Storage and Handling options for ‘Sunrise’ apple

Peter M.A. Toivonen, Senior Research Scientist, Summerland Research and Development Centre, Summerland, British Columbia

Since its commercial release in the mid-1990’s, ‘Sunrise’ apple has been prized as a summer apple with exceptional taste and crunchiness. However, the challenge for this apple is, that if it is stored and handled as other varieties are, it softens at shelf temperatures at a very rapid rate and can become mealy within a few days on the counter (Lane et al., 1996; Lau, 2012). The reason for this is that ‘Sunrise’ is chilling sensitive and should not be stored below 15 °C (Toivonen and Lu, 2005; Qui et al., 2009) much like what is recommended for vine ripe greenhouse tomatoes.

Lau (2012) proposed two general options for handling and storage of ‘Sunrise’; 1) place them in cold storage, display in a refrigerated display and advise the consumer to keep refrigerated until consumption or at least until within two days before they will be consumed, or 2) treat with 1-MCP and store at 20 °C, display in an unrefrigerated display and advise the customer to not refrigerate the apple prior to consumption. In our laboratory experience with ‘Sunrise’ apple, we echo the recommendations made by Dr. Lau. The one comment that I feel needs to made is that successful or consistent adherence to the advice for retailers and consumers under option 1 is not likely to occur in practice. Therefore, my opinion is to recommend that ‘Sunrise’ growers or shippers consider the possibility of treating their fruit with 1-MCP and handling at temperatures ranging from 15-20 °C and recommending that distributors and retailers handle them warm, much like greenhouse tomatoes. Jeffrey Cassidy of AgroFresh has developed a protocol for treatment of ‘Sunrise’ apples at elevated temperatures (personal communication) and so application of this approach could be relatively straightforward for those interested in exploring this option. Our work has also shown that a second application 1-MCP one week after the first application will enhance the quality retention in ‘Sunrise’ apples when held at 20 °C (Toivonen and Lu, 2005).

Lau (2012) made recommendations for a very narrow harvest window for ‘Sunrise’ not treated with 1-MCP and stored at 0 °C before marketing (starch index between 2.3 and 2.9 and having a firmness of between 15.7-16.6 lb). Quality declines faster for fruit picked after the recommended harvest window and storage disorders become significant if the fruit are picked at starch index greater than 4.4. However, if ‘Sunrise’ apples are treated with 1-MCP at elevated temperatures and stored for three weeks at 22 °C, there is good firmness and acidity retention (Figure 1 and 2) despite a wide range of harvest maturities tested over three years. No storage or senescence related disorders were observed in that work. Lau (2012) recommended that one month of holding is possible when apples are treated with 1-MCP and held at room temperature.

The conclusion for ‘Sunrise’ is that it is a very good summer apple, but it needs to be treated like a greenhouse tomato and stored, shipped, displayed and held at between 15-20 °C. In order to achieve a reasonable storage/shelf life, at least one, but optimally two, 1-MCP treatment(s) are recommended to have a shelf life of about 1 month for this apple. The apple should be harvested at a starch index of 2.3-2.9, but if handled at elevated temperatures as recommended and treated with 1-MCP, there may be some forgiveness for later harvested ‘Sunrise’ apples. Firmness at harvest is extremely important with a suggested average firmness of 15 lb being the lowest acceptable target for commercial marketing.

 

Figure 1

Figure 1. Changes in firmness for ‘Sunrise’ apples held at 22°C in three seasons (2000 to 2002). The first harvest in each of the three years was at the commercially recommended harvest date.  The latter two harvests occurred one and two weeks after the initial commercial harvest. Apples for the 1-MCP treatment were treated 14 hours with 0.25 ppm of 1-MCP at 22 °C. Each data point represents four replicates of 10 apples each and the error bars represent standard errors of the means.Figure 2

Figure 2. Changes in titratable acidity for ‘Sunrise’ apples held at 22°C in three seasons (2000 to 2002). The first harvest in each of the three years was at the commercially recommended harvest date.  The latter two harvests occurred one and two weeks after the initial commercial harvest. Apples for the 1-MCP treatment were treated 14 hours with 0.25 ppm of 1-MCP at 22 °C. Each data point represents four replicates of 10 apples each and the error bars represent standard errors of the means.

