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A chain is only
as strong as its weakest link. Don't be the weak link in
the chain to apple sales success. Apples are handled with
care while still on the tree. Growers thin apples, often
by hand, to increase size and reduce the risk of limb-rub
and other friction damage.
Apples are then
handpicked and placed in picking baskets, which are carefully
emptied into bins. Handpicking and careful transport decreases
bruising and mechanical damage of apples.
apple bruising and damage that may occur in the chain from
grower to consumer:
Occurs when apples are dropped on a hard surface. The injury
is not immediately apparent, but it may show later. Since
apples have tender skin and flesh, bruising can be a serious
problem. McIntosh are the most sensitive to bruise damage.
Bruising: Results when cases are stacked too high
or when packages are overfilled. Apples in cardboard cases
should not be stacked more than five high. Plastic master
cartons can be stacked as high as practicable as long as
they are stacked squarely so no corner drops down into the
Damage: Can occur when packages are underfilled,
but it is more likely to happen during long road hauls in
trucks with poor suspensions. It is preferable to transport
apples in trucks that have an air-ride suspension system
designed to protect produce in transit.
May heal quickly under appropriate conditions, but they
allow the entry of decay microorganisms and increase moisture
loss. Mature or ripe apples have less ability to heal themselves
and will have unsightly marks.
Handling Reduces Losses in the Produce Department!
When apples (or
other produce) are damaged, ripening is hastened and shelf
life shortened due to increased moisture loss, respiration,
and ethylene production. Not long after peak ripeness, the
fruit begins to develop off-flavours as cells die. Dying
tissues are more susceptible to decay. This is the end of
the line for fruit in a produce display. It is obvious to
the consumer that the fruit is past its prime! Oops! A lost
fruit in a display increases sales. To keep the display
fresh looking, check it regularly and remove damaged and
unappetizing apples. If a bag has one or two bad apples
in it, open the bag and remove them. Sell the remainder
of the bag singly from a bowl in the Deli, or add them to
your bulk display. Remember: a poly bag offers no protection
to the apples, so be gentle when checking them.