Nova Scotia Apples - Storage and Display
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Cool Apple

Storage and Display

It's Cool to be Cool

Cold storage delays ripening by holding the fruit at temperatures cold enough to slow down respiration. Slowing down respiration increases the life span of apples. For example, late-maturing apples have slower respiration than the early ones, and they have traditionally been known as the best 'keepers.'

Controlled atmosphere storage goes one step further and combines cold temperatures with decreased oxygen and increased carbon dioxide to further retard respiration. The apples are essentially dormant. When the atmosphere is returned to normal and the temperature increased, respiration increases. CA storage of apples has been successfully used for more than 35 years. Appropriate storage can postpone wilting, regrowth, ripening, senescence, and decay in many types of produce.

In the produce department: Low temperature and high humidity play key roles in lengthening shelf life. Storing and displaying apples at 0-4°C with 90% relative humidity will reduce moisture loss, slow respiration rates, and inhibit growth of decay organisms. Shelf life will be lengthened and freshness and texture will be maintained. If you absolutely do not have a refrigerated display case for apples, remember that apples soften 10 times faster at 22°C than at 0°C, so returning the apples to the refrigerator during the store's closed hours will help prolong the life of the apples.

Apples should not be in the mist line.  Although 'misting' can be beneficial for some produce, it can negatively affect apples by encouraging the growth of decay organisms. Maintaining relative humidity at 90% can inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi.

Apples must be protected from freezing. Apples will freeze at -1.5°C, so don't store them too close to the coils of your cooler and get them promptly in off the loading dock during the cold winter months.


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