Evaluation of Pink Lady in two different Cold Storage rooms.
An evaluation was conducted at Karragullen Cold Storage, where under controlled atmosphere cold storage from 11th May 2017[date] to 17 March 2018. The rooms had evaporator fans fitted and the produce was stored at an average temperature of 0° C.
The purpose of these evaluations was to determine the effect of different treatments of Pink lady apples held for ten (10) months in CA storage.
Room 1) Room one contained 1100 bins of Pink lady apples held under normal controlled
atmosphere conditions (CA). This fruit was dipped with fungicides and a low level of DPA. 1-MCP was not used in this room.
This room had two AF4000 AiroFresh® units installed and opened on 17th March 2018 after some 10 months in CA storage with the evaporator fans running continuously.
Further to a range of tests being conducted, the fruit was held after opening for 14 days at ambient temperatures ranging between 20-31 degrees Celsius.
The following was observed:
- Minimal shrinkage noted in the bins, but no comparison made with control.
Bin weights were not recorded by the grower. See attached photograph
Minimal Shrinkage in the bins.
- Very few visible rots were seen, even where there were serious injuries on some apples.
See attached photograph
- b) This room, that was opened and fruit tested on 17th March, the readings were as follows:
Pressures ranged from 7.5 to 8 kgs, Brix levels were 13.5 to 14, the flavour was very intense with extremely crisp crunchy fresh. No evidence of superficial scald or any other disorders.
- c) The first shelf life measurement was on carried out on24th March and the results as follows:
Pressures ranged from 7-8 kgs, Brix levels: 13.7° and flavour was typical of good quality pink Lady apples, full intense flavour.
- d) The final shelf life test as recorded on 31st March 2018:
Pressures 6.75 to 7.1 kgs, Brix 13 to 13.5°, typical Pink Lady flavour still evident, with a crisp crunch. The fruit was just starting to show sign of becoming grippy although not greasy. (see picture)
Room 2 This room also contained approximately 1100 bins of Pink lady apples and held under
normal Controlled Atmosphere conditions for a period of 10.5 months.
The basic difference was that in this room had a large proportion of the fruit that was dipped with fungicides and treated with 1-MCP. The remainder of the fruit had no treatments at all. The fruit went from the orchard to the cold room. This room also had two AF4000 unit installed for the entire period.
- Minimal shrinkage noted in the bins (see attached pictures).
- A few visual rots noted in both treated and untreated fruit and on sampling from each bin found that the rot level was the same in each case. The rots were mostly generated by skin punctures but did not move to other fruits – Dry rot -(see photographs)
- This room was opened and the fruit tested on 19th March with the readings as follows:
Full chemical treatment
Pressures ranged between 7.5 to 8.5 kgs, Brix averaged 13.5°, the fruit was quite crunchy but lacked the intense Pink Lady® flavour. No superficial scald or other disorders noted. Generally speaking, for the time in storage, the fruit was in excellent condition.
Pressures ranged between 7.5 to 8.5 kgs, Brix averaged 13.5°. The fruit was crunchy and the flavour was more intense than the treated fruit. No superficial scald or other disorders noted. No measurable difference between the two batches.
Shelf Life Observations
Treated Fruit tested on March 26, was recorded as follows:
Pressures from 7.5 to 8.5. Brix 13.5 to 14°, Flavour was still less than expected for Pink Lady®, but unlikely to noticed by consumers unless a direct comparison was made.
No superficial scald or other disorders noted.
Untreated fruit tested on March 26 was recorded as follows:
Pressures 7.5 to 8 kgs, Brix 13.5 to 14°, flavour more intense than treated fruit.
No superficial scald or other disorders noted, however, the fruit was becoming grippy but not greasy
Treated Fruit tested on April 2, was recorded as follows:
Pressures 7.5.-8, Brix 13-13.5°. Flavour profile had developed slightly, but with differences barely noticeable, when compared to the untreated fruit.
No superficial scald or other disorders noted, however, the fruit was becoming grippy, but not greasy
Untreated fruit tested on April 2, was recorded as follows:
Pressure 7.5-8kgs, Brix 13-14°, The flavour profile remained intense, typical of Pink Lady®.
No superficial scald or other disorders noted, however, the fruit was becoming grippy, but not greasy.
Summary The observations and evaluations made on the two different cold storage rooms outcomes were interesting. The airflow and the correct number of AiroFresh® units had an excellent result. The outcomes show the importance of both constant airflow and sufficient units. Growers may consider having a full-time drum fan or similar, to ensure the best results. Cycling fans often mean diminished air movement. Constant moving air volume drives the AiroFresh® process. It is recommendable to disconnect the ventilators of the cooling system cycle so that they function 24/7. It also will increase the relative humidity met 15%.
Cold storage rooms with the right concentration of AiroFresh® units and adequate air flow can provide amazing outcomes, as can be seen from the above results.
Room 1. This clearly showed that AiroFresh® can deliver excellent results and lower costs for growers. People in the market have commented on the intense flavour without even knowing the lack of chemical treatments to the fruit.
Room 2. The most significant observation is that there is virtually no difference in fruit that was untreated to that which was fully chemically treated.
This leads us to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. Is there a justifiable need for costly applications if other effective and cheaper alternatives are available? Growers should try their own variations to ensure their own confidence, but it appears clear that improved constant airflow and sufficient AiroFresh® units can do a very satisfactory job.
Disclaimer: This information is for discussion purposes only. We have no control over the conduct or methods of storage and processes applied and therefore no warranties, guarantees or undertakings are provided or inferred herein.
Untreated Casuarina .6