Scanning Report Y3 "Fruit Quality, Improvement of handling/storage"

Improving storage technologies enable tailor made storage conditions, which lead to many positive effects but can exhibit some undesired side effects on fruit quality, such as the promotion of the occurrence of superficial scald. This is a postharvest physiological disorder of certain apple cultivars. The disorder leads to brown or black patches on the fruit skin, whereby the symptoms always appear during or after storage, never on the tree.
Different approaches have been pursued to fully reveal the factors responsible for the occurrence of superficial scald. According to current knowledge, the disorder is induced by a chilling shock at the beginning of storage. Different theories try to explain the further development of the disorder.
Over the years, promising tools in managing superficial scald have been developed and researched, such as the apple fruit behavior at very low O2 levels as the “Dynamic Controlled Atmosphere” (DCA). The DCA applied by the means of Chlorophyll Fluorescence and of Respiratory Quotient both led to a positive effect on scald control. Low O2 is possibly inhibiting the oxidation of α-farnesene to the conjugated trienols, which are probably causing the scald symptoms. However, current metabolomic investigations state that the effectiveness of low O2 strategies possibly rely on the cultivar dependent metabolic reconfiguration strategy under hypoxia. Storage at very low O2 levels affect the fruit quality. The treatment of apple fruits at the beginning of storage with the ethylene inhibiting compound 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP, SmartFresh by AgroFresh) provides another alternative for scald control.1-MCP has a different mode of action regarding scald control, suppressing the ethylene effect. 1-MCP treatment affects the lipid composition as well as the sorbitol household of the fruits, leading to an improved cold stress tolerance, resulting in a reduced scald development.
Due to the successful implementation of different scald control strategies, it has been possible to replace the post-harvest treatment with the antioxidant diphenylamine (DPA) completely in South Tyrol (Italy). However, there are still some issues left to discuss, such as the handling of “cross-contaminations”.
Orchard temperatures have a relevant influence on scald sensitivity. Roughly, scald risk of fruits originated from orchards that have experienced less than 150 cumulative hours below 10°C is high. Moreover, temperatures above 25°C during the month prior to harvest increase the risk of scald development.


Scanning Report Y3 "Fruit Quality, Improvement of handling/storage" (English)
Report is in English language, Summary in German language.
Presentation of Scanning Report 2018 ()
Scanning Report 2018
Superficial Scald Management: An Overview
Angelo Zanella, Stefan Stürz
Activity type
Publication of scanning report
Activity work package
Fruit quality; improvement of fruit handling/storage
Activity number
Activity contact
Dr. Angelo Zanella
Laimburg Research Centre
Laimburg 6 - Pfatten
I-39040 Post Auer (BZ), Italy
[email protected]
Activity partner
Activity country
Last edit
The EUFRUIT thematic network has received funding from the
European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme
under grant agreement No 696337.