Why is cold storage necessary? Fruits with a short shelf life, like apples and peaches, are extremely perishable. Fruit quality can be effectively maintained, losses can be minimized, and harvest potential can be increased by cold storage. Fruit quality qualities change quickly at room temperature, reducing fruit’s ability to be stored. Long-term ambient storage conditions specifically cause changes in nutritional value, color, texture, flavor (soluble solids, acidity, and fragrance), and flavor. Since these changes can be slowed down by cold storage, quality can be preserved for extended periods of time. What is the effect of cold storage on Apples? We are going to discuss the details of the effects of cold storage on Apples. Keep reading to learn more about it.
Importance of Cold Storage For Fruits
The main strategy for increasing the life of fruits is cold storage. When left at room temperature, apples, and pears rapidly become mealy in texture. Fruit needs to be refrigerated to keep its quality for longer than a week. By prolonging fruit’s shelf life, the inclusion of cold storage in management practices further increases market prospects. Local, regional, and even international export is possible with cold storage.
Fruit can also be sold all year long, regardless of the growing season. Both of these benefits portend higher industry profitability. Purchase decisions are greatly influenced by fruit appearance. Maintaining the look, which is thought to be a sign of freshness, crispness, and sweetness, is made possible by cold storage.
Effects of Cold Storage on Apples
What is the effect of cold storage on Apples? Apples stored in the cold experience numerous effects:
- Freshness Preservation: The main strategy for maintaining the quality and freshness of apples is cold storage. Low-temperature storage of apples lengthens their shelf life by delaying the ripening and decaying processes that occur naturally.
- Texture and Moisture Retention: What is the effect of cold storage on Apples? Apples retain their crispness and juiciness better when they are refrigerated. Apples can develop a mealy texture when left at room temperature, but cold storage helps them maintain their desired texture.
- Nutritional Retention: Although long-term cold storage of apples may result in a small amount of nutrient loss, this method generally retains the nutritional content of apples better than room temperature storage.
- Weight Loss and Firmness: Fruit firmness, juice content, and loss of weight can be impacted by the length of cold storage. It’s crucial to regulate storage duration for the best quality because longer storage times may affect these qualities.
- Temperature Control: To avoid spoiling or freezing, apples should be kept at a specified temperature and humidity level. For apples to retain their flavor, proper cold storage conditions are essential.
How to Store the Apples in Cold Storage?
Here is how apples can be stored in the cold storage units:
- Following the Standards For Storage of Apples. Specific storage procedures and circumstances not only guarantee fruit quality but also reduce cold-related harm or damage. Depending on the cultivar, mature apples can normally be kept at 32–39°F for 6 months; however, with careful monitoring, this period can be extended to 12 months. While fully matured apples may only be stored in cold storage for a short period of time (less than a month), partially ripe apples can be preserved for two to three months. Nevertheless, some cultivars are chilling sensitive, which means that prolonged exposure to low, non-freezing temperatures might harm them.
- Apples with the Chilling Sensitivity. Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, Red Delicious, and Cortland apples are susceptible to chilling sensitivity, which is characterized by illnesses including soft scald, soggy breakdown, and lenticel breakdown among others. There are specific temperatures that suggest storage conditions for apples whether it has chilling sensitivity or not.
- Delayed Conditioning or Cooling. The process of exposing the fruit to temperatures of 50°F or 68°F for up to 7–10 days before cold storage is known as delayed cooling or conditioning. The chilling-sensitive cultivar Honeycrisp benefits from this practice since it lessens the fruit’s vulnerability to chilling damage. Compared to control fruits, there have been reports that a 7-day preconditioning phase at 50°F significantly reduced soft scald and soggy breakdown in Honeycrisp apples to less than 1%. A nutritional imbalance during preharvest causes bitter pit, another physiological issue, which causes little brown flesh lesions and also renders the fruit unmarketable. Conditioning treatments have been commonly found to worsen the incidence of bitter pit.
For How Long Can We Store Apples in the Cold Storage Units?
The tree fruits that can be stored the longest are apples and pears, which can be kept in cold storage for up to four months under optimum circumstances and for up to 12 months in regulated environments. Depending on the variety’s chilling sensitivity, cold storage temperatures can range from 32 to 38oF.
Tips for Storing Apples in Cold Storage Units
Before use, cold storage chambers should be cleaned. To sanitize the walls and floors, remove all fruit and containers. Bins should be clean and free of garbage and rotting fruit. Fruit rot is less likely when sources of decay are eliminated.
The majority of cultivars can be kept at or near 32 degrees Fahrenheit, however, regular temperature monitoring is advised to avoid freezing in spaces with erratic temperatures. When kept at temperatures below 36oF, Honeycrisp is susceptible to chilling damage. Apples that are chill-sensitive, such as Honeycrisp, should be refrigerated at 37°F.
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