Attached apples on trees of ‘Jonathan Rasa’ and ‘Delicious Flanagan’ (Malus x domestica Borkh.) were enclosed in polyethylene bags or left unbagged for 5 d in 2002 and 2004 to determine the effect of elevated temperatures just before harvest on fruit quality parameters measured immediately thereafter. Mean maximum daily air temperatures within the bags were 5 to 9°C warmer than those of the air, recorded in full sun. Mean maximum daily fruit surface and flesh temperatures of bagged apples were 5 to 12°C warmer than those of unbagged fruit. Maximum daily fruit surface and flesh temperatures of bagged apples were similar. Peel color (L*, chroma, hue) of both cultivars was altered by the bagging treatment, but not flesh firmness. Bagged fruit generally had a lower soluble solids concentration (SSC) and starch index rating than those of unbagged apples. Titratable acidity of bagged apples was generally lower than that of unbagged fruit. Respiration rate of bagged apples more than doubled with a 3 to 4°C increase in air temperature. Thus, several fruit quality parameters were adversely affected by elevated temperatures over a 5 day period.
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Vol. 110 • No. 3