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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Multiple factors affecting occurrence of soft scald and fungal decay in apple during storage

Sjostrand, Joakim; Tahir, Ibrahim; Hovmalm, Helena Persson; Stridh, Henrik; Olsson, Marie E.


Some apple cultivars are highly susceptible to soft scald, a physiological disorder that can lead to large losses. The effect of harvest time, gradual cooling regimes and storage conditions on soft scald and fungal decay was investigated in two common apple cultivars, 'Aroma' and 'Frida' in a three year trial 2018-2020. Further, possible relationships between weather conditions during the growing season and 28 d before harvest and soft scald incidence along with fungal decay after storage were studied. The year with the highest rainfall had the highest incidence of soft scald and fungal decay. Our results suggest that the relative humidity during a period of 28 d before harvest was important for later development of soft scald in 'Frida', and together the results from 'Frida' and 'Aroma' showed a moderate correlation between relative humidity and soft scald. Gradual cooling showed conflicting results, and no treatment consistently lowered soft scald incidence. Gradual cooling led to inconclusive results, and storage in ambient air led to higher incidence of soft scald as compared to some investigated ULO storage conditions. Advanced maturity was associated with soft scald development and more fungal decay in one out of three years in 'Aroma', but did not affect incidence in 'Frida'. The etiology of soft scald seems to be dependent of multiple factors.


Soft scald; Disorder; Fungal decay; Fruit; Gradual cooling; Maturity

Published in

Postharvest Biology and Technology
2023, Volume: 201, article number: 112344
Publisher: ELSEVIER