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 AJPS  Vol.4 No.1 , January 2013
Synergistic Influence of Pre-Harvest Calcium Sprays and Postharvest Hot Water Treatment on Fruit Firmness, Decay, Bitter Pit Incidence and Postharvest Quality of Royal Delicious Apples (Malus x domestica Borkh)
Abstract: Experiments were conducted to observe the effect of pre-harvest calcium (Ca) applied as calcium chloride (1% W/V) and postharvest hot water treatment (HWT) on “Royal Delicious” apples. For this, apples were divided in 4 lots viz., untreated (neither Ca nor HWT), Ca alone (pre-harvest 3 sprays of CaCl2 (1.0% w/v) in the orchard), HWT (42℃ for 2 h). Apples of all four lots were stored in cold storage maintained at 0℃ ± 1℃ and 90% - 95% relative humidity for 6 months. After storage, fruits were removed to ambient conditions for 5 days, and then observations on decay area and incidence, bitter pit incidence, fruit Ca content, lipoxygenase (LOX) and antioxidant (AOX) activity, fruit firmness and fruit quality parameters were recorded. After 6 months in cold storage plus 5 day at 22℃ ± 2℃ and 70% + 4% RH, apples, which received Ca as pre-harvest spray or those which received postharvest hot water treatment or Ca + HWT had significantly lesser decay area (decay lesions) caused by Penicillium expansum or Botrytis cinerea than untreated ones (control). Ca + HWT treatment was significantly more effective on B. cinerea than P. expansum. Untreated apples exhibited higher incidence of bitter pit (18.2%) than those treated with Ca or HWT or both. Fruit Ca content (2.92% DM) were significantly lower and conversely the LOX activity (6.9 μmoles min–1×g–1FW) was higher in untreated apples. Similarly, total phenolics and AOX activity were also lower in the untreated apples than Ca or HWT treated. HWT or Ca treated apples have beneficial effects on fruit firmness, peel colour and quality parameters like TSS and ascorbic acid content. Thus, it is concluded that pre-harvest sprays of calcium chloride with postharvest HWT is highly useful for “Royal Delicious” for reducing decay loss, maintaining firmness, high levels of antioxidants and fruit quality.
Cite this paper: R. Sharma, D. Singh and R. Pal, "Synergistic Influence of Pre-Harvest Calcium Sprays and Postharvest Hot Water Treatment on Fruit Firmness, Decay, Bitter Pit Incidence and Postharvest Quality of Royal Delicious Apples (Malus x domestica Borkh)," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2013, pp. 153-159. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.41020.
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