Norwegian apple industry has focused on short term (<2 months) distribution the last decades. Due to increased production and positive political signals, a prolonged sales period is expected to be the scenario in a few years. The main cultivar in Norway is the Swedish bred ‘Aroma’ with different red sports dominating, currently with 30% of the volume. Norway has a shorter growing season than further south in Europe, and later ripening cultivars (e.g. cv. Aroma) would be considered as early ripening cultivars further south. A project with industrial focus and co-funding was started in 2020; Sustainable postharvest handling of apple (short-name Eple-Handling). In the project, a holistic approach is planned with technical, physical, and biological assessments. The goal is improved fruit quality in a broad term (fruit quality attributes, physiological disorders, and fungal decay) with a special focus on physiological disorders. The apple cultivar ‘Red Aroma’ is known to be prone to both physiological disorders and fungal decay. A possible explanation, as experienced in commercial packinghouses for fruit, may be uneven ripening stages in the deliveries in apples picked at optimal and recommended harvest time. Fully ripe fruit together with less ripe may increase ethylene levels and thus respiration, which potentially will promote faster degradation of less ripe fruit. Preliminary results from assessments from one season storage trials is discussed.
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