Bitter-pit control

By March 11th, 2011

CSIR saved apple producers £100 000 a year by discovering how to avoid bitter-pit, a disease that causes brown, sharply defined corky flecks in the fruit’s flesh and discoloured surface depressions.

Bitter-pit in apples was a serious problem in the 1920s and was the chief reason for wastage of Australian apples on arrival at London ports.

Researchers discovered that apples needed to be picked at a certain stage of maturity to avoid bitter-pit developing. They produced a skin colour chart to help orchardists tell when apples were at the right stage to pick.