 

 

References cited:

Lane, W.D., R.A. MacDonald, O.L. Lau and K.O. Lapins. 1996. Sunrise apple. Canada Journal of Plant Science 76: 165-167.

Lau, O.L. 2012. Optimizing Harvest Maturity, Fruit Quality, and Shelf-Life of ‘Sunrise’ apple. ‘Sunrise’ Apple Factsheet (July 2012), British Columbia Fruit Growers’ Association, 21 pp.

Qiu, S., C. Lu, X. Li and P.M.A. Toivonen. 2009. Effect of 1-MCP on quality and antioxidant capacity of in vitro digests from ‘Sunrise’ apples stored at different temperatures. Food Research International 42: 337–342

Toivonen, P.M.A. and C. L. 2005. Studies on elevated temperature, short-term storage of ‘Sunrise’

Summer apples using 1-MCP to maintain quality.  Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechology 80 (4) 439–446.

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Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) update August 11, 2016

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  • SWD numbers continue to increase! Pressure from this insect is very high now.
  • Use all forms of management- weekly sprays, regular, thorough harvest (every 2 days or less) and immediate post-harvest cooling to less than 5 C (preferably cooler).
  • SWD is present at almost all of our monitored sites, including Grey County and eastern Ontario to Ottawa.
  • Use the salt water test to look for SWD in fruit.
  • Pyrethroid insecticides (MAKO) will not work well in hot weather and will cause in increase in mites. Save the use of this product for later – when weather cools off and mite pressure is low.
  • Two spotted spider mite is also a problem in many strawberry and raspberry fields – SWD sprays are hard on predators (especially pyrethroids) so monitor your fields for mites.
  • Blueberry growers – if you can’t spray your whole field, at least consider spraying outside rows
  • Heavy rains will reduce insecticide residue. Re-application is needed after ½-inch rains.
  • If you can’t keep up with harvest in day neutral strawberries consider removing older blocks.
  • If severe infestation occurs, strip ripening fruit from infested blocks of raspberries and day-neutral strawberries, spray and start again.
  • In fall-bearing raspberries, bees and pollinators are abundant right now. Protect pollinators by choosing least toxic options and spraying at night.
  • Hot, humid conditions can lead to spray burn. Make sure temps have cooled off below 25 C before you spray.

Table: Summary of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Trap Captures

Week traps collected # sites with SWD/# sites checked # SWD trapped Ave # SWD/trap Counties where SWD was found Crops where SWD was trapped
May 29 – June 4 0/7 0 0 _ _
June 5 – June 11 2/16 2 1.0 Essex, Niagara wild hosts
June 12 – June 18 3/24 3 1.0 Kent, Elgin, Niagara wild hosts, strawberries
June 19 – June 25 3/25 3 1.0 Essex, Middlesex wild hosts, raspberries
June 26 – July 2 4/30 11 1.6 Essex, Kent, Brant, Elgin wild hosts, strawberries, raspberries
July 3 – July 9

 

9/29 27 1.8 Essex, Kent, Elgin, Middlesex, Norfolk, Oxford, Waterloo, Niagara wild hosts, raspberries, peaches, cherries
Jul 10 – Jul 16

 

 

30/30 136 4.7 Essex, Kent, Elgin, Middlesex, Norfolk, Brant, Oxford, Haldimand, Niagara, Durham Wild hosts, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, cherries
July 17-23

 

30/30 1,757 31.4 Essex, Kent, Elgin, Middlesex, Norfolk, Brant, Oxford, Haldimand, Niagara, Wellington, Peterborough, Northumberland, Grey  Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Wild hosts, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, cherries, saskatoons, plums, pears
July 24-July 31

 

27/29 4,147 59.2

 

Essex, Kent, Elgin, Middlesex, Norfolk, Brant, Oxford, Haldimand, Niagara, Wellington, Peterborough, Northumberland, Grey , Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Wild hosts, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, cherries, saskatoons, plums, pears
August 1 – 6 29/29 6,800 80 Essex, Kent, Elgin, Middlesex, Norfolk, Brant, Oxford, Haldimand, Niagara, Wellington, Peterborough, Northumberland, Grey , Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Wild hosts, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, cherries, saskatoons, plums, pears
August 7 – 13* (Data incomplete at this time) 17/29 17,346 309.8
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Check for signs of scale insects on blueberry

By Hannah Fraser, Entomologist – Horticulture, OMAFRA and
Pam Fisher, Horticulture Fruit Specialist, OMAFRA

Scale insects seem to be an emerging pest in blueberries in Ontario and several states. We noticed at least three finds of scale insects last year and reports are coming in from new locations.  It is possible the spray programs used to manage spotted wing drosophila are having an impact on natural predators and parasites that would normally help keep numbers down*.

