The project will be devoted to improving both short- and longer-term storage conditions. Photo/CC: Kjell J. Merok/Nofima

Sustainable postharvest handling of apple

 Food safety and quality  

Eple-Handling will facilitate collaboration in the whole value chain of the apple production, with focus on reducing the incidence of physiological disorders and fungal decay of the fruit.

Time:1. October 2020 – 30. September 2023
Financed by: Foundation for Research Levy on Agricultural Products (FFL)
Contact person
Portrettbilde av Hanne Larsen
Hanne Larsen

Senior Scientist
Phone: +47 450 39 908
hanne.larsen@nofima.no

A 40% increase of the Norwegian apple production is anticipated over the coming five years. This will require optimal fruit quality and careful treatment at harvest, improved environmental conditions for short- and long-term cold storage, and a better communication within the apple industry.

Physiological disorders will be reduced by increasing the awareness and competence about their causes, optimize orchard conditions, and combine technological, physical, biological and economic knowledge to improve storage management. There will be a special emphasis on fruit calcium content, optimized harvest time and cooling in the early storage phase, with an overall aim to slow the fruit maturation processes.

Improving understanding of pathogens, sources of inoculum and storage conditions

Fruit decay in Norway are caused by numerous fungal pathogens, and Eple-Handling will improve our understanding of pathogen biology, reveal pre- and postharvest sources of inoculum and environmental conditions that cause infection and disease development.

Furthermore, Eple-Handling will investigate the postharvest stimulation of pathogens on formation of ethylene and mycotoxins, with subsequent adverse effects on fruit maturation and juice contamination, respectively. The project will be devoted to improving both short- and longer-term storage conditions. Data from an existing or new software program will be adapted to follow the fruit from the orchard via storage to the market, and thus contribute in revealing fruit qualities and critical points of improvement at individual farms and the packinghouses.

The project will include education of a PhD as well as MSc students in Norway and form a network of research and educational activities with PhD-students and scientists in Sweden and Germany.

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