On 30 November and 1 December 2022, fruit storage specialists from German-speaking countries met at the ATB by invitation of Dr Martin Geyer to discuss current challenges such as climate change on storage.
Apples in March? Bananas in Germany? Without suitable storage of fresh fruit, the choice of groceries in the supermarket would be very limited. The methods to ensure a long shelf life of fresh produce are continuously being optimised. Nevertheless, storage experts are constantly faced with new challenges such as climate change.
ATB scientist Dr. Martin Geyer has thus invited colleagues from northern Italy, Switzerland and Germany to discuss, among other things, the storage behaviour of new apple varieties and the influence of climate change on the harvest maturity of the fruit. Due to increased temperatures, apples ripen much earlier, they are therefore less long storable and suffer more from flesh browning or brown skin spots. The group discussed measures that can help producers to counter these problems. Another topic was the allergy potential of apples. The statement that old varieties are less allergenic than new varieties cannot be generalised, according to the scientists. Apart from the question of variety, according to Dr. Maria Buchweitz from the University of Stuttgart, the storage regime also has a great influence on their allergy potential.
On the second day of the meeting, ATB scientists presented current research work. For example, the DyNatCool project is currently investigating the condensation of water vapour on the surface of apples in storage. For this purpose, the scientists are comparing the storage of apples in cold storage rooms with climate-neutral and conventional refrigerants.
A visit to the ATB's experimental facilities at the Marquardt research site concluded the expert meeting.
Contact: Dr. Martin Geyer