International Produce Training

Apples- Splitting

Recently a warehouse received some tray pack apples with a very unusual defect. The apples were found to have sever splitting emanating around the stem end. The flesh was described as “grainy or sandy.”

From my experience, I have seen some varieties of apples being prone to stem end cracking, Honey Crisp and Stayman come to mind. If the apples are exposed to excessive rain, the apples grow quickly, too quickly, resulting in the stem area to crack. But the cracking is almost always seen while the fruit is still on the tree. Obviously this defect was not present, like this, on the tree. There is no way a packing house would have not seen these apples and pulled them off the grading line.

There are a few explanations that were forwarded to me on my LinkedIn page when I posted this defect, but because the Receiving Inspectors found the flesh to be dried out, this one could explain what was found:

Aside from what may have caused this defect, the next question is how to describe this defect. First off, this is a Condition Defect, and it will continue to get worse, and with the severe cracking may lead into decay. If found, describe the defect in the following way, “Serious damage by splitting at the stem end with flesh being mealy and/or dry.”

If anyone, specifically an apple grower, researcher or shipper knows more about the cause of this defect your input would be appreciated.

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