative ‘omics’ (proteomics and metabolomics) approaches to reveal and identify mechanisms involved in the biology of fruit quality; data for apple, papaya and papaya fruit, each showing different ripening patterns during ripening will be analyzed and compared (HI, NS, MI). Work in this objective will include transcriptome, protein and metabolomics profiles changes associated with storage regimes, 1-MCP treatment or different harvest maturities to establish the possible ‘omic’ profiles and provide a more in-depth understanding of biology of fruit quality. This approach will also develop possible ‘biomarkers’ to be used as diagnostic tool to monitor the fruit quality.
Measurement of Progress and Results
- Develop maturity, handling, and storage regime recommendations for small fruits, stone fruits, and apple cultivar selections based on consumer acceptance. (FL, ME, MI, MN, ON, NY).
- Identify nontraditional storage temperature and regimes that prevent both bitter pit and chilling injury in Honeycrisp and other new cultivars (ME, MI, NY, ON, WA).
- Determine the impact of conditioning (time and temperature) on the sensitivity of Honeycrisp apple fruit to chilling injury and injury due to CO2 and low oxygen in the storage environment (MI).
- Describe the shifts in essential metabolic pathways due to damaging levels of elevated CO2 in the storage environment for Honeycrisp apple (MI).
- Refine the weather-based model for predicting chilling injury in Honeycrisp apples (ME, ONT, MN, NY).
- Investigate the interactions between DCA and other storage technologies with preharvest plant growth regulators and 1-MCP (ON, MI, NS, NY)
- Testing new instruments that increase the accuracy of fruit ripeness measurement for improving postharvest quality (FL, ME, MI, MN, NC, NY, ON).
- In collaboration with the NC140 multistate, compare apple rootstocks for their impact on Honeycrisp bitter pit (ME, MI, NS).
- Determine utility of novel storage temperature and controlled atmosphere regimes for organic apple storage (NY, WA).
- The optimum preharvest factors (management, harvest maturity) and postharvest practices for improving shipping quality will be studied for pineapple and papaya (HI).
- Develop methods that allow application of jasmonic acid (JA) to pineapple and papaya with appropriate ripening and quality characteristics for the consumer (HI).
- Basic understanding of the action of 1-MCP on the disruption of papaya ripening that will lead to improved application strategies (HI).
- Determine the effectiveness of controlled-release 1-MCP sachets or ethylene scrubbing to arrest the ripening of peaches, avocadoes and mangoes at different ripeness stages and recovery of ripening competence following 1-MCP exposure (FL).
- Determine if controlled-release 1-MCP or ethylene scrubbing extends the shelf life of small fruits (strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries) and temperate, subtropical and tropical fruits (avocado, banana, and mango) during simulated handling and distribution (FL, NY).
- Determine the efficacy of sulfur dioxide and other vapor-based treatments in the disinfestation of blueberry maggot and spotted-wing drosophila (MI).
- Determine how heat treatments and brief exposure to anoxic or extreme CO2 atmospheres affect fruit quality and the antioxidant system including stimulation of synthesis of pigments and aroma volatiles (FL).
- Determine source of browning in bronze muscadine grapes and storage technologies to reduce or eliminate browning (NC).
- Identify metabolism, orchard conditions, postharvest treatments, and varietal attributes associated with postharvest sweet cherry microcracking and surface pitting. (MI, BC)
- Identify new metabolites and changes in overall postharvest metabolism related to orchard light environment and susceptibility of fruit to sunscald. (WA-USDA)
- Identify cuticular components common among apple, pear, and sweet cherry impacted by light environment, and postharvest impacts of solar stress on fruit cuticle constituency (WA-USDA)
- Identify mechanisms involved in fruit quality traits formation by applying quantitative proteomics including peptide dimethyl labelling and multiple reaction monitoring (SRM/MRM, LC/MS) for profiling proteins regulating fruit attributes (NS).
- Determine biochemical pathways and control mechanisms responsible for fruit quality attributes by linking genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) and “omic” tools in concert with quantitative proteomics and metabolomics. (MI, NS)
- Establishment of sensory capacity in 4 remote locations, to be administered by sensory lead at Cornell. (NY).
- Contrast the sensory properties of apples produced in varying regions in a single centralized consumer panel. (ME, MI, NY, ON, WA)
- Define optimal sensory quality in Honeycrisp apples for a number of differing regions within the United States and Canada. (ME, MI, NY, ON, WA)
Outcomes or Projected Impacts
- Research procedures for maturity, handling, and storage testing of small fruits, stone fruits, and apple cultivar selections and quality evaluation procedures based on consumer acceptance will be standardized among project participants.
