Location
Extending the marketing period of Gala apples, Phase 2: Orchard and storage management practices to optimise

Research

TF 221 - Extending the marketing period of Gala apples, Phase 2: Orchard and storage management practices to optimise

Start Date: 
01/08/2014
Completion Date: 
30/11/2015
Project Leader: 
Dr Richard Colgan, Natural Resources Institute
Code: 
TF 221

Industry representative: Nigel Jenner, Norman Collett Ltd.

HDC project cost: £27,338

 

The Problem:

UK production of Gala is expected to increase by 40% over the next three years. To provide a market for this fruit there is a need to extend the marketing period of UK Gala into April/ May by developing protocols for retaining good flavour of long-stored fruit.

Phase 1 of this project is on-going and will be complete at the end of July 2014. By the end of Phase 1, analytical methods for identifying good eating quality will be established by comparing taste panel analysis with fruit volatile production profiles, fruit acids and sugars and texture. In addition, comparison of fruit from six orchards harvested at 60% and 80 % starch content and stored at two storage temperatures (0.5-1.0°C, 1.5-2.0°C) under 5% CO2, 1%O2 or 1.2% O2, <1% CO2 with and without SmartFreshTM treatment will provide initial data to identify best practice for Gala storage using existing CA regimes. Additional, industry support from Fruition, Norman Colletts, Chingfords, Mansfields and Son, A.C. Goathams and Son helped to fund the work during phase 1 and made available orchard for sampling. Moreover, a parallel project funded by Agrofresh, investigated alternative CA regimes on Gala flavour retention on SmartFreshTM-treated fruit
The results from Phase 1 of the project will provide information to help to identify the harvest maturity and storage regimes that can maintain the eating quality of Gala for longer, and furthermore, will provide initial information on the impact of orchard history on fruit quality.
During Phase 2 optimising harvest maturity and storage temperatures on selected CA regimes that have the greatest potential to maintain eating quality will be assessed for a second season. The impact of harvest maturity and dry matter content will be examined in particular, and improved methods to determine maturity (Chlorophyll fluorescence and NIR) will be investigated.
 
 
Aims and objectives:
 
Project aim:
 
To identify best orchard and storage practices that maintain the optimum eating quality of Gala for extended periods of storage.
 
Project objectives: Phase 2
 
(i) To test storage regimes (including late SmartFreshTM application and conditioning treatments) with greatest potential to provide fruit with good eating quality after long-term storage
(ii) To establish optimum harvest maturity and methods to assess this in order to provide fruit with good eating quality after long-term storage
(iii) To disseminate recommendations to growers.