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Picking date recommendations for Discovery

Discovery has an inherently short shelf-life and needs to be marketed quickly under conditions that slow the rate of softening. It is particularly important to keep the fruit temperature below 10oC during distribution.

The starch staining pattern determined on consignments of fruit at harvest can be used to predict the loss in firmness of fruits kept at 10oC (Fig. 2). This method can help to regulate the supply of Discovery to the fresh market by offering a method to identify over-mature fruit at harvest. However, this test cannot be used to estimate the actual shelf-life of Discovery apples, as the temperature experienced during distribution is likely to be variable.

Firmness loss v starch test in Discovery

There is a need to pick over Discovery trees several times rather than delay until the majority of fruits are of acceptable quality. In the latter situation a proportion of the apples will be too ripe to provide acceptable quality after distribution.