The best storage for a new pear variety

Cepuna COV is a new pear variety. Some of the benefits mentioned for this pear are sweetness, freshness, juiciness, and firmness. We are investigating under which storage conditions these quality characteristics remain best.

The challenge is to find the best storage conditions for this pear variety. Therefore we investigated the effect of temperature, moisture loss, O2 and CO2, and the use of the ethylene inhibitor 1-MCP. In the research we have included pears from orchards with a history of sensitivity for internal browning. This disorder may develop under certain storage conditions.

The practice-oriented approach was combined with experiments to better understand the specifics of this pear variety. An example is the experiment where we blocked the calyx and stem of the pears to study the effect on internal quality (see photo).

Losse peren

The search for the optimal storage temperature initially concentrated on a constant temperature. Later we included storage regimes where the temperature was stepwise lowered during the first week of storage.

For studying the effect of pear moisture loss, we created various humidity levels around the pears. For this purpose we have used our flow through storage system. With this system we realized 4 levels of moisture loss during the first 3 weeks in storage. The pear moisture loss is represented by its weight loss. The realized weight loss at 1 °C is shown in the following table.

Table. Four levels of weight loss were realized during the first 3 weeks of storage.
Target weight loss Realized weight loss orchard 1 Realized weight loss orchard 2 Realized weight loss orchard 3
Low 0.1 0.1 0.0
Limited 0.4 0.3 0.4
Medium 0.7 0.6 0.7
High 1.3 1.3 1.1

This research has led to practical recommendations. Especially temperature and CO2 in the first period of storage have been optimized. An initial higher temperature and low CO2 are contributing to a successful storage result.