- Fruit growers, both organic and conventional, will make informed choices in selecting new fruit cultivars to grow and market.
- New storage temperatures and regimes will reduce Honeycrisp postharvest losses to storage disorders.
- Recommendations on alternative precooling strategies that result in improved storage performance of fruits will be made available.
- Growers will use new non-destructive maturity indicators to optimize harvest timing and will reduce postharvest losses of Honeycrisp apples.
- Knowledge will be gained about novel postharvest storage disorders in new apple varieties.
- Apple storage facilities will have additional management strategies for long-term storage of organic fruit.
- Knowledge gained from research on harvest and postharvest performance of pineapple and papaya that will help shippers and handlers to make knowledgeable decisions to ensure high quality fruit for the consumer.
- Identification of storage protocols to avoid the 1-MCP enhanced physiological disorders of papaya ripening to help extend storage life and better economic returns for growers and storage operators.
- Develop a better understanding of genetic and metabolic mechanisms that determine the postharvest quality and storage life of tropical fruits, which can be applied to devise new strategies to maintain quality and reduce losses due to ripening, senescence, and physiological disorders.
- Information will be available on the effectiveness of controlled-release 1-MCP sachets and ethylene scrubbing to allow handling of tree-ripe peach, avocado and mango with better sensory quality.
- Controlled-release 1-MCP or ethylene scrubbing procedures will be available to extend the shelf life of small fruits such as strawberry, blackberry, and blueberry, and subtropical and tropical fruits such as avocado, banana, and mango.
- Understanding of how heat treatments and brief exposure to anoxic or extreme CO2 atmospheres affect fruit quality and the antioxidant system including stimulation of synthesis of pigments and aroma volatiles.
- Metabolic targets for non-destructive sorting to reduce solar-related damage in the cold chain.
- An improved understanding how orchard light environment influence postharvest performance.
- Develop a better understanding of genetic and ‘omics’ mechanisms that determine the postharvest quality and storage life of apple fruits and physiological disorders.
- Data on critical regional consumer preference patterns for Honeycrisp apples will be gathered, allowing for more expansive market knowledge.
- Scientists at 4 remote locations will have access to sensory capabilities for future testing.
Milestones(2019):Approve research procedures to be used for maturity, handling, and storage testing of small fruits, stone fruits, and apple cultivar selections and quality evaluation procedures based on consumer acceptance. Publish a paper on the use of new instruments to measure Honeycrisp apple maturity Publish a paper on the impact of CO2 concentration on the rate and extent of tissue damage in Honeycrisp apple fruit. Develop a grower-friendly 'pocket guide' for the storage of popular cultivars of apple. Publish a paper describing the citramalate pathway in apple Publish a paper on plum species and their bioactive compounds associated with health. Publish a paper on maturity and storage of at least one new apple cultivar. Establishment and in-person audit of 4 remote sensory testing locations Programming of master test, to be applied throughout the project Proof-of-concept testing of system at Cornell. Publish one chapter on papaya and another on pineapple postharvest disorders Responses to JA treatment on pineapple and papaya will be completed. Develop planting protocol for pineapple that ensures uniformity in flowering, fruiting and harvest scheduling for optimum fruit quality. Anticipated one publication Publish two papers on alternative precooling strategies for strawberries and blueberries. Publish a paper on the effectiveness of ethylene scrubbing in extending strawberry shelf life. Publish a book chapter on the history of controlled atmosphere storage. Publish a book chapter on postharvest physiological disorders of mango. Publish a book chapter on CA and MA technologies for mango. Publish a paper on the fresh market shelf life of black raspberry.
(2020):Publish paper on storage disorder in Rave apple. Publish one chapter on papaya and another on pineapple postharvest disorders Report to industry on potential for use of controlled-release 1-MCP and palladium-based ethylene scrubbing to allow handling of tree-ripe fruit. Publish a paper on heat treatments of tomato fruits to improve fruit quality and confer chilling resistance. Publish a paper on the dose-response of CO2 injury in Honeycrisp and Empire apples to diphenylamine. Publish a paper on the effect of palladium-based ethylene scrubbing on shelf life of blueberries. Publish one chapter on papaya and another on pineapple postharvest disorders Responses to JA treatment on pineapple and papaya will be completed. Develop planting protocol for pineapple that ensures uniformity in flowering, fruiting and harvest scheduling for optimum fruit quality. Anticipated one publication Preparation of manuscript on gene expression during papaya fruit ripening with comparison between slow ripening and normal ripening. Completion of evaluation of transgenic flowering control pineapple lines. Publish a paper on the browning of muscadine grapes during storage. Publish a paper on quantitative proteomic investigation on fruit soft scald disorder in relation to genetic variations Publish a paper on genome wide association analysis on genetic regulations of phenolic and anthocyanin compounds in commercial apples Publish paper on consumer testing of Honeycrisp from 4 remote locations plus NY at central location in Ithaca 1 consumer test per location to be designed and analyzed by the sensory lead, and executed by staff at the remote location.
