About 25 million tons of apples are produced worldwide. Apples are primarily produced in the world’s temperate zones.
The moment of harvesting is extremely important in terms of the options for the apples thereafter. Long-term storage requires the apples to be harvested shortly before ripening has begun. If the apples are harvested too early, however, this will have consequences for quality; the fruits are then small, hard and green with little red bloom and are thus susceptible to ripening deficiencies such as scald and speck. If the apples are harvested too late, they may become mealy, soft and very sensitive and the options for storage are then limited.
CA / ULO storage of apples
Apples are mostly stored in cool stores under CA. They can be stored for up to 12 months with CA/ULO storage and remain in good condition at a temperature of between 0 and 5 ºC, depending on the variety. In order to keep moisture loss to a minimum, apples should be stored in 90-95% atmospheric humidity. Apples generally respond very well to a reduction of O2 and an increase of CO2 (CA storage). Generally, chilled apples produce little ethylene as long as they do not begin to ripen. They are, however, very susceptible to ethylene, which will set the ripening process in motion. There may also be apples among the crop that are allready ripening and are, therefore, producing ethylene; these can activate the ripening of their 'neighbours'. By storing them in very low oxygen conditions (ULO storage), ethylene production is also kept very low. The sensitivity of apples to ethylene is significantly lower under ULO conditions.
Our solution for apple storage
Optimum storage conditions for apples
The optimum storage conditions for apples depend on the variety, harvesting moment, regions, location of orchard, etc. The advice below provides general storage conditions that are scientifically recommended but not specific for a particular region. It is, therefore, only an indication and no rights can be derived from this information. Ask a local university of research body for further advice.
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