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It's Cool to be
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
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
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.
Remember: COOL IS COOL, BUT
FRIGID AND HOT ARE NOT!