(2021):Publish a paper on apple rootstocks that reduce bitter pit risk in Honeycrisp apples. Publish a paper on the effect of controlled-release 1-MCP on shelf life and senescence of nonclimacteric fruits. Publish a paper on the effect of palladium-based ethylene scrubbing on shelf life and senescence of nonclimacteric fruits. Report to the industry on the potential for combining MAP with ethylene scrubbing for handling tree-ripe subtropical and tropical fruits (avocado, banana, and mango) Publish at least one paper on preharvest factors that affect pineapple fruit translucency. Complete gene expression study of impact of 1-MCP on papaya fruit ripening. Publish 2 papers on DCA storage of apple cultivars. Publish a paper on novel strategies for organic apple storage. Publish a paper on the impact of CO2 on essential metabolic pathways in apple. Publish a paper on the effectiveness of field conditioning to prevent CA and chilling injury in Honeycrisp apple. 1 consumer test per location to be designed and analyzed by the sensory lead, and executed by staff at the remote location. Publish paper on consumer testing of apples from 5 locations in ME, ON.
(2022):Publish a paper on maturity and storage of at least one new apple cultivar. Publish a paper on use of controlled-release 1-MCP and palladium-based ethylene scrubbing to allow handling of tree-ripe peaches. Publish a paper on the potential for combining MAP with ethylene scrubbing for handling tree-ripe mango. Publish a paper on the effect of heat and extreme atmosphere on the antioxidant system of mango fruit. Publish a paper on the effectiveness of near infrared spectroscopy for estimation of sugars and firmness in blueberries after storage. Publish a paper on the regulation of the citramalate pathway in apple fruit 1 consumer test per location to be designed and analyzed by the sensory lead, and executed by staff at the remote location. Publish paper on consumer testing of apples from 5 locations in WA, MI.
(2023):Publish a paper on a weather-based model to predict chilling injury in Honeycrisp apples. Publish a paper on maturity and storage of at least one new apple cultivar. Publish a paper on how brief exposure to anoxic or extreme CO2 atmospheres affects blueberry fruit quality and anthocyanin pigment synthesis. Publish a paper on quantitative proteomic investigation on fruit soft scald disorder in relation to root stocks. Publish a paper on the impact of storage environments on important aroma pathways in apple. 1 consumer test per location to be designed and analyzed by the sensory lead, and executed by staff at the remote location. Publish paper on meta-analysis of full sensory dataset across 4 years of testing in 5 locations.
Projected ParticipationView Appendix E: Participation
Results of this research will be made available through publications in refereed journals, grower and trade magazines, conference papers and proceedings, project reports, on-line sources (web), and presentations to industry. Several participants have partial extension appointments and develop outreach materials through fact sheets, web-based resources and other extension publications. Extension publications include the Maine Apple Pest Report, NY Fruit Quarterly and the Good Fruit Grower. In addition, states such as ME, MI, NY and WA have extensive formal industry venues for presentation of results to growers. These include storage workshops in MI and NY, which are held every two years, the New England Vegetable and Fruit Growers Conference and Trade Show, The NY Fruit and Vegetable Expo, Carolinas Fruit and Vegetable Expos, the NC Winter vegetable meeting, the SE Fruit and Vegetable Expo, Annual Hood River Winter Horticultural Meeting, Pear Packers Pre-harvest meeting, MN Apple Growers Association, Great Lakes Horticulture meeting, and other fruit schools. Several project participants attend and are invited to present their results at grower meetings in other states and Canadian provinces. Overall, the project members have established excellent performance in ensuring that research results to colleagues in North America and to fruit growers and storage operators are made available in a timely manner.
One person at each participating agency is designated, with approval of the agency director, as a voting member of the Technical Committee. Other persons at agencies are encouraged to participate as non-voting members. The Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, and Administrative Advisor will conduct the activities of the multistate project between annual meetings. Officers can be any member, including the official voting representatives. The officers are elected every second year by voting members and serve a two-year term. A succession of officers from Secretary to Chair-Elect to Chair is normal, but is adjusted if needed due to changing circumstances.
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