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Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) update – August 10

Hannah Fraser, Entomologist – Horticulture, OMAFRA

We continue to find BMSB at our hot spot locations.  All life stages are present.  So far, we have not found BMSB infesting any crops.  However it has been trapped at some of our agricultural survey locations, and in one case (Niagara), we have collected adults and nymphs in wild hosts adjacent to crops.  As numbers are increasing, it is very important to include BMSB and signs of stink bug injury in weekly scouting.  In addition, we have confirmed the presence of an established population in Toronto.  We have suspected the pest was established there following the identification of BMSB adults indoors over the last few years.  Several homeowners have now provided pictures and samples of BMSB nymphs over the last two weeks.  These reports have contributed significantly to our knowledge on the distribution of this pest in Ontario.

 

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OBGA Twilight Meeting

Tuesday September 13, 2016
Barrie Hill Farms
2935 Barrie Hill Rd., Barrie

If you are old enough to remember the last summer tour at Barrie Hill in 1998, you will be amazed at the growth and progress that has taken place since then.  Production and marketing of asparagus, strawberries, raspberries ,  blueberries and  other fresh fruit and vegetables has turned Barrie Hill farms into  community hub for fresh and local food.  http://www.barriehillfarms.com/

Many of our members have gotten to know Adrien and Morris Gervais from Barrie Hill Farms.  Adrien and Evelyn Gervais purchased the farm in 1968 and grew tobacco until 1979. Getting out of the tobacco industry, strawberries were the first crop, beginning in 1977.

The farm has evolved a lot from their beginning and now boasts 40 acres of blueberries, 30 plus acres of strawberries and 15 acres of raspberries.  Those are just the berry crops.  Barrie Hill grows a variety of vegetables including a large acreage of asparagus.  A new planting of apples has been established as well over the past few years.

As you can see there is lots to see and talk about and after last years record crowd we expect another large gathering..

The OBGA board will spend some time bringing members up to date on the proposed marketing board for Ontario Berries.

The program starts with a farm tour at 4:00 pm followed by dinner around 6 pm.  The cost will be $15-$20 per person to cover the cost of dinner.  Last year we were able to get some sponsorship dollars to help offset the meal so hopefully we can do the same this year.

Morris has a chef on staff so we should be treated to an excellent meal.

Please RSVP to Kevin Schooley, at 613-258-4587, or info@ontarioberries.com.

OBGA Logo_3 Berry

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Don’t forget to register for the Apple Tailgate Tour!

A reminder to please register for the Apple Tailgate Tour in Simcoe on August 15th. While this is a FREE event, the final stop will involve a facility tour and cider tasting, so we do need to know group size in advance. To register, simply call or email the Agriculture Information Contact Centre at ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca or 1-877-424-1300 by the end of the day on August 10th.

Tour details can be found here. Route map will be provided.

As this is a self-driving (in your own car) tour, carpooling is strongly encouraged to reduce traffic at orchard stops. Parking is available at Simcoe Research Station, 1283 Blueline Road.

Look forward to seeing you there!

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SWD Update – August 5

swd-catches2016f2

  • SWD numbers have increased dramatically.
  • More sites with SWD
  • More counties where SWD has been trapped (+Grey , Wellington, Peterborough, Northumberland)
  • All ripening fruit at risk
  • Huge increase in numbers of SWD, especially near June bearing strawberries, and wild raspberries.
  • Damage detected in commercial fruit

More SWD are being trapped in crops, not just the wild hosts around the farm. We are now catching almost 100 flies per trap, another generation is emerging and damage to crops is definitely occurring. Low levels of damage have been detected in raspberries, blackberries and day neutral strawberries.

Continue reading

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